When a natural disaster strikes, it is important to remain calm. Panic can result in missteps that can easily be avoided with a level head. The best way to handle a disaster situation is to have a plan. When devising a plan, there are many aspects you must consider. By identifying the natural disasters your area is prone to, you can better prepare yourself. Ready.gov has full lists on how to prepare for earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, and much more. Though, each natural disaster is unique, there are certain steps you can take to prepare yourself for all of them.

Safe Spot

For natural disasters such as tornadoes and earthquakes, it is important to locate a safe spot in your home, place of work, or educational facility. Chose a location that is most likely to endure strong winds, shaking, and other situations that are known to be structurally damaging. Be sure the spot is away from windows and large objects like bookshelves and heavy appliances that could possibly fall and injure you. When strong winds are the main concern, you should seek refuge underground in a basement or storm shelter. If that is not an option, find a room with no outside walls like a bathroom or closet. Protect your head using a helmet, pillow, or even a mattress. During an earthquake, you should stand in a doorway or take cover under a table or desk. Remember, protecting your head is the most important thing.

Emergency Supply Kit

You may purchase an emergency supply kit at a store or online, however, you may also create your own. Putting your own kit together may be more beneficial because it can be tailored to fit you and your family’s personal needs. The CDC put together a great list of items you should include. Water and food are a must for any emergency kit. Be sure the food is easy to prepare and has a long shelf life. Include electronics like a battery powered radio and flashlight. An extra fully charged phone battery for your cellphone should also be included. Add bandages, antiseptic, and any medications you might need. Blankets and a multipurpose tool are also great additions to your emergency kit.

Important Documents

If you must relocate due to home damage or evacuation orders, you should easily be able to locate important documents like birth certificates and social security cards. Obtain a sturdy box or lock-box. Preferably one made of metal that is waterproof in case of flooding or bursting pipes. Add all of yours and your family’s important documents. Keep the box in your safe spat, or at least nearby. It will save a lot of time and paperwork in the event that you must find a new residence or apply for government aid. This box is also a great place to keep emergency money. If you must, you may also include small family heirlooms or other irreplaceable items.