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Top Tips on How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

Earthquake areas in the United StatesHave you ever been on the receiving end of a natural disaster? I have, and I know how important it is to be prepared. When a natural disaster hits, it is too late to start to worry about how you are going to able to sustain life. There are some things that are more important than others, and how to prepare for a natural disaster is all about priorities.

We are never far from a natural disaster and, as I have learned, they can happen in minutes. We used to live in an area of frequent sand and dust storms, so being prepared has become part of our lifestyle. Having lived with the Sahara desert on our doorstep, we know that storms can blow in within quickly and last for days. Being able to have access to the necessities of life is essential as we may not be able to go out for days, or even a week. Experience have taught me that the most essential items are water, food, power and communication.

 Water

People who are new to the area always laugh when they see our garage. Yes, we have room for our four wheel drive car, but a large part of our garage is also dedicated to storage. We have added an extra floor where we can store water and food items.

 Most of us underestimate how much water we use on an everyday basis. First of all, we need to drink at least 2 liters, but that is not all. We also need water for personal hygiene and cooking. You have to estimate at least 20 liters per day per person, and that is a lot of water to store. As a family of three, we have enough water stored for at least one week in special drums and containers. You can buy special water containers with taps to make your life easier, and this is the option our family has opted for, but there are other solutions available as well.

 Food

Food is another essential, and setting up your food supply should be another one of your top priorities. The question is; should you leave food in the original packaging? If you are planning to store a lot of food, it is always best to take it out of the original packaging. Many food products come in plastic packaging which could get damaged, and this would spoil your food. To keep your food in tip-top condition, you should take the food out of the original packaging, or place the original packaging in alternative containers.

The food that you store is going to keep your family alive, so it is really important to store it well. There are different alternatives, and it all depends on what type of food you are going to store. It is worth checking out specialist suppliers as they will be able to tell you how to best preserve your food stock. Better quality storage products ensure that more of the nutritional value of the food is preserved. Nutrition is important and good quality food containers play a big part in maintaining nutrients and the energy value of food.

Power

When the power goes out, you need to be prepared with an alternative way to keep your family warm and to prepare food. Our family has a couple of alternatives available. To keep the lights on we have a generator, and we use gas to cook our food. It is essential to make sure that all your “energy sources” such as diesel or butane gas, are kept up to date. We always make sure that we have more than the minimum available. A wood fire is a good source of heat, but in the area where we live there are no trees. Butane gas and diesel are the only suitable alternatives for us.

Solar power is another power source which is for free once you have set it up. We use solar power for heating the water, and power part of our house during good weather. But, during bad weather we may not see the sun for days, and it is always best to be prepared to rely on more than one power source.

Communication

Communication is essential as well. During a recent thunderstorm, I was able to keep in touch with our local weather station using the Internet, but this may not always be possible. We have also invested in short range radios to make sure that we can always communicate with the outside world, and listen to news updates. During a storm, many local weather stations transmit information both over the Internet and using short range radios.

Man-made and other disasters can hit us at any time, and it is best to be ready. You may have some advance notification of a man-made disaster, but it is important to prepare for a natural disaster. It can be tempting to rely on a government or state help, but help may not come. Prepping seemed like a peculiar concept to me a few years ago, but we have been able to make it part of our lifestyle. You need to make adjustments and investments, but that isn’t really too much to ask when it comes to keeping your family alive.