10 Steps to Disaster Preparedness

From natural disasters to catastrophic accidents to terrorist attacks, emergencies and disasters fill our world and they are mostly caused by humans.

While many find it uncomfortable to consider such difficult situations, natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires can strike at any time with little warning.

The prevalence and potency of these disasters point toward the need for you and your family to develop a thorough personal disaster plan.

A natural catastrophe can require you to evacuate your home immediately, or it may confine you to your home.

Basic services—such as electricity, gas, water, and telephone services—may be cut off for extended periods.

Ignoring their existence can increase the likelihood that they will occur and the consequences that follow.

There’s no benefit in ignoring risks and hoping you can figure things out after disaster strikes. But there are plenty of benefits to disaster preparedness.

Planning for a disaster through the 10 steps to disaster preparedness helps you prepare for these types of adverse situations and mitigate the devastating effects of a catastrophe.

What is Disaster Preparedness?

According to the European Union,

Disaster preparedness consists of a set of measures undertaken by governments, organizations, communities, or individuals to better respond and cope with the immediate aftermath of a disaster, whether it be human-made or caused by natural hazards.

Public health research in the domain of disaster preparedness teaches people how to get ready for both natural and man-made disasters.

Instead of taking a purely reactive approach to public health and disasters, the focus is on building proactive strategies.

Different organizations collaborating to guarantee public safety and well-being can be involved in disaster preparedness on a local, state, national, or even international level.

Reducing loss of life and livelihood is the goal of disaster preparedness.

Simple actions like preparing for search and rescue missions, establishing early warning systems, creating contingency plans, or stockpiling supplies and equipment can have a big impact.

To increase a community’s resilience, disaster preparedness is crucial.

What constitutes a disaster?

When the severity of the health effects could potentially overwhelm a population in a setting that is not frequently observed, the situation becomes an emergency or disaster.

  • Chemical and bioterrorism emergencies
  • Natural disasters and bad weather
  • Incidents and outbreaks
  • Radiation emergencies
  • Mass casualties

Importance of Disaster Preparedness

Each year, calamities affect millions of individuals. To lessen suffering and assist those affected, disaster management must be effective.

Here are some importance of disaster preparedness

  • Saves Lives
  • Increases Community Resilience
  • Promotes the Prevention of Disease
  • Decreases Poverty
  • Enhances Health
  • Restructuring Communities
  • Improves Security
  • Encourages Stability
  • Encourages the Defense of Natural Resources
  • Strengthens Social Contracting and Trust
  • Certain Disasters can be Limited or Avoided
  • Planning can lessen Anxiety
  • Planning can make Recovery Easier

1. Saves Lives

A crisis is an immediate, swiftly evolving occurrence that occurs during disasters. Effective emergency planning and response are so essential.

Ineffective planning and reaction to catastrophes can have detrimental and protracted effects on a community and increase fatalities.

Disaster management can improve first responders’ capacity to save lives.

Communities can withstand the anxiety and grief brought on by catastrophes when the proper infrastructure is put in place and training is done to improve disaster response.

2. Increases Community Resilience

Response teams face the difficult duty of attempting to assist individuals in difficult circumstances when a disaster strikes.

Because an unprepared and unskilled response team will know little about the people they are working with, the task could be very difficult.

A crisis management response team’s effectiveness can be increased with training, though.

One of the most important aspects of disaster management training is learning the abilities required to assist individuals in difficult situations.

3. Promotes the Prevention of Disease

Countless people die as a result of disasters. However, they also increase the afflicted people’s health risk.

Disaster victims are frequently exposed to a variety of infections that can result in more fatalities.

Due to the widespread lack of healthcare services, clean water, food, and basic hygiene during and after a disaster, communicable diseases like malaria are significantly more likely to occur.

Communities may enhance their health and lessen the effects of disasters by using disaster management techniques.

4. Decreases Poverty

A community may be devastated by a natural disaster. It can make people poorer and alter the course of entire communities’ lives.

However, if they are unprepared, many disaster victims are more likely to continue living in poverty.

People may be without essential emergency supplies such as food, water, clothing, or medicine due to a lack of preparation before a crisis.

Communities can lessen the threat of poverty, hunger, and disease if they are better prepared for disasters.

5. Enhances Health

A community’s health may suffer as a result of disasters and their after-effects.

Disasters can result in a rise in illness, a lack of immunity, and a higher risk of infection along with a shortage of clean water and medical services.

As a result, communities must have access to health professionals, a sufficient supply of water, clean restrooms, and emergency medical care both during and after a disaster.

6. Restructuring Communities

The local economy might be severely impacted by catastrophes. During a disaster, communities frequently sustain significant financial losses and may find it difficult to recover from these losses.

The social structure of a community may also be affected by a disaster. Disaster management can aid in community reconstruction and re-establish interpersonal relationships.

After a tragedy, communities can start to repair their local infrastructure, which will help boost their economy. In many instances, this will boost the economy as a whole and enhance the quality of life for people.

7. Improves Security

Terrorist organizations take use of tragedies to spread mayhem and bloodshed. People with nefarious motives may be driven to perform terrorist activities by the causes and effects of disasters.

Certain sociological factors increase the likelihood of terrorist activity in specific places. Poor governance, overcrowding, and extreme poverty are a few examples. Communities must be diligent in defending their security following a calamity.

8. Encourages Stability

Social order, economic activity, and trade can all be negatively impacted by disasters. Disasters can, at their worst, lead to unrest, distrust, racial tensions, hatred, and violence.

If these issues are not resolved, it may have a severe influence on the community’s stability and the efficiency of the local security forces.

People who typically rely on law enforcement services to provide security are likely to look to other sources of law and order in the wake of a tragedy. The quantity of crime and violence could rise as a result of this.

9. Encourages the Defense of Natural Resources

Disasters can have a severe impact on residents’ quality of life and harm the environment.

A disaster may cause species extinction, the loss of indigenous knowledge, and the general devastation of entire ecosystems if it has a detrimental impact on the environment or local ecosystems.

Disasters can also negatively affect a community’s social and economic foundation, making it more susceptible to civil unrest and human trafficking.

To be ready for the next crisis, communities must develop disaster plans and act to protect their natural resources.

10. Strengthens Social Contracting and Trust

Disasters can threaten social and political stability.

During or after a disaster, governments, major corporations, and other significant institutions frequently fail to safeguard the populace, which can exacerbate social inequality, mistrust, hatred, and violence.

As a result, social institutions may become weaker and people may be more vulnerable to aggression and coercion.

In some circumstances, people may seek the help of other authorities to resolve their issues.

This might result in the formation of organizations that take advantage of these disparities and hurt some people.

Large companies or other unaccountable institutions may serve to reinforce this. As a result, democracy may suffer, and there may be more inequality and poverty.

11. Certain Disasters can be Limited or Avoided

Fireproofing. construction regulations for seismic zones. flood prevention. checkpoints for security. contingency preparations.

These all exist to avert or lessen calamities. It is more likely that more people will survive a severe earthquake and that less structural damage will be done if a building is designed to withstand one.

Planning and taking preventative measures can lessen the devastating effects of a natural disaster on communities, especially those with vulnerable populations.

This idea holds in all situations where there is a danger. We can assist limit or even preventing some catastrophes and emergencies if we can recognize our vulnerabilities and take action to lessen or eliminate them.

12. Planning can lessen Anxiety

Both victims and first responders may suffer psychological effects as a result of catastrophes and disasters.

The negative psychological impacts of enduring a traumatic experience cannot be avoided, but careful planning can lessen suffering by avoiding unnecessary difficulty and removing or minimizing ambiguity.

Knowing what to do and where to go can help everyone involved get to safety more quickly and reduce their dread of the unknown.

13. Planning can make Recovery Easier

Even with the finest preparation, a disaster or emergency frequently leads to loss of life and/or property.

Making sure that losses aren’t catastrophic is one of the keys to emergency preparedness. Backup copies of crucial papers must be kept in a secure location.

Succession plans are required for key leadership roles. Families require wills. Everyone needs somewhere to move to if a house or office is destroyed, including individuals, businesses, and government organizations.

You may recover more rapidly if you have a plan in place for keeping everything running after a loss.

10 steps to Disaster Preparedness

These 10 steps to disaster preparedness must be taken whether you’re prepared for a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

1. Know your Local Threats

The first step to a successful disaster preparedness strategy is understanding what you’re preparing FOR, as any decent survival guide will teach you.

Even though you should always be prepared for the unexpected, it pays to be aware of what is most likely to happen.

You should also take into account the chance occurrences, such as fires, floods, unusual storms, terrorist attacks, etc.

Making disaster preparedness strategies with knowledge of the hazards that are most likely to affect you will be quite beneficial.

2. Make a Plan and Test it out!

Your family must be prepared for emergencies. It’s not ideal to choose a meeting spot while a tornado passes through the backyard.

Make sure that everyone is aware of what to do and where to meet in case you become separated. We’ll go into more detail on this later in the survival guide.

3. Create a List of your Valuables.

Keep track of your valuables’ serial numbers, purchase dates, and physical descriptions so that you know what you have.

It’s not a good idea to try to recall your TV model or Grandma’s collection of crystal goblets after a tornado destroys your home.

Take pictures as well, even if they are only general shots of your residence. This will support disaster relief efforts and insurance claims.

4. Start purchasing extra items when you shop

As quickly as you can, you must begin to assemble your stockpile. Make a list of the meals and non-perishables you will need and bring it with you when you go shopping.

This doesn’t need a significant upfront expenditure. Just add a couple of extra items to your shopping cart every time. For instance, get two packs of toilet paper rather than just one.

Instead of two soup cans, place four in the trolley. That’s all there is to it, and before you know it, you’ll have a healthy supply going.

5. Create a Basic Survival Kit

Survival kit on a wooden table

The creation of a survival pack is among the most crucial elements in a disaster preparedness strategy.

Don’t overcomplicate things or think that refinements are more important than essentials. The only items that go in this kit are the survival tools.

What goes inside depends on your own needs, but while choosing what to put in it, keep in mind that you should have a home emergency kit and a separate on-the-go pack (bug-out bag).

Here is a list of necessities:

  • Prescription medicine and eyeglasses
  • Flashlights and extra batteries, at least one should be an LED flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Every person needs at least a gallon of water every day (ideally, 2 gallons per person per day). further information about how to gather and store water.
  • Money to last at least three days, anticipating you might need to travel.
  • Three days’ worth of nonperishable, nourishing food such as power bars, prepared dinners, and canned goods.
  • Three days’ worth of pet food and water, if applicable.
  • Can opener manual
  • Local area maps
  • Metal can: Use it to keep your matches, whistle, and other small objects dry and compact. It can also be used to catch water or to sip from. The can be used to collect water or for sanitation.

Matches and a striker sealed in a waterproof container; Fire starters like cotton balls dipped in Vaseline, toilet paper tubes with lint, etc.;

Pocket knife, preferably a Swiss-Army type with pliers, knife, can opener, etc.; Matches and a striker sealed in a waterproof container.

Two changes of weather-appropriate clothing per person, including socks and underwear, plus a whistle to signal rescue personnel.

  • Tabs for water filtration or a tiny bottle of bleach with a dropper
  • A list of pertinent phone numbers, including family members’ numbers; • A weather radio with new batteries;

Duct tape, wet wipes or baby wipes, Mylar blankets for warmth, and

  • Hygiene items, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, and feminine goods
  • Paper plates and plastic utensils
  • If you’re stuck, just for fun, toss in a deck of cards or something to pass the time.

Even though this is a simple kit, it will last you a few days. You may decide to add or replace some elements based on your unique circumstances and preferences. But keep it under control.

6. Prepare a Waste Sanitation Kit.

Sanitation and hygiene are crucial in a crisis, any reputable survival guide will tell you.

It’s unpleasant to consider, but what if your toilet breaks down?

Even though it’s not the most enjoyable component of preparing, you still need to be ready for it. It’s simple to put up a basic sanitation kit using the following supplies:

  • Two lidded 5-gallon buckets (one for liquids, one for solids
  • Kitchen garbage bags
  • Chlorinated lime (found at home improvement stores) or cat litter

Because urine is often sterile and doesn’t pose the same health dangers as feces do, liquids may usually be thrown somewhere non-invasive.

If you reside in a remote area, you can also get a kit with a toilet seat, utilize a portable toilet designed for camping, or construct an outhouse if you want.

7. Make Advance Plans for the Most Likely Disasters

If you’ve ever dealt with a natural disaster such as a hurricane or blizzard, you don’t need a disaster preparedness guide to tell you that grocery stores are the first stores to be cleared out.

Home improvement and hardware stores become clogged with panicked people snatching every single piece of plywood and case of water available.

You don’t need a disaster preparedness manual to inform you that grocery stores are the first stores to be cleared out after a natural disaster like a storm or blizzard.

People are in a desperate rush to get every piece of plywood and case of water they can find to fill up hardware and home improvement businesses.

In most cases, retailers run out of stock LONG before they run out of customers. When there is little risk of a storm and supplies are abundant, establish your safe room or construct hurricane shutters.

8. Maintain Your Home

 

Maintaining your home will help to make it as safe as possible. Trim any trees that could fall on you if they become too close, and maintain the condition of your windows, siding, and roof.

Additionally, keep your yard free of any debris that could turn into a flying missile and maintain the condition of any outbuildings. ‘

When your windows don’t break due to flying garbage, these may seem like insignificant details now, you’ll be grateful to have expended the effort.

9. Use a different source of heat and cooking.

Living off of cold canned green beans is entirely feasible, but it’s hardly the best situation. Purchase a cheap camp stove, or load up on charcoal, wood, and grill fuel.

10. For power outages, a generator or an inverter

Pick up a generator if at all possible, or the very least, an inverter that you can put into your car to run basic electrical appliances.

Portable solar chargers are reasonably priced and can recharge your phone and computer using only a little bit of sunlight.

It’s incredibly great, even if merely to be able to use an electrical cooler or charge your phone, even though it’s not technically necessary.

Conclusion

As you make preparations, aid your friends and neighbors, and do not forget people with special needs.

Let it be a community effort to help others prepare for disaster. you can do that by joining in spreading the awareness of disaster preparedness.

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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo to educate the public on the environment and her concerns.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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