Preparing for Disaster

Actnowsavelater.org
Image from UNOCHA and UNDP's "Act now, save later" clip. Watch it here: www.actnowsavelater.org

Here are some essential steps that you can take to prepare for disasters:

  1. Build an Emergency Supply Kit and include non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries, sanitary items, shoes and clothing as well as other items you might need. 
  2. Make a Family Emergency Plan. Agree how you will contact one another, how you will find each other and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  3. Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community, be part of the community planning process.
  4. Join or start a preparedness project. Serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
  5. Support major disasters by donating cash or goods that are needed.
  6. Duplicate your important documents and keep an extra copy offsite either in a safety deposit box or with someone you trust. Examples of these documents are: passport, driver's license, social security card, will, deeds, financial statements, prescriptions, personal items, etc. Include an inventory of your valuables, in writing and with photographs or video.
  7. Get the latest information from your local news stations and follow instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  8. Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  9. Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate
  10. Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  11. If you are a tourist, familiarize yourself with local tsunami evacuation protocols. You may be able to safely evacuate to the 3rd floor and higher.
  12. Prepare for landslides by following proper land-use procedures.
  13. In mudflow areas, build channels or deflection walls to direct the flow around buildings.
  14. Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of your house.