The American Red Cross shares the number-one thing you need to do immediately after the most devastating natural disasters.
- Earthquakes: Brace for aftershocks, landslides and tsunamis.
- Floods: Check for loose power lines, damaged gasoline containers and foundation cracks.
- Hurricanes: Follow local news for weather updates on additional rainfall and potential flooding.
- Tornados: Check for leaking gas lines, as indicated by a strong smell or a blowing/hissing noise.
- Winter Storms: Stay warm, indoors and away from hazards.
Source: The Weather Channel/The American Red Cross
- RELATED STORY: Increase Your Hometown Security to Weather Disasters
5 Steps To Survive House Fires
Every family needs to take these measures to make sure everyone gets out of a house fire alive.
Step 1: When you get out of your bed, you’ve got to stay very low, so try to crawl on the floor.
Step 2: Before opening any door, check it for heat using your hands.
Step 3: As you’re going down a staircase, you want to feel the wall for direction so you can get down the stairs quicker.
Step 4: Have one fire escape ladder in every upstairs bedroom mounted on a window to help family members escape safely. Fire ladders like the Kidde brand fire ladder can be purchased from Home Depot for as little as $35.
Step 5: Once you’re out, stay out. Never go back into a burning home.
Source: KPRC 2 News
Safeguard Your Valuables
Installing a personal safe in your home is one of the best ways you can protect family valuables and keepsakes from loss, fire and theft. To help increase its effectiveness, remember these tips when installing and using a home safe.
Placing your safe on a concrete floor will help protect your safe and valuables in a fire. Concrete does not burn and will keep your safe cool.
Bolting your safe down to the floor is one of the best protections against an attempted break-in.
- RELATED STORY: 14 Fire Safety Tips For Seniors
Install a safe in the corner of the room when bolting it to the floor to give an intruder less leverage when trying to pry into your safe.
Because heat rises, items that burn at lower temperatures, such as paper, wood and computer data, should be placed on the bottom of your safe.
Source: Cannon Safe
The 5 Ps Of Evacuation
In preparation for an evacuation, make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you have to leave your home quickly. Store the basic emergency supplies in a “go bag” or other container, and be ready to grab other essential items quickly before leaving.
The first “P” when it comes to evacuating is “people,” which includes your family and any loved ones in your house. And, if possible without compromising your safety, gather any pets and livestock, too.
This includes proper dosages, medical equipment, batteries or power cords, eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Compile your important documents, whether it’s hard copies or electronic copies saved on external hard drives or USB drives.
- RELATED STORY: Urban Evacuation: Tips to Escape a Disaster
4. Personal Needs
Collect clothes, food, water, a first-aid kit, cash, phones and chargers.
Also add items for people with disabilities and others with access and/or functional needs, such as older adults, children and those with limitations.
5. Priceless Items
This category is the least important when it comes to survival. Only gather these items—such as photographs, irreplaceable mementos and other valuables—if you have time and space inside your vehicle. Do not risk your life for these items.
Organ Donation Saves Lives
According to the NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit group designated for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for most of the state, New Jersey organ donors, both living and deceased, saved a total of 460 lives in 2014. For information on how you can help in 2015, visit njsharingnetwork.org.
This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Winter 2016 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.