You may think you don’t have to worry about flooding, but did you know that 20% of National Flood Insurance Program claims are filed by people who do not live in high risk areas? That means, no matter where you live, you may have to deal with flooding at one time or another.
Flood insurance is a wise investment. The average claim is over $35,000 but the average policy is less than $700 a year. Your policy could be more or less depending on where you live, but people who live in low-risk areas have the lowest rates – as low as $129 a year.
There is little you can do to protect your property from a serious flood. Since flood do not give advanced warning, you may not have time to do much before your home is ruined. The best preparation is to be sure you are covered, just in case.
Being prepared for a disaster can help reduce stress and anxiety, but that does mean a disaster will be anxiety free. Depending on the severity of the disaster or accident, a person can end up with very deep emotional scars.
After Hurricane Katrina, mental health professionals saw an increase in anxiety disorders, phobias, PTSD and depression. This finding is not uncommon and is backed up with numerous studies.
Events that may cause such a response include the loss of a friend or family member, serious injuries, extreme fear during a disaster, displacement from home and more. The risk of developing a disorder is related to the severity of the disaster.
Signs that you or a loved one may be dealing with emotional trauma after a disaster include:
Stomachaches or headaches
Feeling angry or edgy
Lack of energy
Over eating or not eating enough
Excessive use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco
If you or someone you know are experiencing these issues, there is help available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 for free. The hearing impaired can call 1-800-846-8517.
After the events of the last week or so, I started to think about the residents of Boston being asked to stay indoors during the manhunt. It didn’t last long, but what if it had? What if, instead of a request to stay indoors, the city was locked down for days or weeks?
In a case like this, having emergency supplies can really reduce the stress of the situation. First aid supplies, emergency food and water can all make you feel better about having to shelter in place for a prolonged period of time.
This could happen if there is a disease outbreak or a terrorist attack. Really, even severe weather could result in you being “stranded” at home, so the idea isn’t as far fetched as you may think.
Have you thought about what you’d need if you had to shelter in place for a period of time?
There certainly is a lot going on in the news lately. Shootings, bombings, severe weather, earthquakes. Someone even sent a letter laced with the poison ricin to the President, apparently in an attempt to assassinate him. Then there is the threat of nuclear missiles from North Korea.
Seems like the world has gone crazy.
Events like these can cause a great deal of anxiety, especially when so much misinformation is spread along with legitimate news. This is one reason why preparedness is so important. When you are prepared, it alleviates stress and anxiety over “what if” because you know you can take care of your family if there is an emergency or disaster.
No matter what the emergency, staying calm is essential. If you have the supplies you need for survival and you have practiced a disaster plan with your family, you can respond appropriately without over reacting. Reactions based on logic, and not fear, will keep a bad situation from getting worse.
What types of events are you concerned about? How are you preparing for them?
Whatever your worst case scenario, keep calm and continue preparing so you are ready to handle the situation safely.
After the carnage that resulted in the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday, I started thinking about what I would have done if I were there. There were some truly horrific injuries that went beyond just basic first aid.
How would you react if you saw people with shrapnel injuries or amputation injuries? Here are a few tips to keep in mind, just in case you are in this type of situation one day.
1. Check to see if the person is breathing. When there is a serious injury, it is easy to focus on the blood. But if the person isn’t breathing, that needs to be handled first. Then you can tend to the injury.
2. Immobilize the injury. Don’t try to set a broken bone; just keep it from moving any more than it already has. Unless you are a medical expert, you could make an injury worse by trying to fix it. By immobilizing it, you can keep it from getting worse until medical help can take over.
3. Apply gentle pressure to the wound. A serious wound can result in the person bleeding to death unless you can slow or stop the bleeding. In some cases, you may need to use a tourniquet, but it is important that it be done correctly.
To learn how to apply a tourniquet correctly, watch this video from The Survival Doctor, Dr. Hubbard.
4. Treat the person for shock. Have the person lay down and elevate the legs if they are not injured. Many of the injuries at the Boston Marathon were leg injuries, so this may not have been an option. Make sure you keep the person warm.
5. Get medical help ASAP. Even very severely injured people can survive if the injury is treated quickly, ideally within an hour of the injury. Beyond that time, a person’s chance of survival decreases.