Surviving Disasters 101 - Manmade or Natural Disasters

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  • Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters

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    Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................... 3

    Emergency Essentials .............................................................................. 6

    Assumptions ............................................................................................. 8

    Chapter 2: Surviving an Earthquake ......................................................... 9

    Chapter 3: Enduring Heavy Flooding .................................................... 15

    Chapter 4: Escaping Wildfires ................................................................. 20

    Chapter 5: Ebola Safety ............................................................................. 25

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    Chapter 1: Introduction

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    How can you prepare yourself and your family for unpredictable disasters? Disaster preparedness isnt just a fancy term used by state institutions anymore it has actually transformed into a mass movement because people are now aware that in the battle against the unpredictable power of Mother Nature, man can lose easily. The losses incurred in the aftermath of natural or manmade disasters can easily bring a community and thousands of families to their knees. Its true: man is capable of creating wonderful things with his mind. However there is one thing that mankind has yet to conquer in his quest for an ideal world: Mother Nature herself. Why should anyone care about preparing for a disaster? When Mother Nature decides that its time for a powerful earthquake in one city and a hurricane the size of a football field in another, all we can do to survive is to prepare for worst case scenarios so that we will have sufficient knowledge and resources to withstand unpredictable catastrophes, should they come one day. Disaster preparedness should never be based on fear or anxiety, but rather, on the logical premise that if you know what to expect during a disaster and you have the essential resources needed to survive it, theres a very good chance that it will not cause lasting problems for you and your loved ones. This is the guiding principle of this book and it is my sincere hope that it shines through in these pages.

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    What are the objectives of disaster preparedness? The major objectives of disaster preparedness are summed up below: 1. SURVIVAL This is the first and most important objective of disaster preparedness. With sufficient preparation for the most common types of disasters, the risk of mortality can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. 2. DAMAGE REDUCTION In some situations, you can perform steps to reduce the overall damage to your property and possessions. If damage to property is minimized, the recovery period after a disaster will be easier for everyone involved. 3. FUTURE PROTECTION If you become aware of the potential problems that specific disasters can bring, you can start making plans to further reduce the impact of a disaster to you and your family. You can start creating short term and long term goals that will lessen the difficulties associated with a natural or manmade disaster.

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    Emergency Essentials What resources should always be stocked and available in preparation for major disasters? A dedicated individual can eventually produce all the resources needed to be self-sufficient in the event of a widespread catastrophe or disaster. You can devise your own survival and sustenance system and use it to protect your family from the devastating effects of disasters. But in the meantime, you can start preparing for any disaster by ensuring that the following are always stocked and ready: 1. FOOD You will need to prepare at least a 2 months supply of nutritious food. Stock food items that do not spoil easily and are not sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity. Canning, drying and preserving are all essential skills in making homemade survival food. A major disaster can cause disruptions to commercial food supplies such as supermarkets and groceries. It would be best not to rely on them in the event of a major disaster. Staying put with the resources you have at hand is a better option and is safer for everyone in your family. What other types of food should be stored away? Additionally, you should have a second stockpile of emergency food stored somewhere high and dry. This second stockpile should be comprised of small, high-energy food items, such as chocolate bars, that can be used in case your first stockpile goes bad.

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    2. WATER It would be best to have several gallons of clean drinking water stored away in tight, sealed jugs. In addition to stored drinking water, I would also recommend having water purification devices at the ready during a disaster. How can you purify unclean water? Chlorine tablets and water purification straws are just some of the emergency items that can be used in extreme situations where running water is knocked out along with the power and you have to make do with impure or questionable water sources. 3. MEDICINE In the event of a disaster, members of your family may be exposed to the elements or some of them might become ill due to pathogens, stress or physical fatigue. What types of medicine should be reserved for emergencies? It would be an excellent idea to have a medical stockpile of commonly used drugs for fever, migraines, diarrhea, etc. Oral hydration salts should also be part of this stockpile. There should also be a reserve of essential prescription medication needed by members of the family. 4. CLOTHING & BEDDINGS Dry clothes and beddings are essential for survival in any emergency situation. How can you survive an inhospitable environment? In the event that you are forced out into an external environment with no artificial heating available, you and your family will rely on your emergency clothing and beddings.

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    If you live in a very cold area of the country, thermally insulated clothing is recommended. Thick and durable sleeping bags should also be part of this emergency stash, as well as protective footwear for the whole family. Assumptions: This eBook assumes the following: 1. That you are reading this eBook to supplement your knowledge of disaster preparedness and that youre interested in reducing the potential damage caused by natural or manmade disasters. 2. That you will still pay close attention to what emergency services will instruct you to do in the event of citywide disaster or emergency. 3. That you already have basic knowledge of how to think and act in an emergency situation. If this is not the case then it is highly recommended that you attend the appropriate training classes to boost your knowledge of the proper protocol to keep everyone safe from harm during an actual disaster.

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    Chapter 2:

    Surviving an Earthquake

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    An earthquake occurs when the tectonic plates below the surface of the Earth move together or slide apart, causing tremendous vibrations. These geologic movements often cause structures aboveground to shake with varying intensities. Major earthquakes have been known to cause aftershocks days or even weeks after the actual earthquake has occurred. Safety Guidelines During an Earthquake 1. Drop to the Ground What is the safest position during an earthquake? Lower yourself to the ground so that you can crawl on all fours. A strong earthquake can make people lose their balance/footing easily, so it is necessary to adopt this posture so you can remain mobile throughout the ordeal. After lowering yourself to the ground, make sure that you use your arms and hands to protect your neck and head. Should a piece of heavy debris hit your head, you can lose consciousness during the earthquake, which can be an extremely dangerous situation for you and for those around you. 2. Stay Put! Should you try to exit a structure during an earthquake? Experts do not recommend running outside during an earthquake, as the risks are higher than staying indoors.

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    Find a large, sturdy table to protect yourself and stay there until the earthquake stops. Stay away from unsecured appliances and windows with glass. Glass can easily shatter during an earthquake and can cause serious physical harm. If an earthquake begins while youre still in bed, theres no need to run outside. Stay where you are and place something over your head in case something falls in your direction. Door arches and doorways may help you balance for a few minutes but theyre not good shelter during an earthquake. A doorway can just as easily cave in during a quake so forget about trying to get to a doorway during an earthquake as the wooden frame can collapse or you can get hit by debris. China cabinets and appliances are considered hazards during this type of disaster so stay as far away as possible from them. 3. If Youre Outside, Stay Outside What should you do when youre walking outside when an earthquake happens? During an earthquake, people have a tendency to either run outside (for fear of being trapped indoors) or run inside (for fear of being hit by flying debris). Unfortunately, both natural instincts have been proven to be dangerous; Ill explain why in a minute. If youre outside, find a safe place to drop down and wait out the earthquake. By safe place, I mean an open space or under a sturdy shelter. Protect your head at all costs and move as needed.

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    Why is it dangerous to run inside a structure during an earthquake? Many of you might be thinking: its safer inside a building if youre outdoors! Technically speaking, a house can provide better shelter during an earthquake, provided that you drop down and hide under a sturdy table. However, its still risky to run indoors because you can: 1. Lose your balance while running and hit your head on a hard surface. 2. Get hit by flying or falling debris. 3. Get injured by shattering glass or cracked glass on the pavement. 4. Get hit by falling appliances and furniture. The trip from point A to point B can cause a lot of problems so just stay put and wait out the earthquake. And most importantly Do not panic and maintain your composure! If you panic during an earthquake you wont be able to observe your surroundings and move about as necessitated by the changing circumstances. You need to be mentally and emotionally intact during an earthquake at all times.

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    What if youre driving a car? Its only in the movies that heroes survive driving while the earth is shaking. In real life, an earthquake can easily make your car slide to and fro, which will make driving 100% more dangerous in a few short minutes. If theres plenty of oncoming traffic, youre bound to get in an accident especially if youre experiencing a high-intensity earthquake. Instead of trying to get home during an earthquake, your safest course of action would be to park your vehicle as soon as possible in an area that is as far away as possible from electrical poles, trees and buildings. Concrete structures can still sway and collapse during an earthquake so its generally a bad idea to park cars close to them. Stay inside your vehicle and wait until the shaking ends. If you have a mobile phone with you, call emergency services or your family to let them know where you are. What should you do if youre on the 20th floor of a high-rise building? If you happen to be working or living in a high-rise structure, the biggest challenge is to avoid getting trampled by other people. Instead of rushing to the doorway where everyone else is headed, just stay where you are and try to find shelter from falling debris. Under no circumstance should you try to exit the building by using the staircase or elevator. Your chances of survival would be much higher if you in stay in a room.

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    Drop to the ground and crawl away from glass windows and furniture that can fall on you. In the event that you become trapped in a room because the hallway structure has collapsed or the doorway has become blocked with concrete debris, tap on metal or wooden objects to signal to rescuers where you are. Conserve your energy and focus on signaling to the outside world that you are still inside.

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    Chapter 3: Enduring Heavy

    Flooding

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    Floods are one of the deadliest and most unpredictable natural disasters known to man. The force of water can carry away whole houses, two-ton trucks, power lines and even the biggest trees. Man has known no greater fury than a massive flood at its peak strength. Its time that you learned the essentials of keeping yourself and your family safe from flooding. Flood Preparation Guidelines 1. Get Informed What is your primary source of information for disasters? While books like this one are useful for a quick review of disaster management, you still need to get information from your local community about its own plans for emergencies such as flooding. You also need to be aware of emergency centers, elevated shelters and other measures put in place by your local council to protect residents from the onslaught of floodwater. Moving to elevated ground is an utmost priority during a flood, as rushing water will always seek lower ground. If you are unsure as to whether your property is prone to flash floods, you can visit your local geologist or planning bureau to inquire about these important details.

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    2. Flood Evacuation Plan What is a flood evacuation plan? A flood evacuation plan will help you and your family to escape a potentially devastating flood quickly and safely. This type of emergency plan must be practiced several times a year so that everyone remembers what he/she should do. It would also be an excellent idea to ask a close friend or relative that doesnt live in the same state (or at least, not in the same city) to become a contact person for the rest of the family. In the event that a catastrophi...

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