If you have been following the news lately, you will have noticed that the weather has been increasingly severe and weather related disasters are at an all time high. Following this trend, West Virginia has just been hit by torrential rain, which has caused severe and swift flooding. According to CNN.com, the flood took the lives of 24 people, and has destroyed over 1000 homes. Over 10 inches of rain fell in a very short amount of time, leading to flash floods, some of which had no warning to the victims that it took. These floods overtook roadways, knocked out power, swept away cars, and trapped people in their homes. Due to the volume of water and the speed that it spread, 44 of the 55 counties in West Virginia have declared a state of emergency, prompting the National Guard to be called into action. And although the floods have been receding, thousands are still without power or access to supplies. These people may be without supplies and help for several days, due to the widespread damage of the flooding. Although tragic, there are some very important lessons to keep in mind when dealing with a sudden disaster, weather related or terrorist related:
- Always have supplies ready- It’s essential to have emergency supplies ready at all times. As seen with the flood, you might not always get a long warning before a natural disaster strikes, meaning that those without supplies will have a hard time riding out the storm. It also means that those without a portable bug out bag or extra supplies to take with them will have a much harder time while they escape or wait out the storm. Having quality survival supplies, and having them ready to take with you are essential for proper preparedness and survival. Those with an extra supply of emergency food and water for example, will be able to go several days without assistance, giving them the time necessary to be comfortable until help arrives.
- Have alerts sent to your phone- In todays modern world, almost everyone has a smart phone. Since most people are always by their phone or are using it, its smart to sign up for weather alerts or safety alerts notifications. This way, if you are not listening to the radio or watching TV, you can still receive up to date information to keep you updated on a safety concern. Its also a great way for a county to reach many people at once, with only the click of a button.
- Buy emergency supplies for the disasters facing your area- It’s important to prepare for the potential disasters that face your area. For example, if you live on the coast, its important to stock up on fresh water, salt water purification devices, and a light emergency blanket. If you live in Alaska, it would be important to stock up on a quality coat, thick socks, a fire starter, and a heavy duty emergency blanket. Its important to buy emergency supplies and devices that would be of the most help for the disasters in your area. There are so many emergency supplies available now, that a little comparative shopping can easier guide you to the best quality and most cost effective supplies that you need.
- Have an evacuation plan: Some disasters are impossible to ride out, meaning that you might be forced to leave your home at a moments notice. Its important to discuss an evacuation or emergency plan with each person in your family so that everyone stays safe and together in the event of an emergency.
Along with the tips above, here is a sample list of supplies to keep in handy during a flood: Paracord, knife, water purification filter, life jacket, signal flare, emergency blanket, emergency food bars, fresh water, flashlight, and a fire starter. Although the list can grow much larger than this, these will help to make you safer as you wait for help, or if you are forced out of the safetyof your home. Although floods are devastating and sometimes unavoidable, having the proper emergency supplies and warning may be just the right amount of preparedness you need to safe you life. Please click below to see the news articles pertaining to this deadly flooding: