In the event of a natural disaster, it is vital for you and your family to be prepared. Earthquakes and tsunamis can strike without warning, and hurricanes and floods can cause major property damage, environmental hazards, and even loss of life. By becoming aware of preparedness and safety tips, you can increase your chances of survival in a disaster situation and lessen the impact the storm, flood, tsunami, or earthquake has on you and your property.
Tropical storm systems, often called hurricanes, can lead to large-scale flooding, storm surges, heavy rains, high winds, massive power outages, and even tornadoes. Coastal regions are generally at a greater risk of hurricane damage, but all areas hit by a hurricane can experience heavy rains and strong winds lasting anywhere from three days to two weeks. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has outlined certain safety issues that may create new dangers during or after a hurricane. It is important to be aware of the following hazards:
The nation's most common natural disaster, flooding can occur anywhere over a period of several days of heavy rains, or in the case of a flash flood that develops quickly in just a few minutes. Severe flooding sometimes results in fast-moving water that can carry dangerous debris, rocks, mud, housing materials, cars, and even people in its path. If you live in areas that are at a high flood risk, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
Earthquakes can occur suddenly and without warning, and nearly every region of the U.S. is at risk for earthquake activity. Damage usually occurs when an earthquake's magnitude is above a 4 or a 5 on the Richter magnitude scale. Earthquakes can cause windows to break, buildings to collapse, roads to buckle, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, and other large-scale damages. It is important to keep in mind the following safety tips during and after an earthquake:
Tsunamis, or seismic sea waves, are created by underwater disturbances such as earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, or meteorites that disrupt the surface of the ocean and result in a series of enormous waves that can reach heights of 100 feet or more. Tsunamis are signaled by a recession of water away from the shoreline, and it is imperative to seek higher ground at the first warning signs of a tsunami. Hazards created by tsunamis include: