Christian Vinson


Is your area safe from natural disasters? How many natural disasters have you experienced in your lifetime?

Sometimes, your location could mean everything when avoiding natural disasters. There are places in the U.S. that are most prone to calamities, so if you’re thinking of changing residence, read the list below first before deciding to move to another state.

#1: Texas

The National Centers for Environmental Information and the World Atlas have recorded this state to have had the worst and most expensive natural disasters in the history of the United States.

Records dating back to 1953 up to the present indicate that Texas has had 254 natural disasters – hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, etc. Damages were estimated in billions of dollars. The most expensive of which is Hurricane Harvey that occurred in 2017. Estimated damages from it were pegged at $108 billion.

#2: California

California comes in second with 250 natural disasters. California is very much well-known as an earthquake prone area because it sits on the San Andreas Faultline.

The most recent and costly natural disaster was in 2017 when a wildfire broke out and claimed 46 lives.

#3: Oklahoma

Oklahoma is at number three with a total of 167 natural disasters. It has experienced catastrophic hail storms, as well as heat waves. The most devastating and costly natural disaster was a heat wave that struck in 1988. And cost damages amounting to $42.4 billion.

#4: Washington

There have been 132 natural disasters in this state. Known for its greenery, Washington is still prone to wildfires that have been occurring annually since the year 2000. The most devastating wildfire happened in 2017 which ravaged thousands of acres.

#5: Florida

Wildfires and hurricanes often engulf this coastal town. Natural disasters that have happened here now totaled to 122.

The most recent devastation was in 2018 courtesy of Hurricane Michael which required $1.2 billion in disaster relief efforts.

#6: New York

New York’s varied terrain has given rise to various climate issues – floods, hurricanes, earthquakes – you name it. It has had 93 natural disasters.

The worst by far is Hurricane Sandy that ravaged the state in 2012. Damages were estimated at $50 billion.

#7: Colorado

Colorado has had 83 natural disasters to its name. It is regularly threatened by wildfires and drought because of its dry season. It also suffers from flooding and blizzards.

The biggest natural disaster to hit Colorado was a forest fire in 2002 that razed 137,000 acres.

#8: Alabama

Hurricanes are the deadliest natural disasters to ever hit the U.S. The state of Alabama is not immune from them. It has been a witness to this deadly natural disasters multiple times, including 62 tornadoes.

It’s at number seven with 79 natural disasters.

#9: New Mexico

New Mexico is prone to forest fires and bushfires due to its dry season. It has been ravaged by 79 natural disasters.

The biggest fire was the Whitewater-Baldy incident that happened in 2012. Around 465 square miles of forest was ravaged by fire.

#10: Oregon

Oregon has suffered from mudslides and floods, as well as snowstorms. It is also prone to earthquakes, and was once devastated by a tsunami. It has had 73 natural disasters.

Are you aware of the natural disasters that happen in your area?

The Asia-Pacific rim would most often have volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and tropical storms coupled with landslides and flooding.

In the U.S., of the top ten deadliest natural disasters that ever occurred, hurricane is listed seven times. The list also included a tornado, flooding, and an earthquake. Add wildfires, blizzards, cold wave and snow storms, mudflows, heat wave and drought, and tsunamis to the list.

All of these natural disasters put people at risk, disrupt their lives, even displace them at times.

Preparing for any of these eventualities could hugely dictate your survival rate. A good preparation can help you cope with the disaster, keep you safe while the disaster rages on, and come out of it alive.

Have a Plan

If disaster strikes during work or school hours, which means most, if not everyone would be somewhere outside the home, be sure to let family members know of the specific place where you need to meet. Estimate the time for each one to arrive before you start searching for any unaccounted family members.

Also map your relatives’ locations to know the best place to go to in case your area is badly devastated.

Store Food and Water

Safe drinking water is a must! You can live without food, but not without water. Bottled drinking water should be good for at least three days. Having a water filter or chemical treatment for water can hugely help your drinking water supply so keep those handy.

Also fill tubs or tanks in case water supply is cut. You need water for the toilet.

Pack foods that do not easily spoil, like canned goods or powdered foods that could be prepared in minutes.

Have a ‘Grab and Go’ Disaster Kit Ready

There are life-threatening disasters that would require you to immediately leave the place as fast as you can – like in cases of wildfires or forest fires.

In cases like this, you would have no time to pack. Every minute counts. A ‘grab and go’ emergency pack would be your lifesaver. Store it in an accessible place, like in a covered front porch, or in a garage shelf near your vehicle.

Your bag should contain the following:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Lighting
  • Whistle
  • Masks
  • Chargers
  • Medications
  • Multi-Tool Kit
  • Extra clothing
  • Radio

Keep an Axe and Life Vests

If your area is prone to flooding, an axe and life vests would come in handy. Place them in your attic or at the top most part of the house where you can grab it.

Horror stories during Hurricane Katrina told of people who drowned in their attics because they do not have a tool to break through their roofs and get on top of their houses.

Turn Off All Electrical Appliances and Gas Supplies

Unplug all your appliances from their sockets. If you have the time to turn off the main electrical switch in your home, that is much better. Also turn off gas supplies to prevent explosions and fires.

There are a lot of disasters and emergencies that could happen in our lifetime – it could be natural or manmade. Are you and your family prepared for any of these?

Planning for any disaster is very important. You would not want to be caught up in a situation where you will be helpless, with no resources to depend on, no Plan A or B.

Resilience is a very helpful trait, but it is not enough. Preparation is still the key to survival. If you are prepared, you become one less victim that the government or responding teams need to help. You make their lives easier, and help them attend to those who really need it.

If you’re not sure what to prepare, here are tips to having an emergency kit that fits all kinds of emergency situations.

Before going out to buy what you need to prepare, the initial information you need to know is the number of people (and pets if you have any) you will be preparing for – consider their age and requirements. You may also check out for a more detailed emergency kit preparation.

If you have these sorted out, you can go ahead and start buying supplies.

Water: All disaster kits list water as a necessity. This is a must because humans can survive for days without food, but never without water.

Store water for a minimum of three days. If you can afford a portable water filter, it would be much better than carrying water. As long as there is running water available, you will have water to drink.

Food: Buy and store canned goods or ready to cook foods with long expiration dates because you will never know when disaster will strike. Be sure to check them regularly as well in case they need to be replaced with newer ones.

Lighting: Flashlights are a must, as well as candles. Better yet, buy headlamps so your hands are free to do other tasks. Look for headlamps whose batteries could last for days.

Whistle: Remember that scene in the movie ‘Titanic’ when rescuers were looking for survivors? Rose survived because she was able to grab a whistle and blew it with all her might. Otherwise, she might have died, too.

Masks: Fumes, gas or smoke can fill up the air during a disaster. You can die from suffocation or inhalation. Find a mask that can filter more kinds of substances than a simple surgical mask. It can save you, and it lasts longer.

Chargers: Power would most likely be out during emergencies so solar powered chargers would come in handy. Also add rechargeable batteries to your pack. Check for ones that could be used for days. And like food, be sure to check them from time to time to prevent batteries from leaking, or avoid devices that do not work.

Medications: If you or any of your family members have special conditions, pack the medications they need. Check for product expiry before stashing them in your emergency bag. It is also good to pack paracetamols or pain relievers, alcohol, and other items for treating injuries.

Multi-Purpose Tool Kit: Include a tool that has a knife, can openers, screw drivers, pliers, etc. If you often go outdoors for camping, I’m sure you would have something like it.

Extra Clothing: Pack a shirt, a sweatshirt or jacket with a hood, and a windbreaker or raincoat.

Radio: A radio is the most portable communication you have with the outside world to keep yourself informed. A handy radio that could pick up AM or FM signals would be great.

Staying alert and being knowledgeable about emergencies is very important these days with the onslaught of fierce weather disturbances as well as fierce people.

Gone are the days when we shrug off an incoming storm, or a community disturbance. Those are all in the past now. Today, these incidents can no longer be disregarded because they cost human lives.

Take campus terrorism for example. Statistics from January to July 2019 counts the number of reported shootings to 22 all over the US. That is a staggering and an alarming number. And is a real cause for concern. We can no longer afford to be careless, and getting ready is imperative.

Here’s background information on all possible disasters or emergencies that could happen, and what you can do.

Natural Disasters

Storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, heatwave,  wildfires, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and mudslides are natural disasters that cost lives when they happen. The global warming affecting earth has also intensified storms, hurricanes, and heatwaves.

If you frequently face natural disasters, you need to know basic preparations like unplugging all your appliances, storing food and water, having handy charging devices for phones, flashlights, safely storing important documents, filling your gas tank, and more.

You also need to store baby needs, old people’s needs, and your pet’s needs.

Bioterrorism and Chemical Exposure

People are vulnerable to any and all forms of chemicals brought about by bioterrorism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has enumerated about 50 bioterrorism weapons, the most popular of which are anthrax and ebola virus.

The government has teams in place to readily respond to cases of chemical attacks. There are active monitoring of activities that may cause such attacks, and residents are often warned of impending or possible attacks. In such cases, be sure to follow instructions very well.

Radiation Exposure

If there is a threat of radiation, the affected population are advised to hide and seek shelter, stay inside, and stay tuned for updates.

If you have basements, stay there. Keep away from doors and windows. If you think you’ve been exposed, take a shower right away, or wipe the exposed body part with damp clothing.

Keep track of the news with your radios, TVs, or mobile devices, and only come out when the government says it’s already safe to go out.

Disease Outbreaks

If there is an outbreak, you have to find out what the disease is so you’ll know what to do. Some may require getting booster shots so you don’t get infected. And never ever forget alcohol or hand sanitizers with more than 50% alcohol content, as well as soaps, face masks, gloves, etc.

If you have children or infants, or seniors at home, keep them indoors to avoid exposure as some diseases are airborne. Avoid holding them or having hand contact without first washing your hands and changing your clothing if you’re coming from the office or grocery.

Watch the news to monitor what is happening, what safety measures to take, and when it is safe to go out.

Winter Wonderland is a classic song. You can almost feel the warm glow inside you when you hear the song during the holidays.

But winter wonderland is not always a happy place because it can pose a danger to the community and its people.

A blizzard is the last thing everyone wants during the winter. A ton of snow can mean slippery roads, road accidents, etc.

When a winter storm happens, would you know what to do? Are you prepared? If you’re not, read on to know how to keep yourself and your family safe during an extreme weather disturbance during winter.

  • Stock up on basic necessities.

Do not buy what you need before an actual winter storm. Do it before the winter season so you would be able to buy everything you need. Plan ahead because you are able to think clearly when you’re not into panic buying.

Experts recommend buying food and water for at least three days. Include flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, phone chargers like power banks, etc.

  • Keep important documents in a safe container.

Prepare for the worst-case scenario like damages that could happen to your house. Gather all your important documents (insurance papers, mortgage papers, passports, etc.) and place them in water proof containers. Also keep them within reach.

  • Be careful of frostbite and hypothermia.

Gain knowledge about frostbite and hypothermia so you will know if you or a family member is already at risk. People are at a high risk from these medical conditions during the winter season.

  • Have an alternative source of heat.

Electricity might be out during the height of the storm. Therefore, it is important to have an alternative heat source to avoid hypothermia, like a wood fireplace. If you have other heating source that requires fuel, be sure to follow instructions to avoid suffocation or poisoning.

If you’re using it for the first time, it is best to test it before its actual use. Also check smoke detectors if they’re working properly.

  • Prepare your car.

It is not advisable to be out during a winter storm, but in case you really need to go, it is better to prep your car for the hazards waiting outside.

Check its antifreeze solutions and oil, brakes, headlights, heater, batteries, etc. Also stock your car with extra clothing, boots, ice scraper, and phone charging devices. Experts also recommend keeping a flare handy just in case you lose your way you need to be rescued.

  • Keep snow shovels in the house.

Yes, you definitely need them after a heavy snow storm or snow fall. Put them in easily accessible areas of the house like a covered porch. You would them to clear your driveway and lawn.

Be sure to wear thick clothing, and cover your peripherals well to avoid blisters. And don’t forget to be careful when shoveling snow because it could lead to an accident due to the slippery surface.

  • Secure yourself.

Getting caught in a winter storm while you’re at home is a different story from getting caught outside the house.

If this happens, be sure to park your car away from falling trees or power lines, even flying furniture. Try to seek a cover from the strong winds.

Many of us had been born without understanding what lies ahead. It’s sure that not all people possess the present in order to foresee the future and also to stay away from a crisis. This is a great thing since it teaches us to make choices while using our brains to back up our choices. In turn, our abilities and capabilities are enhanced and we create this special ability rather than adding it to waste.

Nevertheless, regardless of the way we use our brains, some folks continue to get caught in the center of unavoidable circumstances as disasters and accidents. We’re not the only people living in no matter and this world what we are going to do there will be uncontrollable elements that may result in unfortunate events.

The one thing we are able to do would be to be prepared regardless of what the conditions will occur. Because we’re not certain what might happen next, you are able to attempt to think of potential ways for you to react right away in times of fire or accidents. Below are several of them:

  1. List all emergency contact numbers in a newspaper. Have it laminated and paste in difficult cardboard and publish it near your phone. At least when you’re rattled you are able to simply impact the amount without going through the pages on the directory.
  2. Buy inexpensive fire extinguishers for use at home. This way in situations of small scale fire, you are able to quickly put them out. With such fellas around, you don’t need to worry about burning the entire house. At the very least having them all around would imply you manage the fire before it becomes even worse.
  3. Buy a very first aid kit. In case you don’t want to purchase, make one. Almost all you have to accomplish is finding a clear plastic box wherein you are able to put all the products required for first aid. You have to to buy the following items: Cotton-tip applicator, cotton, antiseptic solutions, plasters, and Gauze, at least one sterile gloves, tape measure, bandages, scissors, penlight & ice bags.
  4. Ensure you have extra blankets which are able to be utilized when someone feels wet or cold blanket that you can utilize if in case a person gets accidentally burned. In situations of hypothermia, rewarming is needed. Additionally, when an individual catches fire on him, in case pounding and also beating the crap from the grill doesn’t do the job, a wet blanket is usually invaluable.
  5. Buy over-the-counter medications you are able to provide as an easy treatment for pain, fever, coughs, and colds. Make yummy medicine box so you can quickly identify medications needed for basic complains. Put an expiry day on the medication package to determine in case it’s necessary to be exchanged already.

Cheap fire extinguishers, medication boxes, initially aid kits and items are just an easy way to be ready in the hardest situations. You are able to keep them with your homes and make sure they’re immediately accessible when you want it the best. Make use of styles and symbols so that they are able to be readily identified. Remember, you can’t stay away from sad events as accidents but once the crisis develops, you are able to certainly come ready for it.