Here’s How to Survive Natural Disasters

6 min readNov 5, 2021


By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS

Natural Disasters Affect Millions of People All Around the World (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Mother Nature is unpredictable, and nobody ever wants to imagine being caught in a natural disaster of any kind. Yet, nature is one of the things you can’t control. However, it can give you peace of mind knowing that you are ready for anything. Each year, natural disasters affect millions of people all around the world. The government sets aside billions of dollars for natural disaster emergencies. Serious injuries, displacements, loss of lives, and PTSD are some of the traumatizing effects of a disaster that can be felt long after the event. Preparation is vital, and as we have seen since the pandemic began.

Why Do You Need to Prepare for a Natural Disaster?

Every US state is at risk of natural disasters, yet many Americans aren’t prepared for an emergency. A majority don’t even have a plan or enough food and water to get their family through a disaster.

Natural Disasters: Are You Prepared? — Sunrider International

Death and property destruction are common with most disasters. In 2017, the US natural catastrophe losses rose to an all-time high of $133 billion. Major natural events like hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the California wildfires hit many cities all over the country.

You can’t stop a disaster from happening. The most you can do is prepare for it. With disasters comes panic, which results in empty grocery store shelves and utilities shutting down. So, what do you do in the event of a natural disaster?

A natural disaster of a significant magnitude can leave you cut off from the outside world for days. Emergency response teams will start helping immediately, but in dire situations, emergency responders will likely not reach you as quickly. When you are prepared, you can get through a few days until the first responders arrive.

Being prepared also means knowing what to do in the event of a disaster. If disaster strikes when you’re working, workplace safety precautions are in place to deal with such situations.

What is National Get Ready Day?

The American Public Health Association (APHA) set up National Get Ready Day in 2006. The day’s goal is to arm individuals, families, and communities alike with the knowledge they need to cope with crises like natural disasters, pandemic illnesses, and infectious diseases. The event has passed for 2021, but the next National Get Ready Day is on September 15, 2022.

Aims To Prepare A Community For Emergency Circumstances Of All Kinds (Image Source: Shutterstock)

You can find Get Ready Day events in every state. You should attend one in your area to get yourself and the people you love ready for potential disaster. The APHA’s Get Ready Day is celebrated on the third Tuesday of September to coincide with National Preparedness Month. The campaign aims to prepare every American plus their community for emergency circumstances of all kinds. Equipping yourself with enough food and water and the right tools is vital for your survival in case the worst happens.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a great example of how many people are unprepared for disasters. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have been the order of the day since the first coronavirus cases. Department stores closed, and some people were caught unprepared without enough food, water, and other resources to make it through the months of lockdowns.

Emergency Preparedness Tips to Keep You Safe During a Disaster

Every year, natural disasters disrupt and impact thousands of lives. Whether it’s a hurricane, a wildfire, or a bad storm, they all cause lasting effects on both people and property. The local government and disaster-relief organizations like the American Red Cross will reach out when a disaster occurs. But what if the local responders don’t reach you immediately? Do you know how to survive?

You should know how to respond to natural disasters like hurricanes, extreme cold during or after snow sports, flooding, earthquakes, and even terrorist attacks. You should be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

Stay in a Safe Area

Sometimes depending on the magnitude of the disaster, the government may activate an emergency evacuation protocol. If you are yet to evacuate, don’t attempt to do so. Instead, find a safe place or shelter and remain there until local responders reach you.

Find A Safe Place Or Shelter And Remain There Until Local Responders Reach You (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Of course, such a situation calls for you to be ready. A safe area in your home could be the bathroom, an interior room, or a closet. Make sure that you can access your survival kit so that you can stay safe until help arrives.

It may take emergency workers up to three days to reach you in a significant disaster situation. An emergency event may also cut off essential services like electricity, water, gas, telephone, and sewage treatment. Your emergency survival kit should have items that will make it easy to manage during such outages.

Try and assemble a DIY kit in advance that contains water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, sanitation supplies, emergency tools, and other special items you may need in case of a disaster.

Stay Up to Date on the Latest News

Electricity, telephone lines, and the internet will probably be down when a major disaster happens. Therefore, there is no way of knowing what is happening in the outside world. A portable radio will keep you up to date on any special instructions or updates from the local authorities.

A Portable Radio Will Keep You Up To Date On The News And Instructions (Image Source: Shutterstock)

A battery-powered radio is a useful piece of equipment. Some radios have multiple power sources such as batteries, hand cranks, or even solar panels.

Use a Portable Generator

If you own a portable generator, you are well prepared for a disaster. But you need to be careful before using one. Ensure that it is safe, and only operate it outside away from doors, windows, and vents. While at it, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or you could end up with another health and safety situation on your hands.

Avoid Driving

When a natural disaster strikes, it’s normal to panic. Some people try to get as far away from the area as possible out of panic. But, avoid this at all costs. In case of a major disaster, you have no way of knowing how the situation is outside your safety area. Your best bet is to remain there until the danger has passed. No matter how much you want to, don’t check on your property until you know it’s safe to do so.

Stay Indoors And Remain There Until The Danger Has Passed (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Get Ready Day: Safety During a Disaster

Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, extreme cold, and heat are disasters that can strike with little to no warning. When that happens, lives are lost. Properties worth billions of dollars fall to the ground. The first step to surviving whatever disaster may strike is to ensure that you are always prepared. National Get Ready Day aims to teach people how to prepare for such disasters. If you can, head to your local Get Ready Day event. You never know when you might need that knowledge to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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