Natural disasters: what to do before and after

  • Sol Rivero

It’s the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, a reminder that at any moment nature can strike us. Unfortunately, most natural disasters can’t be avoided, yet you can definitely reduce their impact by taking preventing measures.

For this reason, today we give you a small guide on what to do before and after when you face natural disasters. Keep it in mind!


What to do before natural disasters

The key to reduce natural disasters before they happen, is to be as ready for them as possible. This includes having the necessary tools to treat those who might be wounded, and having a contingency plan in case something occurs.

  • Get to know your home and workplace: check out the vulnerabilities from the place you live or work in, this includes defining the weakest –and strongest- points of the structure, as well as determining which natural disasters could affect it according to its location. If possible, strengthen the weakest places of the buildings.
  • Prepare your place and family: create an emergency evacuation plan with your family, as well as a first aid kit which anyone can use and locate quickly. Remember to plan everything in advance: from where to go (hospitals, schools, etc.), to what to do with pets, or how to communicate with each other.
  • Store your data digitally: scan your ID and any document that can help identify you and your loved ones, and place it in a pen-drive which you can carry with you easily.


What to do after natural disasters

If you’ve just been through a natural disaster, the most important part is to remain calm and collected so you can take action and help your friends and family.

  • Aid the wounded: the first step you should follow is to verify your family’s situation: is everyone protected? Did anyone get hurt? In case they did, assist them immediately, or, if the circumstance requires it, take them to an emergency center.
  • Listen to the radio: it’s always beneficial to keep a radio or a TV around so you can check out the governmental plans during a natural disaster. A small, portable device, will do.
  • Check the buildings: if you’ve been through a mild earthquake or a similar event and everything looks fine, you might be tempted to simply return to your building and go on with your life. However, you should check the structure before doing so: look for cracks, weakened foundations, and broken gas lines, or have your building checked by a professional to ensure it’s apt for habitation.
  • Go to a shelter: if needed, go to a shelter with your family. Following professional and governmental instructions will be for the best. If you can, cut off the water, electric power and gas before evacuating to avoid further damage, and proceed to leave.


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