Disasters. You only need to turn on the news to see disasters here, disasters there, disasters everywhere. Some disasters seem Biblical in their proportions, and given that we have just been going through a pandemic, a pandemic that has reached every single corner of the globe, you could say that this is one of them. The thing is, disaster does not just happen because of an illness that spreads like wildfire. It happens because of actual fire devastating the rainforests, or floods that ruin towns and devastate cities. Disasters happen because of hurricanes and tornadoes that seem to be uncontrollable. Disasters affect millions of people every single year and it is not just on a personal level. Disasters affect businesses, local communities, they even affect national security. Disaster management is a must no matter where you are considering investing. You see, you have to invest in disaster preparedness, and you do not have to be a tinfoil hat wearing Doomsday prepare for that matter, either.
Both at home and at work you have to make sure that you are managing an action plan and practicing one. Consider the way that you have fire alarms in the office, and how you train people around you to look for disasters and understand what to do and how to remain calm when they occur. This has to extend to your home. You have to make sure that you have researched the best home backup generators just in case there is an extended power outage that lasts for weeks and not just a few hours. You have to ensure that you have things like bug-out bags in the car and maybe one at the office. This is just in case something goes seriously wrong and one of those TV shows that you love so much with zombies seems to come to life. That may sound like an exaggeration, but you’d be surprised!
There are plenty of things that you can do to prepare for a disaster to happen. You do not need to dig out a 50 foot bomb shelter in your backyard — though if you do have the materials you may as well have a go. Below, we have ten steps for preparing for disaster and these are all actions that you can keep in mind when you are planning to manage the disaster that is happening.
- Make your home disaster ready. If you are going to prepare for disaster, you should start with your home. We talked about having backup generators ready to go when a power outage has put your home on pause. More than that, you need to prepare a plan and practice it with the whole family. Increase their awareness of how to be safe if there is a fire in the home. Make sure that everybody is educated on what to do should the country go to war, or a pandemic happen, or you end up in lockdown with no toilet paper — oh wait, we have been there already. You need to look for tool kits and downloadable emergency plans to help your home to function in a disaster.
- Make your office just as ready. Most businesses already have disaster, evacuation and emergency plans in place. If you do not know someone in your current workplace, speak to your boss. They can train you on all of the emergency procedures that happen in your industry, and they can make sure that you know what to do should there be a fire or a lockdown happening in the building. It is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re able to deal with a disaster as it happens.
- Are you aware of the steps to take in your community? Which disasters could affect your home? Many people don’t realize that they are in the path of a fire zone or a flood zone, and while these things should be explained to you on the purchase of your home, if you are simply renting you are not likely to notice. One of the biggest signs that you are living in a disaster zone is a cheap rent, so always query this with the landlord before you move into a new place. Enter your ZIP Code online to discover whether you have any potential risks that you might face in your area. You may even be in the path of regular hurricanes, but until you look it up you will never know.
- Get to know the emergency services. Sure, you know how to call the police and how to call for an ambulance, but do you know who to call when there is been a flood that affected your home? Most people do not, so preparedness is a shared responsibility among everybody. Flooding agencies and fire agencies work together in communities on an environmental level to ensure that everybody is safe should the worst happen. You should also get to know which agency can help you to have a hurricane alarm go off in the event a hurricane happens in your area.
- Make sure that you are insured. Home insurance and contents insurance are two of the most important things that you can have as a homeowner and even as a renter. If you are living in an area that may be affected by flooding or climate disasters, then make sure that you have insurance policies that cover you in the event of these things. It is bad enough that your home could get swept away in a flood, it is even worse when you cannot replace any of your things, because you were not insured in the first place.
- Make sure that you conduct risk assessments. Have you ever actually looked into whether or not your home is in a disaster area? Have you conducted any risk assessments to identify any potential hazards? Are you near a river that could swell and slip into your home in the event of too much rain? These are real questions that you really should be asking yourself so that you can be more prepared in the event of a disaster. Once you know what the risks are, you can mitigate those risks.
- Get to know the statistics. Talk to the neighbors and talk to those in the local community to know whether or not your research is correct. If your research tells you that you should expect six floods in a year, ask your neighbors if it is right. They are the ones that will be able to help you to better understand whether or not you are doing the right thing in your preparedness. You can reduce your disaster risk and build better resilience for your home and even for a business by understanding key sophistical data in your area.
- Plan for everything. It sounds extreme, does not it? But if you know that you are in a flood risk area, make sure that you have sandbags and your home is built to withstand the water. Make sure you have a boat tied up in the backyard so that if a flood happens you have an escape route. Ensure that you have carbon monoxide alarms and fire alarms. Make sure that you have and everything you need to mitigate an emergency that may occur because of natural hazards. You should also ensure that you have the correct phone numbers for all the right agencies in case you do need help.
- Understand how to continue things. Disasters happen but life still goes on, which means you need to make sure that you are still maintaining an income and getting the kids where they need to be and that your home is running the way it should — the best it can. This is called continuity of operations, and it’s usually a term that is used by businesses. However, these disasters affect the community as a whole and it can actually put a stand still to the way the community runs. If you understand that disasters are coming and you prepare for these disasters, you are going to be far more prepared to be able to continue things without already falling behind. The earlier you prepare things the better.
- Start campaigning. There is only so much that you can do to be disaster prepared, but if you educate yourself and you raise awareness of climate change and all of the climate and environmental issues that could affect your community, you can start making changes. Yes, you are only one voice, if you start campaigning for change and getting your local community involved, you could raise awareness or what you need. Nobody should have to feel like the government has left them to their own devices when there is a flood or a fire or another emergency that has wiped out the community. You have to be able to fight for it, and that means being in the know and that’s why education matters most.
Preparing for disaster takes time, but now you have ten steps to help you to feel more secure in the way that you have been preparing.