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Preparing for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters have been a top of mind concern for people across the nation recently as Hurricane Florence makes way toward the southeast coastline.

The extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane is expected to make landfall with extreme impact including extreme flooding, damaging forceful winds, and rising ocean waters. People are fleeing and warnings to evacuate have already been in place.

Not all disasters come with advanced warnings and just how detrimental this storm will remain to be seen.

With September being ‘Preparedness Month,’ it’s the perfect opportunity to review key precautions to take in advance to be best prepared for any natural disasters that may strike.

Prepare Your First Aid Kit

Having an emergency kit that’s easily accessible, well stocked and ready to use is a top priority for crisis preparedness. Including essential items you and your family will need in the event that you’re not able to leave or enter your home is a great place to start.

Consider including these basic essentials:

- Water

- Non-perishable foods

- Change of clothes

- Flashlight

- Batteries

- Personal hygiene items

There will likely be even minor injuries to address – or larger ones depending on the disaster. Having a first aid kit ready with supplies to address those is critical.

Some items to include in a first aid kit include:

Bandages

- Antiseptic ointment

Medications

- Sanitizer

Masks

Create a Family Emergency Plan

The best way to keep chaos and anxiety levels in control when disaster strikes is to have a plan in advance that everyone is confident in following. Keeping your family safe when the unexpected occurs includes having them practice evacuation routes and know who to contact should they lose touch with members of the household.

Be sure to register for emergency notifications from local emergency stations and monitor them closely for important information.

In addition to working on a plan everyone in the house knows, you should have it written out and put it in a safe location along with important documents should a disaster occur.

Here are some examples of the documents you should store safely and have access to:

- Identification cards

- Emergency contact information

- Driver’s licenses

- Photo IDs

- Birth certificates

- Social Security cards

Don’t Forget Pets!

While considering the safety of family members in a disaster, don’t forget to include your extended family – the four-legged friends you’ve had by your side each day. It’s easy to neglect including them in emergency plans and having to scramble last minute ensuring they are safe too. Instead put together a separate preparedness kit that will ensure your pet can survive.

Items to include in a Pet Preparedness Kit:

- A few days worth of their daily food intake in a tight and waterproof container.

- Clean, fresh water for a few days

 - Medical records & important documents.

- A separate first aid kit with supplies to address pet injuries

- Some familiar items to help reduce stress.

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