Natural disasters are a common occurrence throughout the world. Disasters are a part of everyone’s existence and we all need to be prepared for the simplest to the most devastating.
Look around at the disasters that have impacted us locally: the fires in the Milford Flats area, the Uinta Basin, Farmington Canyon and on the Utah/Nevada/ Idaho border. If we haven’t been involved in the flames and heat, we have all suffered from the smoke. We have also seen abnormally high temperatures over the past month. These have caused illnesses and even deaths to young and old alike. We have lost six miners, two rescue workers and a federal mine inspector. Last summer Southern Utah recorded dramatic losses due to massive flooding.
Houses crumbled into the river, folks could not get to their houses because they were surrounded by water and internal flood damage was phenomenal. If you look at all of the new construction of roads, offices, hospitals and even renovations of such places as the Capitol the common theme is earthquake proof.
There are three steps to being prepared. First, plan your emergency protocol to evacuate as safely as possible. Second, talk with your family and decide what is important to all of you. Keep it together in one place so that if disaster strikes you can easily collect it and leave your home. And third, protect your home and family by knowing where everyone is and how to reach them. Consider your critical needs. Some of the basics will include food, water, shelter, power for your home as well as for a vehicle and communication. Have on hand at least a 72 hour kit for each member of your family.
In the case of an earthquake, the suggestion by FEMA is to have enough prepared to help you and your loved ones survive for up to three months. Remember to check on your neighbors after an emergency, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
If you want to learn more about disaster preparedness you can contact the American Red Cross. They have all sorts of information as well as sample emergency kits. You can contact them at http://www.redcross.org. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed a 165 page disaster manual that is a wonderful resource. You can find it at [http://www.fema]. gov. These are great resources for you, but at times you may want a human being to assist you in preparing your personal emergency plan.
The team at Health Watch is glad to assist its patients with emergency planning. When you are ready to make a plan, we will be there, ready to help.
Mary Kroeger, RN