We do not always get a lot of warnings before a devastating natural disaster, but one thing we can do is prepare in advance for one. In fact, planning ahead for an emergency is the key to protecting yourself and your loved ones. So, what should you do to prepare for a disaster?

Keep an emergency go bag ready. Time is not on your side during a natural disaster so having a go-bag ready is essential. It should have enough food and water to last about three days. You should also have copies of important documents, extra medication, some cash, toiletries, and extra clothing.

Some disasters require you to stay inside your home for a while, so it is also a good idea to keep an extra supply of nonperishable food items and water, etc.

Discuss with your household where to meet up in case you are separated during a disaster. Locations may vary depending on the type of disaster so it is good for everyone to know exactly what they should do ahead of time. Remember, communication is usually one of the first things to be interrupted in this type of situation.

Know the locations of shut-off valves to electricity, water, and gas in your home. Switching these off during a natural disaster will do a lot to protect your home against damage. Having easy access to them at all times is important.

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