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Emergency Preparedness Checklist: Important As much As You Breath

Did you know, on an average, a natural disaster affects over 160 million people and kills over 90,000 people per year leaving the entire country helpless and out of resources. In fact, 55% of the population cannot even define a natural disaster.

Our Senior Editor Steven Smith spent more than 7 days in researching and finding out the best resources and tips that will help you to learn everything in case of natural disaster. Every time it’s a panic situation but a kind of knowledge will help you a lot and leads to you in life saving zone.

Finalscope Disaster Preparedness Guide

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Did you know, on an average, a natural disaster affects over 160 million people and kills over 90,000 people per year leaving the entire country helpless and out of resources. In fact, 55% of the population cannot even define a natural disaster.

According to a report of the United Nations 2014, since 1994, almost 1.4 billion people have been affected by natural hazards and disasters, which concurrently claimed 1.3 million lives. There are several kinds of natural hazards namely Hurricane, Eruption, Landslides, Tornado, Earthquake, Floods, Wildfire, Heat wave and Drought. Countries ranging from Chile to Japan, Vietnam and Mauritius experience some of the worst disasters every year.

With such high rates, it is essential to inform people about natural disasters and their consequences. Hence, it is time for the population to understand the importance of disaster preparedness.

When does a Hazard turn into Disaster?

Earthquake, floods and hurricanes are natural hazards which are inevitable. However, they become great natural disasters when they affect the population or the lives nearby. People living in poverty are the most vulnerable part of our society. They not only lose their loved ones but also their living space, every day resources and necessities.

It is believed that the developing countries are more vulnerable to disasters as compared to the developed countries. According to the World Health Organisation, developed countries are well-prepared for natural disasters whereas the developing countries are still undergoing building their internal systems. Besides, in developing countries the poor are trapped in a cycle of poverty, for they do not have required funds to fulfil their necessities and build a new living.

Natural disasters fall in three categories namely those caused by movements of the earth (Earthquake, Tsunami, and Volcanic eruption), weather-related disasters (Tornados and Hurricanes), and consequences of extreme weather related events or supplementary to other hazards. These hazards are unpredictable and impossible to stop.

People living in areas prone to natural disasters and other hazards will know the consequences. So either they can relocate their families to a substitute area or be fully prepared for the hazards. The essential point is to be organised and equipped beforehand. It is critical for the people living in such places to understand the existing problem and their solutions. Disasters like Volcanic eruption, tsunamis, floods and earthquakes cannot be predicted a month before, therefore no one can help the people but they themselves. With little ado, let’s walk through the curated list of natural disasters and the significance of disaster preparedness.

Earthquakes: Causes Effects With Latest Statistics

Earthquakes occur with a minimum amount of warning and causes an implausible amount of destruction. The essential point is to take appropriate protective measures and limit the loss of life. Earthquake measured at or above 6.1 to 6.9 can cause massive damage and can be severely harmful for not just the human beings but animals too. Around 100 of these earthquakes occur every year. Earthquakes between 7.1 to 7.9 are earth-shaking and atrocious.

Volcanic Eruptions are brutal and harmful. The eruption releases carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. These gases disperse quickly with wind, but if they are stuck in a hollow, they can cause suffocation and respiratory related diseases. There are only few ways to save yourself from volcano-caused gases: –

  • If possible, stay away from the active Volcano
  • If you are living near an active volcano, then please keep an emergency kit always ready with you.
  • The Kit must contain battery-operated radio, a torch, goggles and masks.
  • Keep a gas-filled car always ready for emergency evacuation.
  • If the Volcano erupts, evacuate only when told by the authorities or it can cause chaos.
  • Avoid the low-lying areas.
  • Before evacuating, wear your goggles, mark, and a full sleeve t-shirt. Don not wear contacts as it can damage your eyes.
  • Close windows, vents, chimneys, and doors if you stay in the house and not evacuate immediately.  
  • Make sure that your pets are on anaesthesia during the evacuation process so it becomes
  • simple to carry them or make them wear masks.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your animals like anaesthesia (for they panic during emergencies) or their face masks.

T-sunami: Causes and Warning

Tsunami is a series of enormous waves caused by Volcanic eruption, underwater landslide or Earthquakes. People living in areas prone to earthquakes and are near a water body should be well- equipped and aware of the weather reports. There is always a limited amount of warning before it hits, therefore people have a restricted amount of time to pack all their stuff and leave as soon as possible. However, if you are living in a tsunami prone area, follow these steps: –

  • Protect yourself from the earthquake, if there is any.
  • Get to a ground that is relatively higher than the others.
  • Be alert to the signs of tsunami – watch new channels or hear radio for recent updates.
  • Listen to the emergency alerts by the government officials.
  • Do not wait for any news or alert, evacuate as soon as possible.
  • Last but not the least, if you are out in the boat, travel towards the sea.

WILDFIRE: Prevention Not That Much Easy

Wildfire is caused by Volcanic eruption, hot lava running down to the forest or extreme heat for the rise in temperature. Wildfire can cause massive destruction to the nature and the people living around. Always inform the authorities about the emergency and never assume that the fire has been already reported unless you see an emergency backup there for your aid. Steps that should be taken in such emergency are: –

  • Shut all the windows and doors of your house and keep them unlocked.
  • Remove all the furniture and curtains and other flammable material towards one corner of the
    room, away from the windows.
  • For such emergencies, always keep extra food and water for back up.
  • Shut off all the meters and gas knobs.
  • If you are planning to leave the house, please keep in mind to have a vehicle ready with the
    gas tank full.
  • The farm animals or pets should be transported first to a safe place.
  • Keep an identity card and other important documents with yourself for future emergencies.

Social Media can be an aid in emergencies: Be rest assured

Social media is a revolutionary tool in the world of technology. It enables its users to share videos and photos of their loved ones just by a simple click. However, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have redefined the function of social media in people’s life. Now it not only allows the users to post videos and photos but also share connect with people who are stuck somewhere in the middle of the disasters. One incident that transformed the role of Social media from place to place was in 2011 and 2018, when Hurricane Michael hit United States and there was no means possible for users to unite with their families. Facebook and Twitter made public the safety-check button. This tab allowed the operators to mark themselves safe while stuck near or in the hurricane stricken areas.

While being safe, people posted photos and videos of the condition of the area and informed the users about it. In fact, Facebook has activated Safety check tabs during the non-natural disaster times, like terrorist attacks. Now, users can also donate money on these social media sites. Facebook has commenced these services for people to stay connected with their family and friends all the time and help them by donating money through Facebook. So, people who need money in an emergency have somewhere to go. Social media has breached the strictures of entertainment and has verified to be effective in emergencies. Although unconventional, government authorities find this method effective and convenient.

Food and Water supply for emergency

People residing in areas prone to earthquakes, Tsunami, Wildfires, Hurricane, Tornado and other natural disasters, ought to keep 3-5 days of food and water supply in their households. However, storage and shelter areas should be close enough for people to shift to smaller areas for their safety. An average person working around in the house or in the office requires 1 gallon of water for drinking and food preparation purposes. 1.1 – 2 gallons of water for bathing, brushing teeth and other chucks. Therefore, this much of extra water should be securely kept in the people' abode living in disaster- prone areas like United States, Japan, Mauritius, and Chile. The food items which can be kept for 5-6 days at a stretch are: –

  • Butter
  • Processed or hard cheese
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit Pies
  • Bread
  • Rolls
  • Cakes
  • Muffins
  • Dries Fruits
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sauces of all kind
  • Flour
  • Fresh Herbs and Spices
  • Olives and some other vegetable

Final Words

Every country and state have their own safety or emergency numbers that can be contacted anytime to report or during an emergency. If you are living in an area prone to disasters, always keep the website name and contact number handy. However, if you are visiting a country is on red alert, visit the government site for precautions and other requirements. Government authorities are now active on websites in emergencies and take immediate actions. So be rest assure!

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