Evacuation, Fortification, Sustainability: Know what you are Preparing for
As I started making my preparedness plan, I quickly realized it was more like plans. Although there are many factors that need to be addressed for almost every scenario, there are also many unique factors for individual situations that need to be considered.
Some situations may call for evacuation, while others are best handled through fortification. While certain disasters may be over quickly, some may require long term sustainability.
The truth is, once you start evaluating all the potential situations to prepare for, it can become a bit overwhelming. While it is important to stay focused on preparation without letting it consume your fears, you still need to create plans for many different uncomfortable situations.
While avoiding religious, political and conspiracy theory topics, we will address some of the most common disaster scenarios. Whether natural, cosmic, or man-made, all disasters by their very nature are bad situations and each require special considerations.
Let’s start with the most popular scenario; natural disasters (a.k.a. the wrath of Mother Nature), should be catered to first as they are not merely speculation, they are guaranteed to occur at some point in all areas of the world.
In the United States, tropical cyclones primarily impact the Caribbean and eastern coastal states. A tropical cyclone can range anywhere from a tropical depression to a Category 5 hurricane. In other parts of the world, tropical cyclones are referred to as just that, a cyclone, or a typhoon. One of the best ways to prepare for a hurricane is, of course, not to reside in these places; however, if you are like me and love living in Florida, then you are deciding to take your chances and should become educated on how to prepare for and handle hurricanes.
Hurricanes are seasonal, taking place from June 1st through November 30th in the Atlantic, and from May 15th to November 30th in the Eastern Pacific. The areas that are most commonly affected by hurricanes are also popular vacation destinations, so unless you are looking for the best travel rates, be sure to consider this when planning your vacations.
Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes don’t offer much time to react. They tend to form very quickly and can be unpredictable. In the U.S., tornadoes typically occur in the Midwestern states, but are not limited to these areas. Any area that experiences hurricanes, can also be vulnerable to tornadoes.
Earthquakes are not seasonal but are associated with particular areas where fault lines are present. What a lot of people do not know is there are many fault lines that are not associated with earthquake activity, but still have a risk of experiencing an earthquake. Like other natural disasters, one of the easiest ways to prepare for an earthquake is to not live in these areas; however, California is beautiful, so why not?
Floods tend to occur in areas that are close to or below sea level or have low elevation in relation to the surrounding area, such as valleys; although, any area with insufficient drainage can experience flooding due to extended heavy rain. With the recent estimates related to sea level rise, coastal areas are becoming increasingly more at risk of being under water within the coming decades.
At this point you, may be picking up on a pattern; coastal areas have an increased risk of feeling Mother Nature’s wrath. As tsunamis are rogue waves that make their way to land and forcefully flood a coastal mass, living inland reduces and or eliminates your risk of experiencing a tsunami. Typically, these massive waves occur due to waterside cliffs dropping large masses into the nearby water, underwater earthquakes, or undersea volcanic eruptions.
- How to be prepared for a tsunami
- What to do in case of a tsunami
- Dealing with the aftermath of a tsunami
- Places at risk of tsunamis
- Tsunami Hazards
Volcanoes are the rarest form of natural disaster but are still very real threats in certain parts of the U.S. Hawaii typically comes to mind when thinking of volcanoes but surprisingly, there are various other states, such as Oregon and California that have active volcanoes.
- How to be prepared for a volcanic eruption
- What to do in case of a volcanic eruption
- Dealing with the aftermath of a volcano erupting
- Places at risk of eruptions
- Hazards of Volcanoes
Big snowstorms can wreak havoc in any area prone to snowfall. Blizzards consist of medium to high winds, typically sustainable for 3 or more hours, with heavy snow lifted and blown around by said powerful winds. Among the dangers are low visibility, severely cold weather and loss of basic amenities.
Whether you feel that pandemics are man-made or naturally occurring, it is still important to be prepared. Pandemics are categorized as a wide-ranged spread of infectious diseases and illnesses. There have been quite a few that can be referenced throughout history. The most popular recent situations have been COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and the H1N1 scare a few years back. Thankfully, in this day and age, precautions can be taken to make sure you do not end up affected by any pandemic.
- How to be prepared for a pandemic
- What to do in case of a pandemic
- Dealing with the aftermath of a pandemic
While cosmic disasters seem to happen far less often, when they do occur, they can range from a minor disturbance to a catastrophic impact. The most popular disaster we know of are meteorite strikes, most of which burn up in Earth’s atmosphere before getting a chance to shake our core.
Solar flares are quick flashes of brightness that materialize near the sun’s surface. The flash of light isn’t the concerning part of a solar flare; it’s the energy emitted and what it contains that can cause the damage. This cloud consists of ions, atoms and electrons that reach Earth a few days after the flare occurs.
Rocky or metallic masses that travel through space are known as meteors. Once in the Earth’s atmosphere, they either burn up or make it far enough to be able to strike Earth’s surface. While an uncommon occurrence, it is not impossible for these objects to cause quite a disturbance in the immediate area of impact.
- How to be prepared for a meteor strike
- What to do in case of a meteor strike
- Dealing with the aftermath of a meteor
- Places at risk of meteors
Man Made Disasters
Also known as anthropogenic hazards, people can be just as dangerous as Mother Nature. With disasters ranging from economic peril to planned attacks, it can be just as important to know what to do in these situations. Taking a few extra measures can mean the difference from being helpless and being well equipped to handle any man-made ordeal.
We have seen this happen before throughout history. We know how much panic and damage this can cause. Luckily for us, there are things to be learned from previous occasions. High unemployment rates and bankruptcy occurrences are a few indications of the beginning of economic collapse.
Unfortunately, we are all too aware of the dangers of man-made, planned attacks, a.k.a. terrorism. Terrorism can be domestic or involve parties outside of your home country. it consists of a plan hatched to either destroy a popular landmark to make a point, harm citizens, instill fear or all of the above. One of the largest and most recent in the U.S. being the hijacking of 4 planes on September 11th, 2001. Sadly, these kinds of threats are a lot harder to prepare for and therefore, even harder to predict. Rest assured, there are definitely measures that can be taken before and immediately following such an event.
- How to be prepared for an attack
- What to do in case of an attack
- Dealing with the aftermath of an attack
- Places at risk of attacks