How to Be Prepared for a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters can take a variety of forms—floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more. You can prepare for all of these by taking precautions such as assembling a disaster-supplies kit, and you can take extra steps to plan for the specific emergencies that occur in your area.After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, you may have concerns about how you can protect yourself and your family if a natural disaster occurs in your community. One way to prepare is to know in advance where to find the information you would need in an emergency. Some of the organizations and government agencies that can help include:
- American Red Cross. The site for the American Red Cross tells how to prepare for and recover from many kinds of disasters. Search the site for the type of emergency that concerns you or browse the “Getting Assistance” section to learn more. After a disaster, the Red Cross Safe and Well site lets you list yourself as safe or post the names of family members you are trying to reach.
- National Weather Service. You’ll find state-by-state storm warnings and forecasts on the site for the National Weather Service. The site includes an online database that lets you search for reports about your area.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA site tells how to respond to floods, wildfires, and other disasters and how to apply for financial or other aid if you are affected. It also has information on how you can start a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) that can help you and your neighbors prepare for and respond to a disaster at www.citizencorps.gov/cert/.