Tips to Prepare Your Community for a Possible Disaster

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( — August 19, 2019) — Natural disasters are a common threat for many who live on America’s coasts. While Hurricane Katrina may have been the first in recent history to be notably damaging, there have been many natural disasters before, and after, that have devastated communities. Preparing for natural disasters can help reduce the costs of recovering from that disaster. It can also help prevent the loss of life. One particular group devoted to helping communities prepare for a natural disaster, as well as to help after the disaster has passed, is the Cajun Navy. This article will discuss the Cajun Navy and how you can help prepare your community for the next natural disaster.

The Cajun Navy

Made up of a group of boat owners and boat pilots, the CN began its career shortly following Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were stranded in their homes and in other buildings and places with flood water surrounding them. The CN deployed personal boats to save them. While at the time they were only loosely organized, they were effective in searching for people who were in distress or required help and rescuing them.

Since then, they have grown more organized. More boat owners have joined their ranks. They’ve assisted in search and rescue operations following almost every natural disaster since. Their focus is on hurricanes and tropical storms.

Besides search and rescue, the Cajun Navy has also started to teach others about natural disaster relief and preparedness. It has also expanded. There are several Cajun chapters in other areas of the country. Besides the Navy, there are also the Cajun Special Forces, the Cajun Army, and the Cajun Commissary. Each offers natural disaster relief efforts either through training or with volunteer aid.

How to Prepare for a Possible Disaster

If you live in an area that is at high-risk for a hurricane or another form of natural disaster, then you need to be prepared. While hurricanes typically only strike during hurricane season, other natural disasters can occur without warning. Being prepared can save your life, the life of your family, and limit the amount of damage that is done to your home and surrounding area. Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Plan an Evacuation Route

In places where natural disasters occur often, you’ll likely find that it is difficult to evacuate. Highways are jammed with people trying to leave the area. Because of this, the highway isn’t always the best route to use in order to leave the area. You should have an evacuation route planned in the event that the highway is packed full, so you can leave the area safely and quickly. It’s not a bad idea to have a few routes in mind in the event that the other route is damaged or also packed.

Along with the route, you should ensure that you have a destination in mind. You may run out of money if you try to stay at a hotel. Think about relatives and friends that live outside of the disaster area that you can rely on. If they don’t mind housing you for a few days or weeks, then you should stay with them.

2. Prepare Family

Having a route and destination in mind doesn’t help if the rest of your family doesn’t know where to go. You should sit down with your family and explain to them where to go and wait. This location should either be a shelter or somewhere that is known to them that you know you can reach during a disaster. Phones are a great way to stay in touch initially but they do run out of battery life. Since electricity is usually wiped out during a natural disaster, it’s a good idea to invest in other communication equipment, so you can remain in contact with your children and spouse.

3. Stock Food/Water

For those planning to remain in their home, you should stock food and water. You need it to last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Water is more important than food.

You can be prepared to survive a natural disaster. These few tips can get you started with the bare minimum for making it through.