You have just gone through a natural disaster, and do not know what to do. Would you know where to turn first? Although there are many resources like The Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and local churches and shelters offering recovery assistance, most people don’t have much of an idea how to contact these organizations.
Now is the time to be prepared in advance in case you are unlucky enough to be involved in a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. Look up and write down these phone numbers. Part of preparedness is deciding where you will go, what you to take with you, and who to get in touch with for recovery aid.
You should work out a plan to safeguard your home. One way is to join a neighborhood watch group, and work with them to organize a neighborhood emergency scheme. A group of like minded people provides much-needed support. Another way would be to have a trusted watchdog as a pet. Plan to get training for you and the dog on dealing with intruders before a disaster strikes. If you do have loved pets, under no circumstances should you leave them to guard an evacuated property. This is selfish and cruel, not to mention ineffective, since your dog will most likely abandon the house to try and find you.
Next, you should be aware of where you would go if evacuation is called for, an out of town family member or friend for example. If you do not know someone reasonably close, call local shelters and register there. Also plan on an emergency contact to call to inform of your whereabouts. Friends and family members will rest easier and know where you are in case they have to get a hold of you.
Don’t neglect preparing yourself a disaster survival kit. This would contain important legal papers, identification like social security cards and drivers’ licenses. Add some money or an extra credit card. You may need an extra change of clothes, blankets and pillows and first aid supplies. Write down emergency contact information, such as phone numbers of friends, family, and disaster relief personnel, plus fire, rescue, and police phone numbers. This will hasten any evacuations.
After the immediate danger is over, there are numerous organizations you can contact. The Red Cross administers emergency medical attention and can help you find food, clothing, shelter and other necessities. The government often presents short-term unemployment compensation to victims of disasters. Contact the local unemployment office for information. Take advantage of all the information and resources you can get from these and similar organizations; that is what they are they for.
Assuring yourself you have help available and places to go, ahead of time can reduce your anxiety level and allow you to take action faster during a time of disaster, and multiply your chances of survival.
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