Originally published April 21 2015
Remember these 5 lessons from Hurricane Katrina to prepare for survival during any disaster
by Amy Goodrich
(NaturalNews) Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural forces on Earth. They have caused the loss of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Having an emergency plan and being prepared for hurricane season can really make a difference when these disasters force us to switch to survival mode.
Here are five valuable lessons that disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina or Sandy, have taught us.
1. Have an emergency planMake sure to have your emergency/evacuation plan ready, and rehearse it with family so everybody knows what to do when mayhem strikes. Make a movie of the inside and outside of your house with your tablet or cellphone and make pictures of important documents like insurance documents.
Don't forget to incorporate a scenario where some of you aren't home but are at work or in school. Make a plan where to re-connect with your family if something happens.
During a hurricane, the safest place in your house is the basement or innermost closet or bathroom with no windows. Hide under heavy furniture, or even a mattress, to protect yourself from falling debris. While the basement can be one of the safest places, when the area floods, it is the last place where you want to be.
Keep a bag or container packed with useful resources -- like a flash light, batteries, water, knife, rope, blanket and first-aid kit -- that you might need during an evacuation.
And of course, don't forget your pets when practicing your emergency plan.
2. Stay informedDuring a hurricane watch, make sure to stay informed and know which kind of hurricane is coming your way. Some will force you to leave your home and evacuate to safer ground.
Consider buying a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio. It is relatively cheap and will keep you informed about what's going on out there.
3. Prepare your house for a hurricaneSecure roof trusses, doors and windows with shutters and panels. Make sure that the wind can't get in. Once the wind gets in, it could blow the roof off of your house from the inside. Bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind, like a bike or garden furniture.
When you live in a trailer, mobile home or boat, there isn't much that you can do. Staying home is the most dangerous thing you can do in such a situation. Secure everything as best as possible and leave the area immediately.
Even if you don't live in a trailer or boat, it is wise to have an inland back-up place or a Red Cross shelter to stay when things get really bad. So pre-plan your escape route.
Also make sure to check if your generator still works, if you have one, and make sure that your vehicle's gas tank is filled with fuel.
Food may be more limited during disasters; stores will be closed or looted, so make sure you're stocked up.
Check out this link with a checklist of general supplies: HurricaneSafety.org.
4. Team upOne of the smartest things to do when prepping for a hurricane is to meet up with neighbors and team up.
5. Don't think it's over when it all goes quietWhen it gets quiet all of a sudden, it may not mark the end. A lull often means that you're right in the center or in the storm's eye. Before you jump into your car or emerge from your shelters, make sure to wait until the authorities announce that the danger has passed.
While surviving a hurricane all comes down to preparation and staying informed, your neighbor may not have been prepared as well as you did. Make sure to help if you can. Follow evacuation orders for your safety, despite how painful it may be to leave everything behind. When on the road, watch out for burning debris, leaking chemicals or toxic smoke. Follow the signs and instructions and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
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