5 important disaster preparedness tips
Although we might not like to acknowledge it, disasters can strike at any time. While you can take steps to minimize the threat, you can’t eliminate it altogether. Due to this, it’s important to have appropriate disaster management strategies in place.
Individuals can enhance their safety and wellbeing by ensuring they know what to do in the event of an emergency. If you’re a homeowner, for example, protecting your property from potential disasters may be a top priority.
However, this isn’t the only type of disaster management that’s important. Public officials, business owners and even employees all have an important role in preparing for emergencies. If you want to ensure that you’re taking the necessary steps to mitigate against disasters, read this blog post to find out how beneficial emergency management programs can be.
You never know when a disaster might strike, which is why it’s important to prioritize your disaster management strategies. With this in mind, take a look at these top disaster preparedness tips now:
1. Identify potential risks
There are numerous types of natural and manmade disasters that can threaten your life, safety and security. Natural disasters, such as storms, tornadoes and earthquakes, can decimate entire regions, for example, while manmade disasters, like industrial accidents, can cause fatalities, life-changing injuries and serious property damage.
However, you may be more at risk of some disasters than others. If you own a gas production plant, for example, your premises are going to face a higher risk of explosions than the average office, for example. Alternatively, if you live close to a river but aren’t situated in an area prone to earthquakes, there’s going to be a higher risk of your property flooding than collapse due to tremors.
By identifying the disasters that pose the highest risk to your safety and wellbeing, you can ensure that you’re well-prepared for them.
2. Identify government guidelines
As a private citizen or business owner, you can look to government organizations for expert advice and guidance. Finding out what the policies and emergency procedures are in your region will enable you to implement appropriate strategies at home or work, for example.
In addition to this, finding out which methods of communication public safety officials plan to use in the event of emergency will ensure you can access regular updates and instructions. While safety warnings may be shown on television, this won’t be any use to you if you lose power. By ensuring you have portable lines of communication to access help in an emergency or to follow the latest official advice, you can ensure that you’re well-equipped to keep up to date with breaking news and safety announcements.
3. Choose evacuation routes
If you need to leave your home or workplace due to a threat to your safety, it’s important to know where you’re headed. Suitable evacuation routes can depend on the particular threat you’re facing, so be sure to bear this in mind when you’re choosing appropriate locations. It may be necessary to plot two or more evacuation routes, so that you can respond to different types of disasters, for example.
As well as planning your potential evacuation strategy, consider where your family or colleagues will regroup immediately after the evacuation. You’ll need to do a headcount to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for, so having a designated meet-up point is vital. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that this point is situated in a safe location, so consider which areas may be affected in the event of an emergency.
4. Prepare an emergency kit
When an emergency situation arises, you won’t have time to grab a selection of your favorite items or the things that are most special to you. Instead, you’ll be focused on leaving the area in the quickest way possible. Having an emergency kit ready to go means you can ensure that you’ll have essential items with you at all times.
An emergency kit should consist of a variety of items, so don’t overlook the things that are most important. Your kit may need to include the following:
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Change of clothes
- Power bank
- Backup cell phone and chargers
- Prescription medication
At first glance, the range of equipment needed in an emergency kit may seem excessive. However, there’s no doubt you’ll need everything listed above in the event of a disaster. By preparing your kit now, you can ensure you’re able to respond to a developing emergency in a calm and practiced manner.
5. Consider people who require assistance
In an emergency, you should safeguard your own wellbeing before attempting to help others. When you’re preparing for a disaster, rather than responding to one, you have extra time to focus on other people and consider any additional help they may need.
If you have children, for example, they may be unable to evacuate without assistance. As a result, you’ll need to factor this into your disaster management strategy. You may also need to add extra items to your emergency kit, such as diapers, formula and bottles.
Alternatively, if any of your colleagues have physical disabilities, they may require assistance in the event of an evacuation. If so, it’s vital to ensure that effective measures are put in place now, so that everyone can get to a place of safety in the event of an emergency.
Contingency planning and disaster management
No-one wants to think about dealing with a large-scale disaster or a threat to their life, but it’s something we must acknowledge if we want to protect ourselves and others. Disaster management and contingency planning gives you the opportunity to identify the risks you’re exposed to a mitigate against them. By doing so, you can actually decrease the risk of harm.
In addition to this, creating a disaster management strategy can help you to feel more confident about dealing with emergencies. When you know you have access to the resources you need, as well as a plan to follow, you can be confident that you’ll be able to respond appropriately and effectively if a disaster occurs.