How to Survive a Natural Disaster Introduction

About how to survive a natural disaster, an introduction to earthquake, flood, and tornado survival.

How to Survive a Disaster


Floods, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Earthquakes


With the exception of earthquakes and some flash floods, you will be given warning by your local authorities as well as instructions to follow. Take time to think, and then take the considered action the situation calls for.

Learn your community's warning signals. You should find out now, before any emergency occurs, what warning signals are being used in your community, what they sound like, what they mean, and what actions you should take. Many communities with outdoor warning systems are now using an Attention or Alert Signal in a time of threatened or impending natural emergency. The signal is usually a 3- to 5-minute steady blast on sirens, whistles, horns, or other devices. In most places, the Attention or Alert Signal means that people should turn on their radio or television to hear important information being broadcast. Use your telephone only to report important events (such as fires, flash floods, or tornado sightings) to the local authorities. Do not use the telephone to obtain further advice.

If you are prepared for a nuclear attack, you are also prepared to cope with most natural disasters. In addition, you should know now how to disconnect your gas, electricity, and water supplies. Obtain this information from your local utility company. You should also know how to extinguish fire that are likely to occur in the wake of disaster. Your local fire department will be able to supply you with detailed information and safety precautions. A well-stocked first-aid kit and manual should be kept on hand. Your local American Red Cross will supply you with medical handbooks instructing you on how to deal with nearly all medical emergencies that may arise.

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