Planning in advance for natural disasters

LEM Image 039Cyclone Yasi is yet another reminder that preparation and being organised is truly an important step in every day life. To read that there was no loss of life during what has to be the worst cyclone in our life-time is phenomenal.

We’ve certainly learned a lot from recent years whether that be bushfire, flood or cyclone on how to prepare ourselves. I still think that there is more each and everyone of us can do in advance ‘now’ to prepare for any future events to save ourselves, our properties and our belongings. I don’t believe that simply putting things back the way they ‘were’ is an option anymore. We all need to look at the bigger picture.

In Brisbane a lot of people were sure that the floods of 1974 would never happen again, we had a pretty good run and maybe it took 37 years, but here we are again. So, in the interests of the ‘bigger picture’ I have found some great links on how we can prepare ourselves for the future. Another life skill that needs to be passed on to our kids.

The first is great local (Aussie) resource available via the Gold Coast City Council it is a PDF brochure titled “Disaster Management At Home” it provides a 3 step plan complete with phone numbers and radio station frequency lists (which you could tailor to your own area) and checklists for what to keep in an Emergency Kit; Surviving Severe Storms; Surviving Bushfires and more. Very simple, straight forward and done in easy to read bullet points.

Second, to help prepare your house/home to cope with natural disasters check out the Queensland Government Emergency Website which has heaps of information on how to prepare against flood, cyclone, hail, fire and other natural disasters which are likely to occur in your area tailored to the challenges presented by specific disaster. It gives checklists for routine maintenance and general home preparations. You will also find all manner of resources on this website to help you cope with evacuation strategies; technology and infrastructure failures; business preparedness; and what to do with children; special needs cases and pets.

The last link is via the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) of which I am a member. Every September NAPO is part of a nationwide event (in the USA) called National Preparedness Month. It is an initiative which focusses on quote: “changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready for emergencies that may arise at home, at work, or in the world. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks, and extra food in the pantry. Being Ready includes: preparing an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses, and getting involved in community efforts.” unquote.

While this is an American initiative, the Ready Plan link is a great resource, based on three steps (1) Get a Kit (2) Get a Plan (3) Get Informed. It covers all manner of natural disaster preparation, and has publications, forms and checklists available for download including how to keep food and water safe and clean for extended periods of time. The information on this site is also available in many different languages.

Be sure to also check out an earlier article of mine “Lessons Learned from a Mud Army Volunteer“.

Be sure to bookmark these links for future reference, you never know when you may need them.

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