When people and their families move to the south, they're expecting heat, great food, and a warm welcome to the area they're bound to spend countless warm summer evenings in. They're not always expecting natural disasters to rock their quiet southern existence.
And natural disasters are not a new phenomena. There is a long history of incidents throughout the southern United States. No matter where you go, natural disasters will follow.
One emergency that every American has heard of is the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. This hurricane hit Texas and destroyed over 3,600 buildings and killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people. This category 4 hurricane had winds that reached more than 135 MPH, and isn't the only hurricane to rock Galveston.
But threats in the South aren't limited to hurricanes. Life in the south can be far more dangerous than one might think, with the looming threat of alligators and flooding hanging over your head. You never know just how dangerous the water might be -- especially when it comes up to your front door.
Natural disasters in the south include hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, and earthquakes. But with climate change being a bigger problem than ever, you may even be at risk for a severe snowstorm.
But that doesn't mean that threats in the south are impossible to prepare for. If you take your preparation one step at a time, you too can have an emergency kit at the ready for whatever nature has to throw your way.
Hurricanes are one of the most prominent disasters that will roll over your home. Hurricanes are storms that grow in both size and power as they move over the ocean. When they hit land, they can destroy homes, properties, and forests in their wake.
Since there will typically be a warning before a hurricane arrives, you should have plenty of time to prepare yourself and get all of your emergency kits in one easy to access area. Protect your windows with wood, exterior doors with sandbags, and family with emergency kits.
Tornadoes are extremely frightening occurrences. When warm, humid air moves and comes into contact with cold, dry air, the two move and swirl around each other, creating a tornado. When a tornado touches down, it can tear up homes and communities.
There will be a warning before a tornado puts you and your family in immediate danger. Put your emergency kit together and keep it inside of an emergency shelter. Have an underground shelter ready for you, your family, and your pets.
Landslides come hand in hand with other natural disasters. They can happen after storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes. A landslide is when large amounts of dirt, rocks, and debris more quickly, often covering roads, campsites, and homes.
It's important to prepare for a landslide before you are put at risk. Landslides move quickly, meaning that you may need to evacuate your home in minutes. Having an emergency kit and keeping it in a vehicle can save you precious time.
With heat will often come a drought. A drought is when it doesn't rain for a very long stretch of time - this can be very dangerous, making it crucial to save all the water you can, even before a drought hits.
It's best to start preparing for a drought today. Be mindful of the water you use up - try to shorten your showers and avoid leaving the water running while you brush your teeth. Make sure to keep enough drinking water for your family to last you at least a week.
Be sure to never leave animals or children out in the heat during a drought - make sure to take their needs into account when assembling emergency kits to get you through the next drought.
Earthquakes can happen at any time. Day or night, rain or shine, plates can shift deep within the earth and cause shaking on the surface. This shaking can level buildings and put lives at risk.
Since earthquakes don't come with a warning, it's important to be ready for anything. Know the fastest way out of your home, and carry a whistle on you. If you are trapped under rubble, carrying a whistle will allow you to blow it for help instead of shouting. Shouting will only bring debris into your lungs.
Fill up an emergency kit and keep it somewhere accessible. Consider keeping some supplies in something you carry every day, like a purse, or in your car.
Those who live in the south would not typically expect to have to deal with snow. But after the crisis of 2021 in Texas, it's best to prepare for everything. Snowstorms can knock out power, snow people in and trap them in their homes, and potentially freeze people to death.
Prepare for snowstorms today by knowing how to stay warm and combat frostbite, and keep an emergency kit. Keep enough supplies for at least a week, and don't forget about the needs of your pets.
The south can be a peaceful place full of ghost stories and warm evenings spent swimming. Living in the south should mean making memories, and the best way to ensure you will continue to make memories is by keeping your family safe.
Emergency kits are the best way to help ensure your family's safety.
Make sure your kit is kept up to date, and is in a place that is easily accessible. Fill your kit with items you know you and your family will need. Remember that it's never too late to get started on building your kit. Begin assembling an emergency kit for everyone in your family today!
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
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