What Would You Do If Disaster Strikes?

When disaster strikes, would you know what to do? Are you prepared for an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, blizzard or worse?

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Earthquakes don’t just occur in California. Four major fault lines run across the United States, putting many states at risk. Whether it’s a 3.0 or an 8.1, find out everything you need to know to prepare for a trembler.


    Earthquake Simulation       Earthquake-Proof Your Home     Earthquake Preparedness

Dr. Lucy Jones, seismologist and chief scientist of the United States Geological Survey Multi-Hazards Project, says that when it comes to earthquakes, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

“The biggest earthquakes happen on the longest faults,” Dr. Jones says. “The San Andreas is a really long fault, and it averages 150 years between earthquakes, and here in southern California, it’s been 300 years since the last [big] one. At some point, our luck is going to run out. Every Californian needs to be ready for that earthquake.”

Dr. Jones’ Top Earthquake Preparedness Tips:
1. Don’t run
2. Have a large supply of water
3. Have a fire extinguisher
4. Be able to take care of your own medical needs, because the medical system will be overwhelmed

Get more earthquake essentials.

Hurricanes vs. Tornadoes
Hurricanes are weather systems that begin over warm ocean water and develop into extremely large storms. They can last up to several weeks, but peter off once they move over land.

Tornadoes are formed when warm, moist air and cold, dry air collides, often over a body of water or from a thunderstorm. Tornadoes are accompanied by violent winds, tend to cover a small area and usually last less than 10 minutes.


    Hurricane Preparedness           Caught in a Tornado            Tornado Preparedness

A hurricane is a storm with sustained winds of 74 mph or more. Dave Price, weather anchor from CBS’ The Early Show and veteran of extreme storm coverage, explains how hurricanes are categorized and when to seek shelter or evacuate.

“When you hear the word hurricane, it’s dangerous,” Dave explains. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a [category] one, three or five, it can pose a threat.”

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Dave Price’s Hurricane Checklist:
1. Generator
2. Extra gasoline
3. One gallon of water per person or more
4. Extra cash
5. Non-perishable food, canned food and can opener

Get more hurricane essentials.

Reed Timmer, meteorologist and star of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, discusses the complications that arise with tornadoes.

“Tornadoes are a lot less predictable at any given point than hurricanes,” Reed explains. “They can strike at night. The most dangerous ones can be rain-wrapped and you can’t see them coming.”

Get tips for surviving a tornado whether you’re inside, outside or in a car when one hits. 

Blizzards and Blackouts
Learn what to do if you're caught in a blackout or a blizzard.

Get more severe weather essentials.

72 Hours After …
The first 72 hours after a disaster can mean the difference between life and death, as it may take that long for help to arrive. Learn what essentials you should always have on hand.

Surviving a Plane Crash
Five things you can do to increase your chance of surviving a plane crash.

1. Have an escape plan: Pay attention to flight-safety information and know where your nearest exit is.
2. Once the plane is still, crouch, don’t crawl, to the nearest exit.
3. If there’s a fire or smoke, cover your nose and mouth with a wet washcloth or a piece of clothing.
4. Wear long sleeves, pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes when flying. Imagine having to escape from the plane.
5. Studies have shown that sitting in the back of the plane can increase the chance of surviving a crash.

Lean more about the disaster guidelines.

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OAD 11/8/10