You must have an Emergency Response Plan in place if nature strikes in all its fury ( like a Category 5 hurricane or a Richter Scale 8 earthquake). The survival of yourself and your family may depend on it.
A house can be replaced (hopefully your insurance will help cover that). The loss of personal items such as photographs, jewellery, etc may prove very upsetting, but is inconsequential compared to having injury or death devastate your family.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Dept. of Mainland Security asks Are You Ready? and has prepared an excellent "In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness."... you won't find better advice anywhere else about Disaster Planning.
"Are You Ready?" also provides in-depth information on specific hazards including what to do before, during, and after each hazard type. The following hazards are covered: Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms and Lightning, Winter Storms and Extreme Cold, Extreme Heat, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslide and Debris Flows (Mudslide), Tsunamis, Fires, Wildfires, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Power Plant, and Terrorism (including Explosion, Biological, Chemical, Nuclear, and Radiological hazards)"..... FEMA.
Everything you need to know about any hazardous situation is available on the FEMA website.
Study it carefully and in detail, mark it for future reference, and draw up your own Emergency Response Plan. It could save your life!
Some catastrophes cannot be predicted or avoided. Insurance companies like to call this "an act of God".
Sometimes nothing can help you if you happen to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time". Philosophical types may accept "when your time's up, it's up". Others may resign themselves to Fate or Karma and find solace with their God.
53 year old Domingo Soyos and his teenage children Irma and David never saw it coming when a massive sinkhole swallowed their home in Guatemala City March 6th 2007. Heavy rains caused old, over-stressed sewage pipes to burst beneath their house undermining the loose, volcanic soil.
The result was a gigantic sinkhole that ended up 25m in diameter and over 70m deep.
Another even bigger sinkhole opened up just 3 kilometers away in June of 2010. This time a 3 storey factory disappeared into the ground reportedly taking a security guard with it. More fortunate were the many workers who'd been sent home one hour earlier because of the storm. Had they not left the building the number of deaths would have been massive.
Perhaps a little more understandable (but still tragically unlucky) were the Quebec couple in their 40's and their two young children who also disappeared into a sinkhole in Canada May 2010. Although their house was a fair distance from the Yamaska River a sinkhole formed and swallowed the house, three cars parked out front and part of the road.
The Internet Revolution, Globalization, and the Global Financial Crisis created the perfect storm... Old Business models are being destroyed and jobs are disappearing offshore at an astonishing rate. Analysts warn that "China and India are poised to out-think us and out-compete us by their sheer numbers" and that "there is no job security now".
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Who Ate My Lunch?