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Natural Disaster Safety Tips

Hurricane Preparedness
Earthquake Preparedness
Tornado Preparedness
Wildfire Preparedness


hurricane preparedness

Hurricane Safety Tips:

emergency radio
  • Keep track of the storm with your local news. It is always good to have a small, portable radio, preferably one that you do not have to keep batteries in to keep you informed just in case of a power outage. Hand crank or solar powered radios work great.

  • If a hurricane is expected to cause flooding in your area it is important to shut off your main power to your home. Make sure you shut off the individual power sources first and then the main power supply to your home.

  • If a hurricane is expected in your neighborhood shut off your gas with a Gas Shut Off Tool. If you use propane, turn your propane tanks off.
    emergency flashlight
  • Don't use candles or kerosene lights during a hurricane. Instead use flashlights. Preferably one that the power is self generated or one that does not require batteries.

  • Do not take a shower or bath during a hurricane.

  • You should stay indoors during a hurricane and away from glass doors and windows.

  • If you have a Family Survival Kit or Family Blackout Kit keep it with you if you move from room to room.

  • Fill your bathtub and other containers with water just in case you will be without water service for some time.
    Children's Survival Kit
  • Keep your child informed of what is happening. Communicating with them can help to relieve their stress. Letting your child carry their own safety or Children's Survival Kit will help them to feel more at ease.

  • Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.

  • For up to date national hurricane information please visit the National Hurricane Center.

Pet Safety During A Hurricane:

pet safety during a hurricane
  • I highly encourage everyone to microchip their pets so in the unfortunate event of separation you are more likely to be able to be reunified with them.

  • Make sure that your pet is up to date on all of their shots.

  • Make sure that their collar has their ID and license on it.

  • Make sure that you have enough food stored away for your pet in a watertight container to last for at least a few weeks.
    pets first aid kit
  • Make sure that your pets' medication are all filled.

  • Keep a Pet Survival Kit available just in case your pet is injured during the hurricane.

  • Many communities have Pet Friendly Evacuation Centers where you can bring your pet during a hurricane. Most of these places want the owner to stay with their pet. Check ahead of time if your community offers this.


earthquake preparedness

Earthquake Safety Tips:

  • Earthquake preparedness within your home includes fastening large appliances such as tall shelves and china hutches to walls. Make sure that shelves above beds do not have any heavy items on them that can fall on you during an earthquake. Hot water heaters should have an earthquake strap around them and secured to the wall.

  • Have a Family Survival Kit which contains food and water, an emergency flashlight and portable radio, first aid kit, waterproof matches, emergency blankets, extra cash and any essential medicines.

  • Talk ahead of time with your family about safe places to go during an earthquake. These include under a strong, sturdy desk or table, against an inside wall or out in the wide open. Stay away from electrical or telephone wires, under overpasses and away from glasses that can shatter such as windows, glass doors, mirrors, pictures, etc.

  • Teach your children how to call 911 in case of an emergency and you are not able to call.

  • Listen to local news on your radio for emergency instructions.

  • If there has been a substantial earthquake you should know how to turn off your gas. Have a Gas Shutoff Tool available.

  • If your family is not together during an earthquake have an alternate, long distance, phone number of a relative for each of you to contact. Many times it easier to call a long distance number versus a local number after an earthquake.

  • For current earthquake information or additional information on how you can prepare for an earthquake please visit: USGS, U.S. Geological Survey

Pet Safety During An Earthquake:

pet safety during an earthquake
  • Your pet should have a collar with their ID, phone number and address so you can be reunited if they are lost. It is best to also have your pet microchipped in case their collar is lost.

  • Store enough pet food and water to last for a few weeks. Food can also be stored in the trunk of your car. If your pets' food requires a can opener, make sure that you keep one with their extra food.

  • Keep your pets' medication filled.

  • It is very common for pets to hide either just before or when an earthquake occurs. Know their hiding places and be prepared to need to coax them out of their hiding place with a favorite treat, toy, etc.

  • Keep them on a leash so they will not be able to bolt in case of aftershocks.

  • Be prepared to be there for your pet during the numerous aftershocks.

  • Give your pets a lot of love and reassurance. This will help to calm them and help you feel better as well!

  • Have a Pet First Aid Kit on hand in case your pet is injured during the earthquake.

  • Keep them away from any downed electrical wires or spilled antifreeze.

  • If your pet does become lost make sure you check with your local pet shelter. Leave information about your pet at the shelter if they are not there. Someone may recognize your pet and be able to return them to you.


tornado preparedness

Tornado Safety Tips:

  • Talk ahead of time with family members about your designated place to wait out the tornado. Ideally this would be in an underground shelter such as a basement or storm cellar. If you do not have one of these the next best place within your home would be on the lowest floor, closest to the center of your home, away from any glass or windows. A hallway or bathroom that is toward the center of your home is good. Ducking and covering your head inside the bathtub will help to protect you from flying debris.

  • If you live in a mobile home, it is wise to find a nearby shelter to take cover as mobile homes are even more vulnerable to damage from the high winds of a tornado.

  • Periodic tornado drills are an excellent way to prepare your family, especially children, ahead of time for a tornado.

  • Try to eliminate as much outside storage as possible. Secure small structures, such as sheds, to their foundations.

  • Keep emergency supplies on hand such as a family survival kit and enough food and water to last for a few weeks.

  • Keep an emergency portable radio on hand, preferably one that does not require batteries so you can keep up to date on the path of the tornado.

  • If you are outdoors try to find a building to take shelter. Stay away from windows, cars and any downed electrical lines.

  • Know what the terms Tornado Watch and Warning mean so you can act accordingly. A "Tornado Watch" is issued to inform the community that they should be on the lookout of a possible tornado and a "Tornado Warning" is issued when a tornado has been actually picked up on radar. If there is a tornado warning issued in your area it is your sign to take cover immediately.

  • For active weather alerts and tracking of any storm in progress please visit

    NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Pet Safety During A Tornado:

pet safety during a tornado
  • Make sure that your pet has a collar with its identification on it. Even better, get your pet microchipped.

  • Make sure that your pets' medication is all filled.

  • Have enough food and water stored away for your pet to feed them for a few weeks.

  • Put your pet in a hard carrier cage while you are riding out the tornado in your designated spot.

  • Make sure that your pet is on a leash if you go outdoors after the tornado has passed. There is likely to be many downed electrical wires and many dangerous objects from the flying debris of the storm.

  • Keep a Pet First Aid Kit on hand in case your pet is injured during the tornado.

  • If you are separated from your pet make sure that you go in to your local shelter and leave your pets information. Someone may recognize your pet and be able to return him/her back to you.


wildfire preparedness

Wildfire Safety Tips:

  • Make sure that your home address is clearly marked and visible.

  • Have emergency phone numbers readily available at each home phone.

  • It is best to plant fire resistant plants around your home as well as when building your home use materials that resist fire.

  • Clear brush from around your home regularly.

  • Regularly clear your roof and gutters.

  • It is best to have a secondary source of water on your property such as a pond, well, creek or swimming pool.

  • Have your family plan and practice not only two ways out of your home, but also two ways out of your neighborhood in case the primary way is blocked.

  • Designate a location outside of your home where your family can meet in case you need to evacuate and cannot go back to your home for some time.

  • Many times local phone lines are down during a wildfire, so it is wise to have a contact person that is outside of the area for all family members to contact.

  • Close all doors and windows to prevent the smoke from coming inside of your home.

  • When using your air conditioning in your home or car make sure that it is set to the re-circulating mode.

  • Always be ready to leave at a moments notice.

  • Have your Disaster Preparedness Bag packed in your car trunk.

  • Listen to local radio or news for the latest updates of the wildfire.

  • Arrange for temporary housing at a friend, family or neighbors house that is out of the fire evacuation area.

  • For more information on wildfire prevention please visit "Smokey Bear - Stop Wildfires".

Pet Safety During A Wildfire:

  • Make sure that your pet has its collar with identification on and is microchipped.

    pet safety during a wildfire
  • Have a Pet First Aid Kit on hand in case your pet is injured during the wildfire.

  • Keep your pet in one room of your house so if you have to leave at a moments notice you can find them quickly.

  • Keep your pet with you and do not let them wander around outside. Hot embers can burn their paws or hooves.

  • Clear brush at least 20' away from outdoor dog houses, rabbit hutches, pig pens or any other outdoor pens.

  • Your pet will probably be terrified during a wildfire and may run to one of their favorite hiding places for safety. Know all of your pets' hiding places and be prepared to need to coax them out.

  • Have an emergency kit with your pets' veterinarians phone number as well as a one weeks supply of food and water, pet medication, vaccination records and a photo with description of your pet.

  • Having all of your pets' records readily available is important because you may need to board your pet in a kennel and cannot do so without proof that they are vaccinated.

  • In case you are separated from your pet remember to visit your local shelter to check if they are there. If they are not you should still leave your pets information, including a photo. Someone may recognize your pet and be able to return them to you.




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