Natural Disasters Information


Over 4000 Americans die in fires each year. Another 25,000 are injured, along with almost $9 billion worth of property damages. Because fires spread quickly, and death can occur within minutes, it is important to understand the basics about fire. Wildfires not only cause damage to the land, animals, and environment, they are often difficult to control and can be a threat to people from miles away because of the smoke. Heat and smoke from fires are actually the cause of more deaths than the actual fires. Inhaling the hot air can sear the lungs. Poisonous gases emitted from the fire and smoke can cause asphyxiation. In the event of a wildfire, it is important to be ready to evacuate when advised by authorities, and never go near the area of the fires.


Being generally prepared can help in the event of a storm, whether it be a tornado, hail, or blizzard. Thunderstorms can be very dangerous because they can give rise to tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and lightning. Blizzards involve high winds and snow. The best way to be prepared ahead of time for these storms is to listen to weather reports. The best defense with storms in general is to stay in doors. Injuries occur when people venture out into the storms and fail to heed the advice of the weather service. Being prepared can save your life.


Floods are actually one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. Flash floods are responsible for more deaths than any other storm. Flooding not only causes property damage, but the water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage, making it a serious health risk. The water may also be electrically charged by downed power lines. In the event of a flood, a person should listen to the authorities and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Seek the highest possible area away from the flooded area if trapped near a flood, never try to cross or go into a flooded area. Always listen to authorities and return to your homes only when advised.

Readiness Kit

It is good to be prepared for disasters that may strike your area. Having an emergency supply kit will help in that preparation. (It is suggested to plan for three days). Some suggested items are:

1 gallon of bottled water per day/per person
Canned and non-perishable food
Flashlight and batteries
Battery powered radio
First aid kit
Toilet articles
Containers for waste
Duct tape and scissors
Garbage bags or plastic
Fire extinguisher
Prescription medicine
Baby formula and supplies
Pet food
Plan for family members to meet at certain location
Filter masks or handkerchiefs
Hand Sanitizer
Plates and silverware
Can Opener

Partner with Southwestern District Health Unit to protect our community!
Click here for more information about becoming a PHEVR volunteer.