Natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. As expats, you might experience other forms of natural disasters that you’re not used to. So how do you prepare for natural disasters while living abroad? Here are some of the best ways to prepare yourself and your loved ones for natural disasters overseas.
Before you move, one of the things you should know about your host country are the types of natural disasters that are commonly expected in the country, e.g., earthquakes, snow storms, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes and the like. You can prepare for natural disasters better once you’ve determined the type calamities that are common in your host country. It will also serve you well to research about the expat community’s movement of in your host country during times of disasters. Enter some forums and read blogs, information about other expats’ experiences can be very helpful especially if you are moving to a country that has many possible natural disasters.
Have a Worst-Case Scenario Plan
Having a plan for the worst-case scenarios does not mean you are paranoid. What this means is that, you just need to have the basics in case there is an emergency and avoid once you’re faced with these situations. This is something that you should not take for granted especially when you are with your family. Have an exit strategy for worst case scenarios in your house and brief your family about it. Gather all the necessary phone numbers— the Red Cross, your country’s embassy and all the needed emergency hotline numbers—have them somewhere accessible at all times. Keep an old phone charged with emergency numbers and contacts that you may use in case your phone runs out of batteries.
Always have torchlight and batteries ready for use in every room and have a stock of food and medicine in your house.
Watch the News
Always be on alert during disaster season in your host country. Don’t take the local news for granted. Stay tuned and take notes when they are giving information about shelters and emergency contacts to have more information when disaster strikes. It also pays to have a connection to the local expat community to have your own group to fall back on, in case you need it.
Know Your Surroundings
Asses the area around your house or apartment. If you are living in a country where typhoons or hurricanes and tornados are common, it’s better to keep any large trees in your yard or around your house trimmed. If you are living in a condo apartment or something similar, and earthquakes are prominent, pay attention to emergency exits in your building and check the emergency evacuation procedures in the building. Ask the management if they have a specific guide for earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Be Completely Covered
When you are living overseas, there are many things you can experience, and sadly, it’s not always going to be good. It’s always best to have insurance like international health, property, home and car insurance and the like, especially if you are living with your family abroad. International private insurance might be a bit more expensive, but you will definitely have a peace of mind once you have the basic types of coverage for you and your family.
Natural disasters are inevitable no matter where you are, but that doesn’t mean that you just have to take it as it comes. There are many things you can do to prepare and be ready for any kind of disaster even when you are living in a foreign land. It is better to be 5 years early, than a minute too late.
Natural Disasters, Expat Lifestyle, Be Prepared for Disasters Overseas