By Rakesh Sharma Jack

As the planet changes, the world’s weather systems are becoming more and more erratic. Severe storms and floods occur almost on an annual basis at least somewhere on the globe. And now, for almost the first time, many countries in the West have to think disaster preparedness. No person is immune and no country is likely to be singled out in terms of latitude or longitude: disaster could occur anywhere. When we think there is a severe storm on the way we need to keep on eye glued to the TV or tune our radio into our local weather station. In such situations you won’t have time to sort things out when the anticipated storm arrives, so you need to prepare ahead of time.

You should have some idea which direction the storm is coming from and moving towards. Everything moveable in the house needs to be tied down; windows need to be opened slightly on the side of the house opposite to where the storm is starting from. During these preparation hours, prepare: put gas in the family vehicle, check battery generated equipment. As storm approaches, ensure that all electrical equipment has been disconnected, keep telephones free except for true emergencies and ensure you have an adequate source of drinking water in clean containers.

A very real threat to the population at the present time is terrorism and you need to take cover immediately if you think you are going to be in the presence of some explosive device. Unless you have been ordered to evacuate, stay indoors and take cover away from any windows. Injuries occurring when people are travelling are a major source of death, with damage to infrastructure occurring at any place and any time. Many of the multiple injuries involved are due to collapsing infrastructure and advising people to remain indoors is often the best advice and people should heed it. The amount of damages in the USA ran into US$123 billion in 2004, with just US$49 billion of these losses covered by insurance.

The tsunami in December 2004 caused wide-spread devastation running into an estimated US$7.2 billion required to rebuild India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, with a further US$5 billion to assist Kashmir after the earthquake there. Due to large-scale devastation it is likely to be necessary to call upon the citizens themselves to provide sufficient help amongst themselves in order to shore up struggling emergency services. This amounts to disaster preparedness and putting into practice common sense procedures for those less able to help themselves.

This is just providing disaster preparedness in terms of foreign aid, but what about the amount necessary to rebuild New Orleans or, for that matter, the amount required when THE BIG ONE comes and devastates Los Angeles. How can you be ready for disasters such as this? No matter how disaster preparedness is drummed into your resilient American spirit, disaster upon disaster has been wreaked in current years far in excess of anything the people of America could ever have dreamed might happen.

So pay attention to such issues and be prepared always, no one knows when they may have to face such uninvited situations/circumstances.

Food for Thought: Most of the time we are so engrossed in our daily routine that we hardly get time to think about unusual events, emergencies and disasters. They may come in any form, sometimes they are easily predictable while most of the times they are highly unpredictable. As generally seen, hurricanes and floods are some common natural disasters which give us advance notice or warnings, but other natural disasters and calamities give us no such warning sign like earthquakes and tornadoes. Some common occurrences like fires and attacks etc. can occur anytime, anywhere, so in such situations we may have to face several emergencies and challenges. These emergencies and challenges can overwhelmed not just you and your family but your clients, your business, your distant friends and even business partners residing in the affected areas. As a little gesture to the mankind, I have written several articles on this topic. Here you can learn about useful tips and techniques about disaster management and emergency preparedness .

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