Surviving Disasters 101 - Manmade or Natural Disasters

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Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 2 Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................... 3 Emergency Essentials .............................................................................. 6 Assumptions ............................................................................................. 8 Chapter 2: Surviving an Earthquake ......................................................... 9 Chapter 3: Enduring Heavy Flooding .................................................... 15 Chapter 4: Escaping Wildfires ................................................................. 20 Chapter 5: Ebola Safety ............................................................................. 25 Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 3 Chapter 1: Introduction Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 4 How can you prepare yourself and your family for unpredictable disasters? Disaster preparedness isnt just a fancy term used by state institutions anymore it has actually transformed into a mass movement because people are now aware that in the battle against the unpredictable power of Mother Nature, man can lose easily. The losses incurred in the aftermath of natural or manmade disasters can easily bring a community and thousands of families to their knees. Its true: man is capable of creating wonderful things with his mind. However there is one thing that mankind has yet to conquer in his quest for an ideal world: Mother Nature herself. Why should anyone care about preparing for a disaster? When Mother Nature decides that its time for a powerful earthquake in one city and a hurricane the size of a football field in another, all we can do to survive is to prepare for worst case scenarios so that we will have sufficient knowledge and resources to withstand unpredictable catastrophes, should they come one day. Disaster preparedness should never be based on fear or anxiety, but rather, on the logical premise that if you know what to expect during a disaster and you have the essential resources needed to survive it, theres a very good chance that it will not cause lasting problems for you and your loved ones. This is the guiding principle of this book and it is my sincere hope that it shines through in these pages. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 5 What are the objectives of disaster preparedness? The major objectives of disaster preparedness are summed up below: 1. SURVIVAL This is the first and most important objective of disaster preparedness. With sufficient preparation for the most common types of disasters, the risk of mortality can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. 2. DAMAGE REDUCTION In some situations, you can perform steps to reduce the overall damage to your property and possessions. If damage to property is minimized, the recovery period after a disaster will be easier for everyone involved. 3. FUTURE PROTECTION If you become aware of the potential problems that specific disasters can bring, you can start making plans to further reduce the impact of a disaster to you and your family. You can start creating short term and long term goals that will lessen the difficulties associated with a natural or manmade disaster. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 6 Emergency Essentials What resources should always be stocked and available in preparation for major disasters? A dedicated individual can eventually produce all the resources needed to be self-sufficient in the event of a widespread catastrophe or disaster. You can devise your own survival and sustenance system and use it to protect your family from the devastating effects of disasters. But in the meantime, you can start preparing for any disaster by ensuring that the following are always stocked and ready: 1. FOOD You will need to prepare at least a 2 months supply of nutritious food. Stock food items that do not spoil easily and are not sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity. Canning, drying and preserving are all essential skills in making homemade survival food. A major disaster can cause disruptions to commercial food supplies such as supermarkets and groceries. It would be best not to rely on them in the event of a major disaster. Staying put with the resources you have at hand is a better option and is safer for everyone in your family. What other types of food should be stored away? Additionally, you should have a second stockpile of emergency food stored somewhere high and dry. This second stockpile should be comprised of small, high-energy food items, such as chocolate bars, that can be used in case your first stockpile goes bad. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 7 2. WATER It would be best to have several gallons of clean drinking water stored away in tight, sealed jugs. In addition to stored drinking water, I would also recommend having water purification devices at the ready during a disaster. How can you purify unclean water? Chlorine tablets and water purification straws are just some of the emergency items that can be used in extreme situations where running water is knocked out along with the power and you have to make do with impure or questionable water sources. 3. MEDICINE In the event of a disaster, members of your family may be exposed to the elements or some of them might become ill due to pathogens, stress or physical fatigue. What types of medicine should be reserved for emergencies? It would be an excellent idea to have a medical stockpile of commonly used drugs for fever, migraines, diarrhea, etc. Oral hydration salts should also be part of this stockpile. There should also be a reserve of essential prescription medication needed by members of the family. 4. CLOTHING & BEDDINGS Dry clothes and beddings are essential for survival in any emergency situation. How can you survive an inhospitable environment? In the event that you are forced out into an external environment with no artificial heating available, you and your family will rely on your emergency clothing and beddings. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 8 If you live in a very cold area of the country, thermally insulated clothing is recommended. Thick and durable sleeping bags should also be part of this emergency stash, as well as protective footwear for the whole family. Assumptions: This eBook assumes the following: 1. That you are reading this eBook to supplement your knowledge of disaster preparedness and that youre interested in reducing the potential damage caused by natural or manmade disasters. 2. That you will still pay close attention to what emergency services will instruct you to do in the event of citywide disaster or emergency. 3. That you already have basic knowledge of how to think and act in an emergency situation. If this is not the case then it is highly recommended that you attend the appropriate training classes to boost your knowledge of the proper protocol to keep everyone safe from harm during an actual disaster. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 9 Chapter 2: Surviving an Earthquake Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 10 An earthquake occurs when the tectonic plates below the surface of the Earth move together or slide apart, causing tremendous vibrations. These geologic movements often cause structures aboveground to shake with varying intensities. Major earthquakes have been known to cause aftershocks days or even weeks after the actual earthquake has occurred. Safety Guidelines During an Earthquake 1. Drop to the Ground What is the safest position during an earthquake? Lower yourself to the ground so that you can crawl on all fours. A strong earthquake can make people lose their balance/footing easily, so it is necessary to adopt this posture so you can remain mobile throughout the ordeal. After lowering yourself to the ground, make sure that you use your arms and hands to protect your neck and head. Should a piece of heavy debris hit your head, you can lose consciousness during the earthquake, which can be an extremely dangerous situation for you and for those around you. 2. Stay Put! Should you try to exit a structure during an earthquake? Experts do not recommend running outside during an earthquake, as the risks are higher than staying indoors. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 11 Find a large, sturdy table to protect yourself and stay there until the earthquake stops. Stay away from unsecured appliances and windows with glass. Glass can easily shatter during an earthquake and can cause serious physical harm. If an earthquake begins while youre still in bed, theres no need to run outside. Stay where you are and place something over your head in case something falls in your direction. Door arches and doorways may help you balance for a few minutes but theyre not good shelter during an earthquake. A doorway can just as easily cave in during a quake so forget about trying to get to a doorway during an earthquake as the wooden frame can collapse or you can get hit by debris. China cabinets and appliances are considered hazards during this type of disaster so stay as far away as possible from them. 3. If Youre Outside, Stay Outside What should you do when youre walking outside when an earthquake happens? During an earthquake, people have a tendency to either run outside (for fear of being trapped indoors) or run inside (for fear of being hit by flying debris). Unfortunately, both natural instincts have been proven to be dangerous; Ill explain why in a minute. If youre outside, find a safe place to drop down and wait out the earthquake. By safe place, I mean an open space or under a sturdy shelter. Protect your head at all costs and move as needed. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 12 Why is it dangerous to run inside a structure during an earthquake? Many of you might be thinking: its safer inside a building if youre outdoors! Technically speaking, a house can provide better shelter during an earthquake, provided that you drop down and hide under a sturdy table. However, its still risky to run indoors because you can: 1. Lose your balance while running and hit your head on a hard surface. 2. Get hit by flying or falling debris. 3. Get injured by shattering glass or cracked glass on the pavement. 4. Get hit by falling appliances and furniture. The trip from point A to point B can cause a lot of problems so just stay put and wait out the earthquake. And most importantly Do not panic and maintain your composure! If you panic during an earthquake you wont be able to observe your surroundings and move about as necessitated by the changing circumstances. You need to be mentally and emotionally intact during an earthquake at all times. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 13 What if youre driving a car? Its only in the movies that heroes survive driving while the earth is shaking. In real life, an earthquake can easily make your car slide to and fro, which will make driving 100% more dangerous in a few short minutes. If theres plenty of oncoming traffic, youre bound to get in an accident especially if youre experiencing a high-intensity earthquake. Instead of trying to get home during an earthquake, your safest course of action would be to park your vehicle as soon as possible in an area that is as far away as possible from electrical poles, trees and buildings. Concrete structures can still sway and collapse during an earthquake so its generally a bad idea to park cars close to them. Stay inside your vehicle and wait until the shaking ends. If you have a mobile phone with you, call emergency services or your family to let them know where you are. What should you do if youre on the 20th floor of a high-rise building? If you happen to be working or living in a high-rise structure, the biggest challenge is to avoid getting trampled by other people. Instead of rushing to the doorway where everyone else is headed, just stay where you are and try to find shelter from falling debris. Under no circumstance should you try to exit the building by using the staircase or elevator. Your chances of survival would be much higher if you in stay in a room. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 14 Drop to the ground and crawl away from glass windows and furniture that can fall on you. In the event that you become trapped in a room because the hallway structure has collapsed or the doorway has become blocked with concrete debris, tap on metal or wooden objects to signal to rescuers where you are. Conserve your energy and focus on signaling to the outside world that you are still inside. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 15 Chapter 3: Enduring Heavy Flooding Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 16 Floods are one of the deadliest and most unpredictable natural disasters known to man. The force of water can carry away whole houses, two-ton trucks, power lines and even the biggest trees. Man has known no greater fury than a massive flood at its peak strength. Its time that you learned the essentials of keeping yourself and your family safe from flooding. Flood Preparation Guidelines 1. Get Informed What is your primary source of information for disasters? While books like this one are useful for a quick review of disaster management, you still need to get information from your local community about its own plans for emergencies such as flooding. You also need to be aware of emergency centers, elevated shelters and other measures put in place by your local council to protect residents from the onslaught of floodwater. Moving to elevated ground is an utmost priority during a flood, as rushing water will always seek lower ground. If you are unsure as to whether your property is prone to flash floods, you can visit your local geologist or planning bureau to inquire about these important details. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 17 2. Flood Evacuation Plan What is a flood evacuation plan? A flood evacuation plan will help you and your family to escape a potentially devastating flood quickly and safely. This type of emergency plan must be practiced several times a year so that everyone remembers what he/she should do. It would also be an excellent idea to ask a close friend or relative that doesnt live in the same state (or at least, not in the same city) to become a contact person for the rest of the family. In the event that a catastrophic flood does occur and your family is somehow separated by circumstance, each member of the family should contact or visit this person. Your emergency contact person will be the anchoring point for all the members of your family in the event of a disaster. Make sure everyone knows the persons address and contact details by heart. Do not rely on mobile phones or any other gadget these important details must be memorized. During a disaster like heavy flooding, all electronic gadgets should be considered minimally useful only and should not be considered a primary method of contacting each other within the disaster zone. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 18 3. House Safety Measures Floods can bring a cornucopia of severe problems, including the risk of fire and electrocution. How can you make your electrical installations safer? If you are serious about flood safety, ask a certified electrician to check your electrical installations and modify them (according to state regulations) so that they are elevated from the floor so that the risk of being electrocuted from standing water will be minimized. The ideal level for electrical sockets is 12 inches from floor level. This is only the minimum elevation recommended to prevent standing water from short-circuiting your electrical installations. If you can increase the height of your wall sockets to 24 or 36 inches from the base of the house, that is actually much better. There should also be master circuit breakers that can easily be used to shut off power throughout the house. Such modifications may be expensive, but during a flood you need all the electrical safety and convenience that you can get. Another improvement that I would suggest is to have one sturdy circuit breaker for each of your large appliances. In the event that you are not able to reach the master circuit breakers, these individual breakers will help reduce the incidence of shock and electrical fires inside the house. Can you modify home plumbing to make them flood-resistant? In some severe scenarios, city drains are overrun with water and the temporary inundation causes water to rise and flow up into residential waste water pipes. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 19 If the proper measures are not taken, its possible for gray water and/or sewage water to flow up through your drains and toilets. To prevent this from happening, you can install backwater valves to control the flow of water. Backwater valves allow water to flow outward but never inward. This type of modification may be a little expensive but again, the benefits far outweigh the cost of having backwater valves installed. You will be actively protecting your family from being soaked in sewage water, which harbors countless disease-causing pathogens. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 20 Chapter 4: Escaping Wildfires Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 21 The biggest problem with wildfires is that they can start any time and they progress so rapidly that they can easily torch several miles of land with ease. There are two common causes of wildfires in the United States: high temperatures combined with dry brush and manmade fires that have blazed out of control. If a house in the middle of a dry, grassy area is on fire, the chances of a wildfire is high as the fire from the house can easily lick and set surrounding areas alight. Wildfire Safety Guidelines Whats the first step to being safe in the event of a wildfire? In every disaster, you must always remain calm and collected so that you can monitor your surroundings and make sound decisions for yourself and those around you. Local emergency bureaus will most likely release bulletins and civilian safety announcement sin the event of a wildfire in your area. Pay attention to these bulletins and do not take them lightly, even if the wildfire is miles away from your home. Wildfires can become extremely aggressive and if theres a lot of dry fuel available at ground level, they can spread and maintain their strength until theyve torched everything in sight. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 22 A wildfire is obviously easier to put out if it has only begun so if you do see telltale signs of a wildfire, contact your local fire bureau immediately. Even if a small brush fire does not progress to the size of a proper wildfire, your fire bureau will be happy to put it out. As they say: prevention is a million times better than any remedy! Why should you steer clear of wildfire smoke? Wildfire smoke is one of the dreaded consequences of having a raging wildfire nearby. Wildfire smoke is hot, billowing smoke that comes from burning fuel. A wild blaze can consume anything in its path including all forms of vegetation and manmade structures. When a wildfire gains traction and is spread by favorable wind conditions, regular houses can be set ablaze with relative ease. Here are some things you should know about that dark, billowing smoke from a wildfire: 1. Inhalation of wildfire smoke can cause immediate effects on a persons physical health, including general allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, general respiratory unrest and irregular heartbeat. Children, seniors and physically compromised individuals need to be placed outside the zone of wildfire smoke as they can easily succumb to it. In case of inhalation, bring the affected person to an area with clean air and monitor his breathing and other vital signs. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 23 If shortness of breath and/or heartbeat irregularities continues, bring the person to the hospital immediately or call emergency services. 2. The best protection against wildfire smoke is complete avoidance. However, if you live in an area where wildfires are a yearly occurrence, you may need to invest in proper gas masks to protect yourself and your family from this particulate-heavy smoke. People often ask if soft masks found in hardware centers are sufficient in blocking smoke. The answer is: no, ordinary facemasks wont protect you from any type of smoke, especially wildfire smoke. Paper masks found in hardware centers are designed to filter the air of larger, visible particles like sawdust and metallic dust from grinding metal in a workshop. Wildfire smoke has billions of nanoparticles and particulate matter that are invisible to the naked eye. Just because you see wildfire smoke doesnt mean its like sawdust! The N95 respirator is recommended by local and state emergency bureaus as protection from different types of smoke, including wildfire smoke. An N95 respirator is a specialized, single-use facemask that is capable of removing much smaller particles from the air as you breathe through it. They are considered adequate smoke protection in case of fires. Companies such as Pasture and 3M are currently manufacturing facemasks that match the federal specifications and standards for the N95 respirator. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 24 How can you evaluate air quality at a glance? Before you breathe in the air in a certain area where there is a wildfire, you can judge the air quality by comparing the visibility there and the visibility from where you are, currently. If the visibility a few miles out is almost zero, the air quality there is probably very poor so you should avoid approaching the area. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 25 Chapter 5: Ebola Safety Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 26 Ebola is currently high on international epidemic watch lists because of its recurrence in Africa. Safeguard yourself and your family from this deadly disease by following the guidelines in this chapter. What is Ebola? Ebola is a viral infection that causes uncontrollable bleeding and if left untreated, can easily cause death in children and adults. The World Health Organization currently estimates the death rate for this virus at 50%. Ebola originated from animals and has performed a species jump and is now transmissible to humans. Human to human transmission is considered the number one cause of this disease. To date, there is no mass-produced vaccine that can be used to combat this deadly disease. What are the symptoms of Ebola? A person who has been exposed to an Ebola virus carrier can begin to show symptoms up to 21 days after the initial exposure. The major symptoms of this disease are: - Severe abdominal pain - Hemorrhaging - Inexplicable bruising or bleeding under the skin - Muscle fatigue - General feeling of malaise - Inexplicable high fever Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 27 - Severe headaches - Loose bowels - Nausea and vomiting How is Ebola transmitted from one person to another? The virus transports itself mainly through body fluids. No human body fluid is spared: mucus, blood, semen, sweat, etc. can all transmit this pathogen. As long as the fluid is generated by the body, it can transmit this deadly disease. A person can also get this disease by being pricked by syringes that contain traces of an Ebola patients body fluids. The infection rate is very high and this virus is considered highly viable in almost any environment. It has been determined that in areas where Ebola has reached epidemic levels, the most common sources of infection are the healthcare centers, clinics and hospitals themselves. Healthcare workers are highly advised to wear protective clothing at all times when in contact with Ebola patients and suspected infected individuals. How can you keep yourself safe from this virus? The number one cause of Ebola is unintended contact with infected body fluids. Washing your hands is a priority and be sure to sanitize your hands with alcohol or other disinfecting agents to kill the virus should it be present. Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 28 The Ebola virus can travel into the body through the mucus membranes, including the membranes found in the eyes and nose. Any opening in the body is considered a potential entrance for the Ebola virus. If you happen to be working in a healthcare environment with Ebola patients, practice extreme caution when handling syringes and clothing of infected individuals. Are you ready for the impending chaos on our streets? Its not just natural disasters we need to prepare for. One of the most dangerous threats to society, and life itself, is our fellow humans. When you watch the news each day, you see riots, violent, senseless murders, and acts of terrorism. Over the past few years, these crimes have become part of everyday life, and the only question is how long will it take before the riots become too much for the police or army to handle? A crumbling economy is putting more and more people out of work, which means more and more kids of the lost generation are growing up in poverty. Lack of job prospects and education sends these lost kids onto the streets and as poverty grows at an alarming rate Surviving Disasters 101: Man-made or Natural Disasters 29 the riots we see today are just the tip of the iceberg. When hundreds of rioters turns to thousands of angry kids on the streets, smashing and grabbing for their own survival, smashing your windows and kicking down your door, and there's no police to come to your rescue, what will you do? Many people think theyre prepared for the worst. But in this short video, a US Army officer reveals why mainstream home defense strategies don't work and why they actually make you and your family more vulnerable than ever before. Watch this important safety video now, before its too late: Bulletproof Home