Over Half Of The US Is Unprepared For Natural Disasters
Emergency planning is key to reducing loss and maximizing safety
Sixty percent of Americans are not properly prepared to cope with the aftermath of natural disasters. That means about 188 million are vulnerable to the harsh impact on health, finances, resources, survival, and recovery following loss of power from these events. With the harsh reality of Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Andrew and others forever etched in our memories, how can we truly prepare for these occurrences?
Severe Weather by the Numbers
In 2013, US hurricanes alone caused over $10 million in damage. Natural disasters over the past five years, from 2009 to 2013, were to blame for over $92.4 billion in damage and 2,887 casualties. With hurricane season here, it’s important for those living in storm zones to prepare.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts there will be eight to 13 named storms, three to six hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes this year between May and November. Natural disasters can leave people without power, shelter, communications and supplies. Proper emergency planning can alleviate stress and panic when catastrophes strike.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Are you prepared to keep your family safe in the wake of natural disasters? Do you have the proper supplies and tools? Can you keep the lights and TV on, the sump pump working and the refrigerator cold?
Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage not only to coastlines but several hundred miles inland through heavy winds, rainfall, and storm surges. These areas often experience extended periods without electricity and other vital services.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), about two out of five Americans have an emergency plan. While preparation cannot solve all the problems associated with severe weather, it can alleviate some of the stress and complications when storms strike.
Food, water, flashlights, batteries and first aid top the Center for Disease Control’s emergency supply list. Even though these are clear essentials for survival 101, an often overlooked component of preparation is equally important—power. Generating power at home is a lot easier these days than many realize. Portable household generators keep you connected to the world when utility companies cannot. And in the days following severe weather when every second without power and supplies counts, generators can sustain your survival until aid arrives.
Thanks to new technology and widespread availability, the cost of portable generators has decreased while their ease-of-use has increased. Backup generators power items we can’t live without, like portable stoves, lighting, sump pumps, space heaters, tools and more. By supporting various appliances, generators help preserve perishable food, ensure you can see in the black of night, and keep your basement from flooding. When it comes to creating a complete home-emergency kit and plan, generators are a small investment with an invaluable return if it means keeping your family safe and protecting your property.
Hopefully, you will never need to use your generator in an emergency, but it doesn’t need to collect dust waiting for a storm to hit. It’s also great for fun activities like camping, RV vacationing, boating, and tailgating. Just make sure you always have fuel set aside with your emergency kit to operate your generator, if needed.
Three-Step Game Plan
- Be Informed – Learn what measures need to be taken before, during and after a storm. Find out where your nearest shelter is located.
- Make a Plan – Protect your family and property. Set up a communication chain to stay in touch with family and friends. Determine what equipment and supplies you need such as a first aid kit, generator, radio, batteries, important documents, maps and more.
- Build an Emergency Kit – Collect and store your supplies in a safe and easy-to-access location. By knowing where your food, fuel, flashlights, first aid, extension cords and other important items are stored, you will be able to respond quickly.
When nature strikes, will you be ready?
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Westinghouse compact and lightweight generators, brought to you by Westpro Power Systems, a Westinghouse Electric licensee, are available now at major retailers. For more information and where to buy, visit www.westpropower.com.
About Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Founded more than 125 years ago, Westinghouse Electric Corporation is a global leader in consumer, commercial and industrial products. Built on a trusted heritage of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, Westinghouse’s state-of-the-art products first supplied the United States with electricity, transmitted the first commercial radio broadcast, and captured man’s first step on the moon. Today, Westinghouse’s growing and diverse portfolio includes home appliances, electronics, heating and air conditioning, lighting, power generation, green energy technology, and more. WESTINGHOUSE and INNOVATION YOU CAN BE SURE OF are trademarks of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. For more information, visit www.westinghouse.com.
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