Showing posts with label emergency response team. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emergency response team. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

 Try to stay one step ahead!

A tornado, earthquakes or flooding
rains can strike without warning.

Would you be prepared if a natural disaster occurred in your hometown? Most people don't really spend a lot of time thinking about something of this magnitude happening to them. Although people living in areas that are hit every year by a hurricane, a tornado, earthquakes or flooding rains should realize the odds, but most don't really think about it happening until it actually does!  

There is no time like the present to make sure that you are ready if a disaster should strike. Do you have a family emergency plan so that your children know what to do if they get separated from you? Hopefully, they won't be so frightened by the event if you have gone over your plan.

Do you have contact information for your elderly parents or other friends and family readily available to them? You can actually download a Family Emergency Plan form from which is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website. It includes information on how you can communicate with one another should you not all be together when the disaster occurs. It is a simple form that you just fill in to help you cover all areas necessary to help you stay safe. 

FEMA Disaster kit
info from
Of course some disasters are sudden and require a different emergency plan than others. For instance, a fire during the night in your home requires immediate action on your part. Do you have an escape plan, and do the children know what to do should they not be able to find you in the house in the dark? Take the time to rehearse this exit plan a few times so the kids are familiar with it. It is very easy to forget things when you are upset or anxious, so having practiced it will help a lot and allow everyone to try to stay calm.

You can also check with your local Emergency Response Team through your county to see what type of warning systems they might have in place for certain types of disasters such as severe storms or flooding situations. They can assist you with where you might evacuate if necessary. Learning about the local area response to the emergency will help you with your families' emergency plan. Your plan should include phone numbers, as well as addresses of places identified as evacuation centers. 

Do You Have your Disaster Supply Kit Ready to Go?? 

One of the most important things to make sure you have on hand is water. You will need at least a gallon of water per person which should last about three days. Also, make sure you have access to non-perishable foods for a three day period. You will also need a flashlight and extra batteries in case you should loose power. It would also be wise to have a portable radio handy to stay tuned to the local emergency response  team authorities. You can refer to the FEMA website for this information, as well as to see the specific items that you need to include in your Disaster Kit. They also have information on maintaining your kit, which is very important as you don't want outdated canned foods and other first aid supplies when you REALLY need them! The FEMA website also includes activities to get the kids involved in putting your kits together. This would be the perfect time to discuss the plan as you assemble the kits. Read our previous article, Be Prepared: Emergency First Aid Kits for further information.

Emergency Response Team
Mad River, CA Nov 2012

Having grown up in California, I learned early on in school about earthquakes. We practiced earthquake drills monthly all through elementary school. DUCK and COVER were our key words to get under our desks and cover our heads. This drill stuck with me all through my lifetime time so the practice does help! 

Recently, I experienced a situation that almost turned into a disaster. My husband and I live on the Mad River, in Northern California. We just relocated here this past summer so everything is new to us. Our river is controlled by a dam at a lake that is about eight miles up the river from us. We weren't worried at all about the river coming up since it is controlled by the dam releases. Well, that is all well and good, but what happens when you have 17 inches of rain in a matter of five days? We are in the mountains and with the mountains comes runoff -  runoff from EVERYWHERE! We watched our peaceful little river rise so fast and the ground get saturated so that water had nowhere else to go! We saw the lake rise 15 feet in a matter of two days from runoff and start tumbling over the spillway! 

We are currently staying in our motor home while we build our house.  Remember that we are NOT in a 100 year flood zone according to the county records! At this point we would not be able to drive our motor home out because the ground was too saturated. We parked our truck up by the road ready to get out if needed. There were places where others living on the river were sandbagging to keep their homes dry. The old timers here tell us that it never rains in November very much so this is an UNUSUAL event. Fortunately, the rain finally stopped and the river has returned to its almost peaceful state once again. This has been a very valuable lesson for us in that we know now that WE NEED TO GET PREPARED!  I am using the website to help us so that next time we have that NOT NORMAL rainfall we will be ready! 


Cindy Foley
Contributing Writer