The complete guide to what to do before, during and after a disaster


Disasters are rare, but just because they are, doesn't mean they won't hit. At one point or the other, something seems to get out of control and disasters from all manner of nature erupt. Only then do you realize that you don't rise to the occasion, but merely fall to the level at which you've prepared yourself. That's the thing about disasters; they always come when you're least prepared for them. But this doesn't have to be the case; with the complete guide to what to do before, during and after a disaster, you can be able to prepare yourself in case all manner of natural calamities, from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods to landslides, and the like, occur.

Before disaster hits

There are a different number of natural disasters that have been documented since the beginning of time that can occur at any given moment, which means there are just as many number of ways to be prepared for each of them. However, that shouldn't stop you from having a strategy in place for you and your family in case it happens. There are things you can do before a disaster to make sure you are doing all the right things when the eventuality hits, one of which is a specific routine on what to do at the time. You should practice your routine as many times as required to make sure you're all running in the right direction. Otherwise, you are bound to get lost easily enough. This applies for both your home and place of work; familiarize yourself with the disaster/emergency plan, and stick to it.

Before a disaster, it is also good to keep an inventory of the important things to carry, along with important documents that you might need during your escape. Such an inventory is ideal because you don't have to start rushing at the last minute to pack and sort yourself out. As someone once said, preparedness is the prerequisite for victory (in this case, your safety being your victory). In addition, a well-stocked and packed go-bag wouldn't go amiss; make sure you have one ready to go.

During and after a disaster

When disaster strikes, there are things you need to make sure are in the right order. Obviously, you will have a designated place from where you can seek refuge. Once you're there, whether it's in your house or the shed, make sure you stay inside and all the pathways are sealed shut. Secondly, you need to check that all the safety equipment and structures inside are working properly; otherwise, your safe haven won't be as safe as you'd initially thought.

Additionally, it is ideal to cover all your electronic gadgetry with plastic bags to make sure they're safe and protected. In case of a blackout, it is advisable to switch off the electricity permanently until everything settles, to avoid further damages if the grid is activated; power surges are a real thing. As time progresses, make sure that you check for any damage to make sure it's fixed and taken care of.

Once the dust has settled and the disaster has abated, you can come out of your shelter and check for any property damage. Make sure all the safety hazards are secured, and all the safety equipment (sprinkler system) is working properly. Only then can you proceed to contact your insurance company or risk manager to give you a numerical assessment of all the property damage.

Conclusively, always make sure you have a built in strategy for every natural disaster if possible. There's never harm in being thorough.