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7 precautions every family should take to protect themselves from natural disasters

Author: Allen Grove
Published: Jun 14 2013

Whether you live on the coast, in the country, next to a river, or a few miles from an active volcano it is always important to be prepared if disaster strikes. Many families have been devastated and left broke by the damages caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, and more recently, tornadoes in Oklahoma. Here are 7 precautions that every family should take in case a natural disaster occurs:

- Come Up With A Plan

If a tornado or hurricane warning is issued, make sure the kids know to start packing up and what to pack. Teach them about essential items and to bring only what they need. If danger is close, walk them through where to go for shelter or who to get a hold of if they are alone. Have an emergency kit with supplies and some food ready for travel and aid.

- Parents Should Have a Financial Net

If your home is in an area prone to disaster, make sure you invest in a carefully formed policy for home insurance. Make sure it covers as much damage as possible so you are not left in an enormous amount of debt if your home is destroyed or damaged.

- Train The Whole Family on Safe Zones

This applies more specifically with earthquakes than anything but it is very important to make sure everyone knows to get under a desk and away from windows if possible during an earthquake. Make sure everyone knows not to panic and to wait until the earthquake is done before moving from safety.

- Set Up Legitimate Emergency Contacts

Have more people to call than just the names you wrote down on the paperwork for the kids’ school or anywhere else. If you are out of town or just out of reach when disaster strikes, make sure a neighbor, friend or relative, can take care of the kids and are prepared to do so.

- Invest in Alternate Forms of Transportation

Many people down south actually make it a point to teach all of their kids to ride bicycles exceptionally in case traffic has piled up and family members are blocked for getting to safety or other loved ones. If you are out of town and the kids must travel a small distance to get to an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or family friend make sure they are capable of transporting themselves in the event that the roads are backed up. The most important thing is getting to the safest place possible.

- Have a Pack of Appropriate Supplies Ready

If you are able to leave by automobile, be sure to pack essential equipment such as any medications or aids (inhalers, walkers, etc). It always better to have spares just for this purpose. Other helpful tools such as flashlights, batteries, and sleeping bags are good to bring if there is time and room.

- Have A Pre-Determined Destination to Meet if Separated

If your family gets separated or broken up make sure they all know of a safe place known to be free of danger that you can all find each other at. This is especially important for the kids because if they get separated from the parents they can tell whoever they are with where their family can be found.

Allen Grove is a writer and finance consultant who grew up experiencing his fair share of tornado warnings in north Texas. To help others be secure in the aftermath of disaster he writes for Nationwide, a major provider of home insurance in Fort Worth Texas.

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