Is Your Family Prepared to Weather the Storm Season?
With the storm season quickly approaching, the physician leaders at the American Board of Disaster Medicine(ABODM) and the American Board of Physician Specialties® urge the public to be ready for the unexpected. Storms might be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared, and the ABODM offers the following tips before, during, and after a disaster to help ensure that you and your family aren’t taken off guard when a hurricane, tornado, or other severe weather event strikes your community.
Before the storm
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes clean water, a supply of nonperishable foods, a radio, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
- Make a plan for communicating with your family by ensuring that everyone has each other’s current contact information and knows how to reach one another if phone lines are down.
- Learn local evacuation routes and the location of designated shelters in the event you need to leave your home quickly.
- If you have time, cover your home’s windows. An investment in storm shutters may be a great long-term option as well.
- Ensure that everyone in your family knows where to go if you suddenly need to seek shelter in your home.
- Make sure that your pets are brought inside and are part of your storm preparation.
During the storm
- Monitor the radio for updates on the storm.
- If you’re unable to evacuate, avoid windows and glass doors and close all interior doors.
- Stay indoors until instructed otherwise.
- Avoid using your cell phone unless it’s an emergency – you may need the battery later.
- Ensure you have water available – filling the bathtub before the storm gets too strong is advised.
- Don’t be fooled by a lull in the storm. Be sure it is truly safe before leaving your home.
After the storm
- Only drive if necessary and avoid standing water, flooded roads, and washed out bridges.
- Be careful outside, keeping an eye out for downed power lines or broken tree branches.
- Inspect your home for damage and take photos of anything you find.
- Check food and water for spoilage and make a plan for rationing if necessary.
The American Board of Disaster Medicine tests physicians on their knowledge and skills in the disaster lifecycle of preparation, planning, response, and recovery. We know how much of a difference it can make to be prepared for the storm season. Odds are you won’t have to put your plan to the test, but if the unexpected happens, the peace of mind that comes from being prepared can be invaluable. To learn more, contact us today.