What are your chances of surviving a disaster such as nuclear fallout, financial crisis, floods, extreme heat or even earthquakes and war? Unless you are prepared, pretty slim. Here are some vital tips and suggestions to help you improve your chances of survival
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Disaster Plans and Drilling
Planning can save lives as it prepares you to know what to do in an emergency without having to think about it or make choices when there is little time to do so.
Planning should include the whole family and what each person in the family should do in an emergency. This should include pets also.
If a disaster strikes suddenly, the family may not always be together so an agreed upon method of contact should be established. These days with cell phones (mobiles) this is an easy matter and texting is a quick and easy way to stay in touch.
When drawing up a plan for the household, some points worth noting are:
1. Discuss how to prepare for various emergencies, such as fire, flooding, earthquake etc.
2. Assign a particular responsibility to each householder so you can work as a team. For example. Who will take the pets? Who will communicate the situation to the others (usually this would be the first person to become aware of the disaster).
3. If the family are far apart, such as at work or shopping for example, is it feasible to meet up at the agreed location or stay where one is?
4. If one has a shelter, how does one get there in time and how long does one keep it open for later comers before it is sealed shut?
5. If an evacuation or a meet up is in the plan, work out two alternative routes to get to that located. The reason you have two alternatives is because in a disaster sometimes a route can be blocked through fallen debris, traffic jams, fire or floods. It is good to have two alternative locations also for the same reason. Remaining in contact during these times is vital therefore to ensure everyone knows where the agreed upon route and location is going to be at that time.
All members of the household should have in writing and in their phone a list of emergency numbers as well as the numbers of all the other householders.
It is an excellent idea to drill the evacuation plan one has in place. If you have attended a fire drill in an office you will know the importance of drilling so every person knows what to do and where to do. The same applies in a household.
Practice driving to the evacuation location, so you have a sense of the time it takes to get there. Practice getting to your shelter if you have one also. Work, through practice, to reduce the time it takes from anywhere close by.
Practice this drill on a regular basis, at least twice a year and ideally once every 3 months. It is easy to forget.
In drilling ensure that pets are included. It is possible to find pet friendly hotels, motels and animal shelters so keep a list of those nearby.
It is a good idea to let distant relatives know the situation and that your safe, particularly if they live in other countries. Many people in other countries have no idea of the distances in yours and when they hear about any disaster in your country may or may not understand where you are in relation to that distance.
Having a disaster plan and drilling it on a regular basis can save lives.