Five Steps to Take to Survive the Next Natural Disaster

"It only takes one storm to damage your home, neighborhood, and community. Preparedness is key... Now is the time to get ready for the upcoming hurricane season."

That's the warning from the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA"), Dr. Rick Spinrad.

During a press conference on Tuesday, NOAA officials said we're in for another rough hurricane season, with around 20 tropical storm systems, up to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes expected.

If you live on the East Coast here in the U.S., you're no stranger to storms...

Consider what happened to my franchise manager Laura... When Hurricane Isabel struck in 2003, Laura lived in a town that lost electricity and water for a week. It was on a peninsula with only one main road in and out, so it took ages to restore these basic necessities before folks could cook and shower again.

Laura learned to keep jugs of water and a gas stove ready. And when an unexpected "derecho" storm cut across the country in 2012 and knocked out her power for almost a week, she wasn't left helpless again.

I've known lots of people who have similar stories, whether they're from hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, or snowstorms.

In this day and age, no one expects to go a week without power and water. But past history shows it's possible. Just look at Hurricane Katrina or 2010's "Snowmageddon." These storms were devastating and took thousands of lives, combined.

So with hurricane season officially starting on June 1, and a grim outlook for it, I want to cover a few steps you can take to be ready for the next natural disaster...

1. Have an evacuation plan. If evacuation is possible, create a checklist so you'll know what to do before a disaster strikes. Keep a list of essential items to take with you, emergency numbers (in case your phone dies), a meeting place for your family, and different evacuation routes you can use. (And don't forget to plan for your pets.)

States in hurricane regions usually have evacuation routes already mapped out for you. For example, if you live in North Carolina, the state has them outlined here.

If you're unable to evacuate, close and brace all exterior doors and windows. Then, lie on the floor in an interior room or a closet on the lowest floor in the house (ground floor or basement). Brace yourself under a heavy object. The toilet fixture is helpful for this purpose. It is heavy and bolted to the floor.

2. Never drive over flooded roads. More deaths occur due to flooding each year than any other thunderstorm- or hurricane-related hazard... According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into floodwater.

It's even more dangerous when you're driving a rental and aren't familiar with the road. Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult... while 12 inches of water can carry away a car or small SUV.

3. Keep a week's worth of provisions on hand. If you live in an area that often experiences severe weather events, make sure you have enough clean water and food to last you and your family one week.

You should keep at least one gallon of water per person per day in reserve for drinking purposes. If you live in an arid climate, you may want to store up to three gallons of water per person per day.

The best foods to buy for storage purposes are staples in your regular diet. Then, you can rotate them into your regular consumption patterns before their expiration dates approach. Canned vegetables, beans, and soup work best for this. You can also store canned meats and fish, like chicken, tuna, and salmon. If you find cans in your stockpile bulging at the ends, the food inside has spoiled. Throw them out. Never eat a can that looks like it's about to burst, no matter how hungry you are.

4. Have some form of backup power. This may range from heavy AC generators to small DC batteries. It all depends on the amount of power you would use during an extended outage. If you use a generator, remember... Never run a generator inside the house or garage. Run them outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid the lethal fumes.

5. Get trained for disaster preparedness. In my book, The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual, I highlighted the Community Emergency Response Team ("CERT"). It's funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But it's administered by local emergency responders, like your neighborhood fire department. CERT members receive training on how to handle a wide range of crises. This includes everything from natural disasters to biological attacks to basic medical emergencies.

And remember, older folks are at greater risk during natural disasters. About 70% of the deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina were folks older than age 60. And close to half of the deaths from Hurricane Sandy were folks aged 65 or older.

In The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual, I detail even more essentials for preparing for a natural disaster.

I also cover everything you need to survive any crisis, from what to do on a crashing jetliner to how to ship your assets offshore. Use it as your go-to guide in almost any type of crucial situation.

For current Retirement Millionaire subscribers, you can read an electronic PDF of the book here for free.

If you're not a Retirement Millionaire subscriber, you can get a copy of The Doctor's Protocol Field Manual here.

It might just save your life.

Have you been through a hurricane or recent natural disaster? How did you cope? Let us know at [email protected].

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
May 26, 2022