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Prepare Your Family for a Natural Disaster 
 
by Rita Templeton September 09, 2005

Basic Preparedness

Regardless of what type of natural disaster poses the biggest threat to your community, basic preparedness is crucial; it can save your life, and the lives of your family.

Know your emergency signals.

You can ask your local authorities what emergency signals they use to inform the public of a disaster. You may already know their distinct sounds – most communities perform routine monthly tests of their emergency alert systems. Your local radio and television stations probably participate in the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also has a nationwide network of radio stations that provide up-to-the-minute weather information. But the NOAA stations are only broadcast to radios that are specifically configured to receive them. If NOAA Weather Radio is available in your community, you should consider purchasing a NOAA receiver. You can buy one at many electronics stores, electronic departments within stores, through mail-order catalogs, and in many boat and marine accessory businesses.

Make sure that all your family members are aware of which sounds and signals warn of an impending emergency, and which conditions each signal indicates. If you have a deaf or elderly family member that may not be able to hear the signals, ensure that you have a plan to contact them somehow in the event of an emergency.

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