How to Prepare for a Disaster

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By Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

Do you know how to prepare for a disaster??

We are living in an interesting time.  (That might be an understatement…)

What we are going through is unprecedented for most anyone alive. We simply have not known a world situation like this before. That leads to a lot of uncertainty and fear of the unknown.

When I’m in an unknown situation, one thing that takes away the fear for me is PREPARATION.  

If I’m prepared and have knowledge that arms me to act in the unknown, the fear dissolves. 

That’s probably why I have bookshelves full of information on random and odd things. I am prepared for most eventualities, and I want to share this knowledge so you can be Prepared as well, and NOT Scared!

Last week, along with a global pandemic, those of us living in Utah had an Earthquake! It was rated at a 5.6 magnitude, so it caused some damage, but nothing too significant 

However, it was a bit of a wake-up call for all of us! 

I’ve trained and planned and prepared for natural disasters, and I froze. I couldn’t remember a thing I was supposed to do, other than get my family close.

That is step #1, but then what?  This post is going to cover the “then what” and the how-to prepare part. It will be specific to earthquakes but will also apply for a variety of disasters we all may face.

There are two things you can do right now with regard to disasters. You can Prepare, and you can Practice.

Click here to download the “Earthquake Preparedness Guide”

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Steps

1. Create an Emergency Plan

This plan will include information like:

2. Learn how to turn utilities off

3. Learn how to do First Aid and CPR

4. Where to Go or Who to Call if Evacuated

  • Decide on an out-of-state contact that you all can call to report your status.  (The local phone lines will be jammed.)

5. Secure your home

6. Put Shoes and a Flashlight by All Beds

  • The best way to do this is to put shoes and a flashlight in a plastic bag and tie that plastic bag to the leg of your bed. If your bed moves you will still be able to find it.

7. Have a Fire extinguisher in your home (one for each level of your home)


Practice for Earthquakes

1. The rule in an Emergency is now “Stop, Drop, Cover and Hold On”

  • Video for Drop, Cover and Hold On
  • Stop- wherever you are.
  • Drop – the earthquake will do it, so you do it first.
  • Cover – put one hand over your head, bend forward into a ball, then find something strong like a desk or table to get under.
  • Hold on – whatever you are under will move. You will be more secure if you’re holding onto it.
  • If there is nothing to hold onto…put two hands over head and curl into a ball

2. If you’re indoors:

  • Look around and avoid being under things that may fall
  • If you’re in bed, stay there and let your pillow protect you

3. Outdoors:

  • Stay where you are and stay away from overhead dangers like trees and power lines
  • Drop and cover head with both hands and curl into a ball

4. Driving:

  • Pull over, but not under anything like trees, power lines, or overpasses
  • Stay in your car

5. Near a shoreline (lakes or oceans)

  • Move inland quickly
  • Stay away from the shore for days after the disaster because of aftershock potential.


Don’t Do’s during an Earthquake

    Don’t Move Outside if you are Inside

The outside windows, doorways, and porches are the most dangerous so stay away from them

    Don’t Get in a Doorway

This is not a safe place in our homes today. 

    Don’t look for a Triangle of life

This is not always something you will find, and it will move.

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Remember to Prepare and Practice, and that will reduce the fear because you and your family will be ready when a disaster hits.

For more info, you can go to Total Care Dental Blog and MM Stake Self Reliance

Stay safe and Healthy!

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

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