Oh No! What Now? Tips for Taking Charge After a Disaster
Gaye Levy, Contributor
Thursday, August 16, 2012
“Oh no! Now what? A calamity has just occurred in my area and what do I do? I know that I have prepared an emergency kit and can survive for a week or two but what do I do now? I am confused and can’t think. Help me!”
Although this is a fictional scenario, those might likely be the thoughts that run through your mind following an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood, a wildfire or other calamity. And while you may think that the likelihood of such a disaster landing on your doorstep is low, it could happen.
So what do you do? Today I would like to share some tips and possible solutions to the “Oh No – What Now?” dilemma.
Take Stock of the Situation
• Are you and your family safe? Can you keep yourselves warm, fed, and out of harm’s way? Remember, being prepared for a disaster is part of your basic responsibility. If you’ve been caught unprepared, this will be more of a challenge than if you’re able to be completely self-sufficient.
• If you are OK inside your home, determine what the conditions are outdoors. Is it safe to go outside or should you shelter in place?
• Do you have a way to let family and loved ones outside of your home know that you’re safe? What communication systems are functional (telephone, cell phone, texting, internet, shortwave radio)?
• Are you are facing a true emergency or do you need help immediately? If you are OK, place a sign in your window or on your door that say’s “OK”. If you need help, put up a sign that says “HELP” or “INJURED”.