This past month we were reminded of the devastation a natural disaster can cause. Once the disaster starts, there is often little anyone can do but wait until it ends.
The flooding caused over $100 million of damage to the beautiful and historic West Point.
US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand joined Congressman Pat Ryan, a West Point graduate, and Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus on a helicopter tour of the storm damage at West Point and the surrounding area Monday, including Highland Falls.
No one can prevent natural disasters. But you can prepare for them. Preparing for a catastrophe before it may help you protect yourself, your family, and your home.
Below are some of the steps you can take to be better prepared:
Pack an emergency preparedness kit
- Drinking water (at least one gallon per person per day)
- Nonperishable food, such as canned veggies and protein bars
- Manual can opener
- Flashlights or portable lanterns and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- A crank- or battery-powered radio
- Sanitation supplies: toilet paper, moist towelettes, soap, trash bags, and disinfectants
- Local maps
Depending on your situation, your kit might also include:
Create and practice a disaster plan.
Your family needs a clearly outlined plan to follow that helps keep everyone safe during a natural disaster or an evacuation. According to Ready.gov, the four primary factors that your goal should account for include:
- Where to shelter
- A route for evacuation
- Getting emergency alerts and warnings
- Family communication
As you're creating your disaster plan, keep the following preparation elements in mind:
Listen to local officials
Local governments have systems to help area residents learn about impending or occurring disasters. The timely information these entities provide can help you understand what threats are present and know when to evacuate.
Sign up for alerts from local and national organizations to get the necessary information. These may include text messages about urgent situations. You'll also see and hear written and spoken messages via cable TV and phone. In addition, you can tune into NOAA Weather Radio, which broadcasts weather-hazard information and safety alerts 24/7.
Remember that the groups that provide these messages are experts. Respect their warnings, and follow their guidance as closely as possible for your safety.