June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season. Meanwhile, across much of the Western United States major droughts have greatly increased the danger for summer wildfires. And don’t forget last winter’s record-breaking winter storms — or the ongoing potential for earthquakes, tornados, floods and other natural disasters.
Such catastrophic events are inevitable, largely unpreventable and often strike without warning. Even though we can’t always predict natural disasters, we can anticipate their likely aftermaths, including property loss, power or water service disruption and scarcity of food and supplies.
Sit down with your family and develop a disaster plan. By planning ahead and knowing what you might need under dire circumstances, you can save yourselves a lot of time, money and grief.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (fema.gov), offers great suggestions for developing a family emergency plan, building an emergency supply kit, and learning what to do before, during and after emergencies, everything from home fires to terrorist attacks. They even provide an emergency plan for family pets.
Here are some emergency-planning ideas you may not have considered:
• Pick meeting spots both in and outside your neighborhood where your family can gather after an emergency.