With the recent heavy downpours of rain in parts of Southeast and Central Texas, there has been a massive increase in dangerous floods throughout the various affected counties. Lives have already been tragically lost in the resulting floods, and without proper disaster preparedness there could unfortunately be more on the horizon.
Don’t get caught unawares and unprepared – it really could be the difference between life and death. Disaster preparedness is actually not as difficult as many would assume, but it’s important to know exactly what steps should be taken to prepare for a disaster.
Here’s everything you need to know to be adequately prepared in the event of a disaster:
Have a Supply of Food and Water on Standby
Food and water are two of the most important items that you will need to survive any sort of disaster, floods included. For each person in your household, you should aim to have at least three days’ worth of both food and water.
Every person should have one gallon of water per day, and while three days is a good place to start, having more water than this is never a bad thing. Remember you will need additional water for cleaning, washing and other uses beyond drinking. Store bought bottled water is the suitable enough.
For food, you will want to secure lots of non-perishable goods that require little to no cooking. Canned goods are is great choice as too is dried mixes, and while dehydrated foods are a popular option, they are not essential as canned and dried goods.
Avoid overly salty foods as this will make you require more water, which could very well be in short-supply. Having a portable camp stove for cooking and preparing food is also recommended along with a fuel source such as charcoal or gas.
Other Essential Supplies You Should Have Ready
A flashlight is a very important item that should be in any disaster kit, along with a supply of backup batteries. Power supplies could very well be damaged, so a flashlight is essential, preferably an LED headlight as it allows for more freedom with your hands.
A first aid kit should always be in your kit, along with any medicines that are required for people in your household – always check the dates for these too and replace when necessary.
Other important items include a cell phone with a full charge, important documentation and emergency contact information, and some cash as well – although smaller notes and coins are best suited in the event of a disaster.
Having backpacks on standby should you need to evacuate is also a good idea. You will need to leave a portion of your food and water supplies, but this can sometimes be unavoidable especially when you need to evacuate the home immediately. Most of the supplies you will have gathered will fit inside a sturdy backpack anyway.
Have Good Access to a Source for Warnings
You should aim to have access to at least three sources for disaster warnings. Local radio and television stations can give the best estimates based on your own location, although you will need to be warned well ahead of time to be prepared to react.
Signing up for email and text alerts from local governments are also a great way to get warnings prior to a disaster. Always have a crank wound radio on standby too should the power suddenly go out, as this should allow you to receive updates regarding the disaster and any rescue efforts being made.
Draw Up an Emergency Plan
Knowing exactly how you plan on reacting to a disaster could be vital for your safety, so always have a plan drawn up that can be used in the event of a disaster.
Start off by establishing what disasters you are most likely to face – is it natural like a flood or tornado, or is it something unnatural like a train derailment or the spilling of hazardous materials.
Write up your plan once you understand the disasters that you are most at risk from. Plan it in relation to this, such as where you might evacuate too, who you will contact to inform of your situation, are there any risks with your plan, and whether everyone in your family prepared.