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The Do’s and Don’t During a Natural Disaster

You know by now that natural disasters can happen at a moment’s notice.

Even if you get a chance to prepare, what are you supposed to do during a disaster? Natural disasters vary, so how to react during them is not always the same. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do during these events:

Earthquakes:

The Do’s
• Move away from all glass and breakable objects
• Identify safe places
• Hide under a strong desk or table, and cover your head and neck
• Be sure to stay in a secure location until you are told it’s safe
• If needed, locate your emergency kit
• Stay in communication with local authorities and disaster responders
The Don’ts
• Move around or try to outrun the situation
• Drive during an earthquake
• Go near any live wires or debris
• If outdoors, do not go into a building until it is inspected and deemed safe

Wildfires:

The Do’s
• Remove flammable materials from your home’s exterior
• Shut off gas systems
• If time persists, soak your roof and plants near your building or home
• Shut all windows and doors
• If you are being forced to evacuate, follow directions of city officials and local authorities
• Stay connected to the news and try to monitor the situation
• If you’re surrounded, try to stay close to a body of water, stream, or less flammable area such as the backside of a mountain

The Don’ts
• Go near a live wildfire
• Attempt to control a wildfire
• Return home until deemed safe
• If you’re in a vehicle in a directly affected area, do not leave the engine on or circulate outdoor air. Get low in the vehicle with the engine off and cover yourself with a blanket.

Hurricanes:

The Do’s
• Hurricanes can usually be tracked, so prepare accordingly
• Gather supplies and make sure your emergency kit is stocked
• Install your storm shutters
• Store loose exterior items in a safe location
• Sterilize the bath tub and fill it with water
• Be aware of the area you live in and any chance of flooding
• Evacuate if told to
• Stay inside and away from windows
• Wait until it’s over and officials deem it is safe to leave your home
• Take photos for insurance

The Don’ts
• Avoid all electrical equipment
• Do not go in a body of water
• Do not go near live wires
• Do not run a generator indoors
• Do not go outside during the storm

Tornados

The Do’s
• Get into the basement/storm cellar
• Cover up your head and neck with your hands and arms
• If outside, lie in a ditch and cover up
• Wait until the tornado is totally gone from the area
• If in a car, drive away from the area that is in the path of the tornado
The Don’ts
• Take shelter in a flimsy structure
• Seek shelter under an overpass
• In a building, do not use an elevator
• Stand by or look out of the windows
• Stand next to heavy objects that could fall or drop
• DO NOT attempt to chase or record a tornado

This quick guide will give you and your family a sense on how to properly act during and after these natural disasters.

Not everything can be prepared for, so make sure you and your family are cognizant of everything happening in your home and the affected area before, during, and after these events. Be sure to listen for city officials and responders to see what they are advising, and follow all directions and instructions that they provide.