The southwestern region of the United States can be a breathtaking place to live in and explore. But that doesn't mean that natural disasters cannot strike. If you're here, you already know that preparing for natural disasters is not optional.
Too many families are affected every year by harsh weather. Assembling an emergency kit can help make things easier.
Drought is a very prominent disaster in the southwest. The drought that had been over Arizona since the year 2000 had been declared the worst drought in that area in the last 1,200 years. And climate change is to blame for even more natural disasters.
There are surprisingly many threats in the Southwest. There are wildfires, flash floods, droughts, and severe storms. Some disasters can even overlap, which can make for some frightening events.
While it can seem intimidating, it is possible to prepare for multiple emergencies at a time. Whether that is preparing your home or assembling emergency kits, know that it is possible to truly be ready for anything.
Living in the southwest can mean many sunny days -- sometimes too many. Droughts, if you're living in a hot, dry climate, can be especially worrisome. Droughts happen when there isn't any rain for long periods of time.
It's best to prepare for droughts before the hotter, dryer months roll around. To prepare for extreme heat and drought, conserve water as much as you can. Be sure to keep emergency drinking water in your home, and even in your emergency kit.
Having a kit full of supplies to get you through a drought is crucial. Try to pack your kit full of the following items.
Flooding is a serious threat, and is far more common than you'd think. Flooding is when water gathers in places it wouldn't normally. Flooding can happen in roads, neighborhoods, and even in homes.
Preparing for a flood is actually easier than you may think. The first thing you should do is figure out where to find high ground. It's also important to know how to perform CPR and know how to swim. You should also keep an emergency kit full of supplies.
Make sure your emergency kit is easy to carry, and won't weigh you down. Keep your kit somewhere accessible, and keep it full of the following supplies.
Anyone living in the southwest knows how serious wildfires can be. A wildfire can occur when a man-made fire burns out of control. An unextinguished cigarette flicked into tall, dry grass, or a campfire left unattended can spark a wildfire that can burn through miles of forest -- and hundreds of homes.
Preparing for a wildfire includes quite a few steps. The first is to get the proper insurance on your home and belongings. It's also important to know how to get out of your home and out of the area fast. Because fire can spread so quickly, you won't have a lot of time to gather supplies.
Keep an emergency kit inside of your vehicle to save you time when evacuating. Keep your kit stocked up with the following supplies, and tailor it to fit you.
Tornadoes may be slightly less common in the Southwest, but that doesn't mean that they don't happen. Tornadoes form when warm, humid air meets cold, dry air. The two don't mix -- they instead move around each other and create the swirling vortex known as a tornado.
It's crucial to be prepared before a tornado touches down in your area. To prepare for tornadoes, identify a safe place to take shelter. Your shelter should be underground, in a windowless room.
Keep supplies in your tornado shelter so you don't have to waste time grabbing items. Prepare an emergency kit or two ahead of time so all you have to worry about is getting your family to safety. Fill your kit with the following items.
Thunder and lightning storms affect the entirety of the United States. Storms can range in severity, and at their worst, they can tear up trees, knock out power, and wreak all sorts of havoc.
Since they're such common occurrences, preparing for them is actually very easy. To prepare for thunder and lightning storms, start by either tying down or bringing in any outdoor furniture. Then you should make sure you're ready to potentially shelter in place, or even evacuate.
Keeping an emergency kit in a windowless room can come in handy, and should be filled with the following items.
Now that you know all about the threats that may come your way in the southwest, the only question left to answer is which you will prepare for first.
While that can depend on the time of year, we sincerely hope that whatever you prepare for first doesn't hit your family hard. Remember to keep your kit somewhere accessible after you fill it up with whatever you may need.
And remember that it's never too late to get started, and you can assemble your own emergency kit today. Don't forget to refresh your kits every year and keep any emergency kits you may already have up to date, too!
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
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