Learn About Natural Disasters and How to Prepare for Them

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  • Power Outages (Unexplained): when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. They can occur at any time, last for any length of time and can have a serious impact on you personally; as well as your community and the economy.
  • Wildfire: an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, the grasslands or a prairie. They can happen anywhere, and at anytime, with a risk factor that constantly increases within a short amount of time. Additionally, they can cause flooding, disrupt transportation, gas, power and communications.
  • Hurricanes: a massive storm that forms over warm ocean waters and moves towards land with potential threats of powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, flooding, tornadoes and landslides. They can occur along each United States’ coast line, whether that be the east coast (Atlantic Ocean), the west coast (Pacific Ocean) or the gulf coast (Gulf of Mexico).
  • Floods: a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. They come with little to no warning, can cause power outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides. Floods are caused by rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, overflows of dams and/or other water systems.
  • Winter Storms: range from freezing rain, ice and moderate snowfall over a few hours to a blizzard that lasts several days, or a combination of the two. Normally they come with dangerously low temperatures. Winter storms can immobilize a whole region and can shut down heat, power and communications services, and can last for several days. Roadways and walkways become very dangerous due to icy conditions, thus leading to residents needing to stay home or at work without utilities until it is safe to drive, ride and/or walk outside.
  • Tornado: a rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and, though not always, is visible as a funnel cloud. Lighting and hail commonly occur in storms that produce tornadoes. Damages caused by tornadoes range from unsubstantial to catastrophic; and injuries ranging from minor to serious and even life threatening. It can disrupt transportation, power, gas, communications and other services both in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Tornadoes, and the storms they accompany, can produce heavy rain, flash flooding and hail.
  • Earthquake: a sudden shaking of the Earth caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock from either volcanic or tectonic origins. They can cause structures and roads to collapse and heavy items to fall, leading to property damage and serious injuries. Earthquakes can also cause fires, tsunamis, landslides and avalanches.
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  1. How will I/we receive emergency alerts and warnings? Text, phone call, radio, etc.
  2. What is my/our shelter plan? Stay in place, public shelter, underground, basement, etc.
  3. What is my/our evacuation route? Make sure to laminate a map with a highlighted route – or try invisible ink.
  4. What is my family/household’s communication plan? Walkie talkies, glow sticks/flashlights, morse code, etc.

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