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What to do When a Disaster Strikes Away from Home

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Since 9/11, government agencies have been advising us on just how important it is to be prepared for any kind of emergency. And because the risk of terrorism has increased in recent years, as well as the frequency of natural disasters, and the promise economic decline, there is a better chance than ever before of each of us experiencing at least some kind of disaster sometime in the next few years. As a result, many people have taken to keeping emergency supplies such as food, water, and medicine in their homes. But what happens if a disaster strikes when you are not at home? Here are some tips for whatever situation you might find yourself in.

General Advice

When disaster strikes, all you want to do is stay safe in your home. But that does not mean that it is necessarily the safest place to be. Create a plan for your family that includes a meeting point. Make sure that such a place will be safe and open, and suitable to protect you from any disaster. If you don’t know where to start, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a pdf emergency plan that you can download and fill in. It is available from their website.

While on Vacation

The good thing, if there are any positives in such a situation, is that while you are on vacation, you are often in possession of many of your most important documents. For things such as birth certificates, insurance details, and other important information, it can be a good idea to store them somewhere other than your home. Your car or a neighbor’s house can be good alternatives. If the disaster is one that is affecting your home, be thankful that you happened to be away when it struck. Bring some extra money in case you need to extend your stay in wherever you are. If the disaster is happening wherever you are on vacation, bring extra money in case you need to book an immediate flight or other means to travel home.

If a disaster strikes while you’re away from home, a small car or travel survival kit can be essential to weathering the unexpected. Even keeping a portable survival kit in the car at all times can come in handy when just out running errands.

At the Office

Similar instructions also apply to times when disaster might hit when you are at work. If you drive to work, make sure that your car always has at least a quarter tank of gas in it, in case a quick getaway is needed. Keep a small survival kit or just a few essential supplies in your car, such as food (something that will last, won’t melt, and does not need cooking), water, first aid supplies, and a few blankets, in case you need to sleep in your car for a night. It might be worth getting an office survival kit, especially if you are the manager of a group of employees. If you are the person responsible, you can purchase ready made survival kits that are good for two, four, or even 10 people.

At School

Schools often have strict procedures in place for most emergency situations, so if you are a student or employee at a school, you may be in the best position to deal with an emergency. If you are a teacher or in a leadership role, you might consider getting school survival kits for your classrooms. You can also buy these ready made for 30 people.

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