Natural Disaster Safety Tips
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Michele Pratt
No matter what climate you encounter daily, you must be aware of how to keep yourself safe in changing weather conditions. Hundreds of people die annually in the US because of heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, flash floods, powerful thunderstorms, and winter storms. How do we protect ourselves from the elements?
Here are some tips you can follow to safeguard your home and family from severe weather:
- Create a disaster plan – how to protect yourself and your family outside, at work, home or school. One source you can utilize on how to put a disaster supply kit together is http://www.redcross.org
- Locate a safe place (safe room) to take shelter in. If you need help on how to build a safe room visit http://www.fema.gov
- Identify the county/parish where you live or visit since this is how the National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings.
- Maintain an updated highway map to follow storm movement so you can follow National Weather Service instructions.
- Tune into local television or radio stations to keep up to date forecast information.
- Be observant of your surroundings to watch for indications of approaching storms.
- Prior to and during weather events check on the elderly, very young, physically or mentally disabled, and pets. Do not leave your pets to fend for themselves during horrible storms, they need your care as well.
If you look at weather events by season we would be coasting into Hurricane Season. Katrina, Harvey, Sandy and Irma were the top hurricanes in the US as related to cost of damages. You will hear meteorologists describe the categories of hurricanes but what does it mean?
- Category 1 (Some damage) wind speeds 74-95 mph
- Category 2 (Extensive damage) wind speeds 96-110 mph
- Category 3 (Devastating damage) wind speeds 111-129 mph
- Category 4 (Catastrophic damage) wind speeds 130-156 mph
- Category 5 (Catastrophic damage) wind speeds 157 mph or higher
The link below offers a great last-minute checklist of how to protect your home and reduce water damage in the event of a hurricane.
Your personal safety should be your number one priority followed by property and possessions secondary. If you have foreshadowing of a weather related event secure your belongings and take photographs of those belongings which may become damaged during a storm or weather related event. This should expedite any insurance claims you might be required to file.
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” --John Ruskin
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