Awareness Equals Preparedness
How do you know when a disaster is coming? The answer is, you really don’t most of the time. That’s why you prepare. But some things can be predicted in advance, and allow you to react sooner to limit the danger. Others can’t be predicted, but there are indicators of an approaching event, if you pay attention. Here are some examples.
First, the easy ones. Hurricanes are predicted days ahead of time, giving you ample time to prepare. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute, when the storm is absolutely predicted to hit your area. If the storm is approaching anywhere near you, get started! Otherwise you will be stuck in long lines to get the last bottle of water, and will be stuck with whatever canned goods you can find (try eating sauerkraut and minced clams for three days, if you dare).
Always keep at least a half tank of fuel in your vehicle. Even if you can’t get more, you’ll have enough to get out of the storm’s way if you have to evacuate.
For other forms of severe weather, you won’t have days of notice like you will for a hurricane. You will, however, have adequate notice to get ready. Thunderstorms and blizzards are usually predicted fairly accurately by the weather services. Pay attention to the news and weather.
While thunderstorms can come on rapidly, you should have time to prepare. Tornadoes, however, can be another story. One thing you can do is purchase an inexpensive weather radio. This is a radio designed to monitor the National Weather Service and provide alerts when sever weather such as tornadoes, windstorms, etc., approach. When you get receive one of these broadcasts, you should be taking shelter immediately!
Aside from weather, what else can you reasonably predict? Well, for one thing, you can avoid situations where there might be civil unrest or a riot. A good recent example is a protest in Washington DC where the leader planned to burn a Koran. That is something that you should be nowhere near! As a matter of fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation put out a bulletin to government workers to avoid the area! Avoid situations like that.
The whole point is, pay attention to what is going on around you. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch the news. Check the weather. If in doubt, be safe rather than sorry. In this way, you can avoid situations that could threaten your life and health.
For more information about preparing for the above situations, download one of the Hazard Information Sheets available here. There’s a lot more information there, and it’s well worth the $1.00 cost.