Here’s How to Stay Ready for Disasters Amid COVID-19. Hint: Don’t Rely on Government
Emergency government systems are overloaded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that response times to hurricanes or other natural disasters will likely be delayed. This means one thing - it’s imperative that you be ready for a natural disaster when it strikes this summer and fall, and definitely don’t plan on relying for government help from organizations like FEMA.
Self-Sufficiency in Your Household
In addition to stocking up on a least a week’s worth of food and water supplies, it’s important to also stock up on other essentials. These include medical supplies like splints, braces, antiseptic, burn gel and dressing, potassium iodide tablets, hydrogen peroxide, painkillers, and upset stomach medication. It’s a good idea to decide if your home has the wherewithal to ride out a natural disaster, or perhaps save up for a hotel room if necessary. Always be sure to evacuate when told to do so.
While places like churches and community centers do offer shelter and relief from disasters, they typically only have the capacity to handle a single disaster. And those plans don’t include anything about how to respond during a pandemic. In this unprecedented time, it’s imperative to prepare your dwelling to be sheltered in place. Losing power and running out of food during a natural disaster and a pandemic combined would be life-threatening.
Steps to Take To Ensure You’re Prepared
Emergency Services are already maxed out, so when hurricane, tornado and wildfire season comes later this summer and fall, it’s essential that you focus on your emergency preparedness.
- Be sure to get and stay stocked up on all items that are subject to shortages during a disaster/ pandemic. Think about the items that were in shortages in stores before shelter in place orders took hold nationwide back in February and early March. This obviously includes food and water for at least 72 hours or up to a week.
- If you don’t have a tent or some mobile shelter like it, get one. It’s also a good idea to get the tent out of the basement or storage and learn to put it together quickly. It can be a fun activity for the kids, too.
- Add body warmers, extra blankets and ponchos to your emergency kit. Also pack LED lanterns as well.
- Bring a hand-crank radio in case your phone dies.
- Also have at least one tool - like a hatchet or a handy multitool.
- Keep extra masks in your survival kit.
- Gradually stock up on hygiene items like TP, hand sanitizer, and personal wipes.
Prepare Now, Or Regret it Later
There will undoubtedly be some people who will suffer during natural disaster season, and this will only be made worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if you prepare yourself the right way now, in the months before, you can stay afloat and ride out the storm.