Importance of Disaster Plan During a Calamity

Natural Catastrophe Versus Disaster Plan

When natural catastrophe occurs, often times individuals, families and organizations are caught off guard on what they do next.  The overwhelming emotions and fears overpowers everything.

Photo by: Reuters
With the recent disaster in Japan .. it is an eye opener and a reminder to everyone that a natural catastrophe is something that cannot be avoided by mankind. However, a need for some coping mechanism is essential. Disaster Plan is necessary in order to have an immediate and alternative approach in coping with a natural disaster.

Reminders and Tips for Disaster:
1. Create an Action Plan for Disaster
2. Identify areas for safety and let everyone involved become aware of the location
3. Identify alternative means of communications
4. Identify alternative routes and approaches when seeking for safety
5. Identify emergency supplies that are essential and useful in the event of calamity
6. Have accessible supplies of foods, medicines, and drinkable water. Oftentimes there is a shortage of food and other supplies during disasters. When homes are not habitable seek for nearest available shelter
7. Habitually fill your gas tank when it reach half full. This can be useful when a transportation will be needed
8. Ideally, in an earthquake zone - have a strong table or desk accessible for safety when buildings or homes begin disintegrating.
9. Have a batterized radio that provides you information, and item that provides light when there is a disruption of utilities.
10. Identify locations of your closest family, relative or a friend
11. Keep extra pairs of clothes and warm blankets in your emergency supply
12. Do not panic, be alert of your surroundings and monitor other possible calamity that may follow like fire or tsunami.

Every setting is different but precautionary measures are handy. Personal and group safety is necessary.

When your organization is operating abroad, one of the important reminder is to identify what natural disasters exist in the Host Country for your employees safety.  Then create a Disaster Plan that is relevant and practical within that locality.

It would be ideal to review your disaster plan regularly with all involved so that everyone will be ready at any time a natural disaster will take place.

When  creating an Expatriate Disaster Plan do not copy and paste a plan that was specifically made for a particular location or made from another country.  A Rule of Thumb is to create a plan that is sensible, realistic and appropriate to the conditions at the Host Country and specific location.

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Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on March 22, 2011 at 3:56pm
Excellent article. As someone who lives in a disaster-prone area, I can say from first hand experience that preparedness is very important -- having a plan is definitely the #1 step toward the #12 step of remaining calm. Here in Hilo, the town has been destroyed 3 times int he last 100 years by tsunami. As a result, everyone knows what to do & the reminders are EVERYWHERE. The Pacific Tsunami Warning System & local civil defense has done a great job of informing the public & educating people about being prepared. However, the recent tsunami in Japan proves that there are some disasters you just can't be prepared for.
Comment by Juntee Terrenal MA GMS on March 23, 2011 at 1:12pm


Readiness is one of the factors and very important pieces of such a Plan.  However, the beauty of Hilo Island can compensate to the efforts of preparation and living there.  It is great to learn that residents of Hilo are well versed with planning and readiness on the eventuality of natural disaster like Tsunami and other implications that it will bring .. like the Japanese experience of today.



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