Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms and are capable of causing an immense destruction of property, death or injuries within a short period (Croy, Smail, & Horsley, 2012). Because I understand this fact, if I were to receive a warning of an imminent tornado, I would first seek to secure myself and other people in the house. In this case, I would first identify the most secure room in the house in the basement where there are no windows, this being where minimal injuries would likely be picked in the course of the tornado. I would then set to turning off water, gas, and electricity in the house while at the same time instructing the family members to assist me in the task and ensure this is completed as quickly as possible and that no supply is turned on when the tornado begins (Croy, Smail, & Horsley, 2012).
15 minutes before touchdown is arguably a very short time to adequately prepare for the tornado, this being the main reason why I would seek the assistance of the family members to ensure that the appropriate response is delivered. Here, I would seek them to close all blinds and curtains in the house to avoid flying of shattered glass and to restrain all large objects in the rooms. Together with the family members, I would start stocking nonperishable foods in the basement room where we would converge, this also including bottled water, supplements that would sustain us for at least 72 hours (Lentini, 2014). I would also stock a safety kit with essential first aid resources in the room, this together with a flashlight, and battery radio to follow the progress of the tornado on the news, which would consequently assist me to ascertain when it would be safe for the family and myself to move back to the house.
How prepared I am
I am more prepared for a fire-related disaster than a water-related disaster, even though I live in Florida, an area with a history of hurricane-related disasters. For example, our house is fitted with smoke detectors, which are constantly checked every month to ensure they are functional and otherwise repaired or changed. Two fire escape routes are marked in every room of the house and each member of the family expected to understand the floor plan of the home, this including the two exits to facilitate easy escape in case of a fire tragedy. Moreover, there are functional fire extinguishers in my home, these placed strategically within the reach of every family member, upon which I have taken the initiative by placing one in my room for emergencies. I regularly check these extinguishers to ensure they are properly charged and the pressure is right (Waugh, 2015). With the assistance of my family members, I have also set a place outside the house where we can converge if such a fire incident would take place and decide the way forward. In addition, I have received basic training on how to use a fire extinguisher, smoke and fire drills. This knowledge and equipment help me always be prepared in case there is a fire emergency at my home.
Before undertaking the disaster management class, I was not adequately prepared for frequent disasters. At this period, I was only concerned about having a fire extinguisher in the house, as I believed this would be sufficient to mitigate the destruction of the common house fires. As per my knowledge, I believed that the meteorological department would forewarn the people in case of a looming natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado, a time at which I would then start preparing. However, this has significantly changed as I now insist on always being prepared, not only for hurricanes, which are prevalent in my home state but also other forms of disaster such as fire disasters.
- Croy, C. D., Smail, C., & Horsley, E. (2012). Preparing for and recovering from a natural disaster. Family Practice Management, 19(3), 15-18.
- Lentini, R. (2014). Bracing for the’new normal’: How communities are preparing for disasters. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The, 29(4), 52.
- Waugh, W. L. (2015). Living with hazards, dealing with disasters: An introduction to emergency management: An introduction to emergency management. Routledge.