A good disaster plan is the best approach in case of emergency. Here are some things to consider.
Have a Communications Plan
Know where family, friends and business contacts will be and how to reach them if you lose power, cell phone service and internet access. Cellular wi-fi hotspots are a good option in case your internet is out. Emergency radios with hand crank power are also a good option. Even if you cannot speak to them, you will know their location if you have a plan.
Get to a Safe Place
Just like tornados, the best places are interior rooms away from windows. Bathroom tubs are good options. Consider covering yourself with a mattress if things get really bad.
Plan for Power Outages
We could see extended power outages so be prepared with backup options. A generator is the best option but it is probably too late for most people. Have flashlights, lanterns, lots of batteries, cell chargers and backup batteries.
Get a Supply of Food
You need a supply of non-perishable food and lots of water. Assume the power will be out for an extended time. Ice can be useful for a day or so.
Stay away from fast-moving water. Remember, flooding water may also contain fire ants, snakes, toxic materials and many other things you want to avoid.
Have a Medical Plan
Have a first aid kit. Be prepared if someone were injured. Have a supply of necessary medicines.
Check Insurance Policies
Check your home, auto and health policies. What is covered? If you need to make a claim, who do you call?
Secure Your Pets
Our pets are also family members. Have a plan for them too.
Prepare for Home Damages and Repairs
Be prepared for water leaks, broken windows, flooding, falling trees and even gas leaks. Chainsaws, ropes and hand saws can be useful. But remember, you can repair homes later. Do not do anything too risky that puts you in harms way. If you have a natural gas leak, get out of there and call the gas company immediately.
Get Gas for Cars
Fill up your tanks early. In the event gas becomes scarce, you will be prepared.
Have a Security Plan
When things get really messy, there could be looting and other criminal activity. Security systems may not work due to power outages. After Hugo, Charlotte had the national guard activated and instituted a mandatory curfew for several weeks. Residents may take precautions to protect themselves.
Have a Plan for your Business
We also need to consider our businesses. How do you connect with your employers, colleagues and your clients and customers? You can leverage email messages, text messages, social media and old fashion phone calls to connect to the right people. Update your contact information on those you need to reach and make sure you have the emergency numbers or websites you need to stay connected with your business.
Be a Good Neighbor
This is a time to be a good neighbor. Look out for those that are most vulnerable – the elderly and disabled. When it is safe, connect with your neighbors. We have the luxury to live in a very generous and caring metro area. Look out for your fellow citizens – it is the right thing to do.
WEATHER HOTLINE 770-765-3312
Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Prepared.