Five Preparedness Lessons Learned from Recent Natural Disasters

Nature is the source of all life, but it can also be a force to be reckoned with. There have been many natural disasters since the dawn of mankind – tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and even ice ages, and the scariest thing is that these can pretty much strike at any moment. We’ve seen quite a number of natural disasters lately – most notably the notorious Hurricane Katrina responsible for wiping out nearly all of New Orleans, but there’s also hurricane Sandy of 2012 that most of us remember with horror today.

Being prepared for a natural disaster is no easy feat, but it can be done, and the level of danger that you could find yourself is directly proportional to how knowledgeable you are about natural disasters – and how to behave in one properly. Today, I want to talk about a few essential points about being prepared that previous natural disasters have taught us, so that you’ll be able to be as ready as possible in case a new disaster decides to happen.

1. Never Underestimate Nature

Like I said, nature is a force to be reckoned with, and you should never overestimate your abilities against it or underestimate how dangerous and destructive it can be. Even if you manage to escape a flood by going to high ground, for example, you’ll still be stuck there, possibly without any food and basically have to wait for rescue. Trying to swim it out is a big mistake, a mistake that ends up taking multiple lives every time. Knowing what you’re up against is the first step in surviving a natural disaster, so make sure that you’re on top of your game with this one.

2. Stick Together

There’s strength in numbers, and the more of you there are to help each other out, the higher the chances are that you will all survive. The first thing you want to do is concentrate your efforts on those who need your help the most – the children, the elderly and those with special needs. No one gets left behind, and by no means should you split up, because you never know if you’ll be able to group up again. Sticking together is absolutely essential in a dangerous situation such as a natural disaster, so keep that in mind at all times.

3. Priorities

The first thing that many people go for when there’s a natural disaster coming is their personal belongings. This is also a very crucial mistake that can end up taking your life if you aren’t careful. Only take what you absolutely need, because if you try to bring your entire living room, you aren’t going to get very far. Make sure you have enough food, water, first aid supplies and some means of communication (the GPS unit in your phone will come in handy as well), and get out of there as soon as you can. We know that those family photos of yours and your kids’ stuffed animals aren’t really something that you want to leave behind, but get used to the fact that you might have to.

natural disasters

4. Don’t Panic

Fear is the bane of capability and resourcefulness. The moment you freeze up in a panic, you aren’t going to be of much use to anyone – on the contrary, you’re going to slow them down. If you tend to get panic and anxiety attacks, teach yourself how to control them – don’t think about what might happen, just think about what you have to do, and then do it. Don’t allow any other thought to enter your mind, and you’ll be fine. Rely on your instincts and your intuition, but don’t let them control you completely.

5. Educate Your Peers

Finally, it’s important to realize that natural disasters are something that does happen from time to time, but they aren’t unbeatable – and the best way to combat them is to be as informed as possible about what to do in the event of one. And the more people know, the better. Share this article with your friends, your family, your neighbors, and just talk to people about it. If a lot of people are prepared for a crisis situation individually, then when they work together it’ll be even easier to overcome disaster (via

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I sincerely hope that these few tips will come in handy if you ever find yourself in a natural disaster situation, and that they’ll help you get both you and your loved ones to safety as soon as possible. Good logistics and preparation really make a great amount of difference, and although the government is always prepared for natural calamities, it’s always good to be able to rely on your own mettle as well.

Robert Foster is a Santa Barbara native, who’s spent more than 5 years trying to help people understand the importance of fitness. He’s also an experienced survivalist who spends more than 200 hours every year mountain biking, hiking and climbing. If you want to have a better insight into his unique knowledge, head over to and read some of his interesting articles.


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