Typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, contagious disease outbreak, military conflict, and riots. No matter where you live, preparation is important to survive natural and human-caused disasters. Are you ready?
- A good first step is to stay informed. Know the news stations on local radio and television.
- Visit @TravelGov on Twitter, where the U.S. State Department posts news about demonstrations, security alerts, and severe weather updates.
- Subscribe to your local U.S. embassy Twitter feed for updates. Register with the local embassy through the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/ for the U.S. government to communicate with you directly during times of disaster.
- Find shelter in a room within your home. A room that has a solid locking door, preferably with no windows and on an upper floor, can provide safety during typhoons and civil unrest or demonstrations. Store a flash light, a spare charger, and battery-powered radio in this room.
- Prepare a “Disaster Kit,” including a three-day supply of non-perishable food such as ready-to-eat canned meat, fruit, and vegetables; potable water (one gallon per person per day); and any needed medicine. A first-aid kit, flashlight, utility knife and a battery-powered radio are also important. These items can be stored in a large covered plastic box or duffle bag and should be checked every six months to replace if necessary. Keeping a spare charger fully charged at all times is also a good idea.
- Prepare a “Grab and Go” box of essential documents and vital information. Passports, residency documents, birth certificates, records of prescription medicine, medical records, bank records, and insurance policies should be stored here. Also include important phone numbers, a home inventory, and a supply of cash in the local currency and U.S. Dollars. Make copies of these documents and store them outside your house, and copy these documents onto a flash drive.
- Develop an emergency plan before disaster strikes. With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work, and play. Think about the escape routes from your home and where you will meet outside the home if you get separated. If you cannot return to your home, where outside your neighborhood will you meet? If a family member is injured, to what hospital should they be taken? Assign responsibilities to each person, such as responsibility for the “Grab and Go” box or bringing the prescription medicine. Is there anyone in the household that will need special help?
Before an emergency strikes is the time to prepare. Basic preparation can help you survive. These simple steps are a good beginning.
About the Author: Scott Grandi is always prepared as our Director of Project Operations for Asia. He also works as the co-manager of the IDEAS Crisis Preparedness Team. You can read another post by Scott here: https://www.ideasworld.org/blog/tips-on-moving-overseas