Prepping for a Disaster. Don’t wait until it’s too late


Prepping for a Disaster: Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, outages, and fires.

If you have seen the show Preppers, gotten into the Zombie craze or felt your hair rise on end at the zany Snowmageddon, you might already be considering stocking your pantry with water and batteries. Whether zombies take over and we have to barricade ourselves with wooden bats or tornadoes terrorize the Midwest once again, we could all use a little planning and preparation to ease our stead. Spring is upon us and Mother Nature can be one crafty B, so let’s all take a moment to make sure we have some emergency strategies ready, in the event her mood swings create some natural disasters you were not prepared for.

True Prepping for a disaster: Be informed, build a plan, make a kit and stay safe!

Prepping for a disaster

Tornadoes: The strong winds of tornadoes can be hypnotizing, like your blender mixing up a margarita in the most glorious way, however…. They are no Cinco de Mayo celebrations, my friends. Tornadoes cause, on average, around 70 fatalities and about 1,500 injuries in the US alone, each year (NOAA, 2014). The winds can vary from 30mph to 70 insane mph. The tornado season is upon us and paying special attention to the weather channel, local news or your weather radio will help you stay informed long before the twister gets there. Seek shelter- find a basement, bomb shelter, or room with no windows to cuddle up in until the windy mess passes.

Prepping for a disaster

Hurricanes: Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that start in the (southern) Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the (eastern) Pacific Ocean. Winds are at least 74mph and create havoc in their wake. Hurricanes are most common between June and November, and most often hit states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina (fema.gov). In the event of a hurricane, it is incredibly important to know your evacuation routes and have places in mind where you can stay- loved ones in other areas, hotels, shelters… etc. When your area is warned, it is best to keep calm and carry on outta there!

Prepping for a Disaster

Dealing with Floods: Flash floods are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, causing over 140 deaths each year. Scary fact: most deaths are caused from floods at night or victims being trapped in their vehicles- gulp. There goes driving at night for me, ladies. If I am hanging out with you and a thunderstorm pops up with a flood warning? Sleep over; Get the popcorn ready. One of the most dangerous aspects of flooding is what is creeping in the water in a very unsanitary way. If flooding occurs, prep your home by taking what you need with you to a high and dry place and leave, if possible. Do not drive through flooded puddles- you cannot tell how deep it is and your vehicle can get stranded in it.

Prepping for a Disaster

Disaster Power Outages: “When the lights go out in the city….” Is a pretty lyric but panic-worthy if you are me or my dog (who will likely hide in the bathroom). Outages can be caused by accidents or storms and may last hours, on up to a few weeks. While this is at times an effect of other natural disasters, it can happen without them and so it is best to be prepared for this unique danger. Keep in mind, refrigerators, air conditioners and heat supplies may go out with power outages, so the time of year will greatly affect how this disaster affects your family. Portable fans, flashlights and candles are all incredibly important in outages and best to keep on hand with your emergency kit. Consider keeping a back-up heating source for food and water, like a camping stove or barbeque (but do not bring it in the house). Check into power failure safety lights to keep your home lit long after the electricity goes out. If you have a generator, never use it in your home, garage or other closed environment.

prepping for a disaster

Running from Forrest Fires:   Fires usually start from lightning strikes or accidents- like campers leaving an unattended fire. I know how tempting s’mores are but the return on investment just doesn’t add up, scouts. We see these giant flames dancing around the Southwest and West coast, affecting states like Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah. Fires burn the strongest in the middle of the day, and the average time a forest fire is reported is 3:03pm (FEMA, 2013). If you see a spark or smoke, you need to call 911- you may be the first to see it and report it. Like floods and hurricanes, get on the crazy (yet panic free) train and scoot it on out of there as fast as your jeggings will carry you.

Build your emergency kit!

Water- one gallon per person, for at least three days

Food- three day supply of non-perishables, like canned goods, ramen noodles, granola bars, pet food, can opener

Battery-powered radio and weather radio, extra batteries

Flashlight and batteries, matches in a water-proof container

Also: First aid kit, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a shelter if needed, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, blankets, medication, important family documents and bleach for a DIY disinfectant.

Prepping for a Disaster

Zombies: The best way to prevent zombie attacks is to shower them in disbelief. If you pack one gallon of realism into every pantry, per person of course, you will shock yourself at how little they eat of your brain. If that does not calm your nerves, a combo of sedatives and Disney channel marathons will cure what ails you. Promise.

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