UN Report Says Disasters Are Increasing… It’s More Important Than Ever to Prepare

Does it seem like there are more natural disasters than there used to be?

And that they’re getting worse? And destroying more property? And taking more lives?

It certainly does to us at 4Patriots. But I’ve wondered if maybe that’s because we’re so close to the situation. We’ve been in the preparedness arena for about 10 years now. We’re very focused on this subject.

But then the United Nations recently released a report confirming that disasters are in fact sharply increasing in number.

‘Very Alarming Information’

The United Nations analyzed the human toll of natural disasters over the last 20 years.

Here are a few statistics included in the report they recently released:

  • There was a 151 percent increase in climate-related disaster damages in the last 20 years.
  • The United States experienced more climate-related disaster economic losses than any other country during that 20-year span.
  • In the last 20 years, 1.3 million people have been killed due to disasters. And another 4.4 billion were injured, left homeless or in need of aid.

“There is a very sharp increase in the number of climate-related events, which are actually creating 77 percent of the total direct economic losses caused by disasters,” said Ricardo Mena, a UN official said.

“This is really very alarming information.”

Start by Covering Your Short Term Needs

Obviously, there is nothing we can do to stop natural disasters from happening.

The one thing that we can do, is to prepare ahead of time.

Getting enough non-perishable survival food to cover the first 72 hours is a great first step.

But looking to recent disasters, the issues that resulted have often lasted longer than that.

For instance, Hurricane Florence left over 100,000 in the Carolinas without electricity for 8 days earlier this year. And many were left without power for over a week after Hurricane Michael hit last month also.

To help, we’ve put together a checklist to outline the needs you might have for the first couple of weeks after a disaster.

Your Short-Term Emergency Checklist

The first thing you should do to prepare for a disaster is to make a family emergency plan. This should include emergency phone numbers and safe spots in your home. Plus escape routes, important documents organized, etc.

Then, stockpile the most essential things you will need to be ready for an extreme weather event that could knock out power for up to a couple of weeks. These would include:

  • Survival food to cover every member of your family for 2 weeks.
  • Drinking water. Store about 1.5 gallons per person per day. And we also suggest you have a powerful water filter on hand.
  • Clothing and bedding, including sleeping bags.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries. At least one flashlight per household member.
  • Fire starters. Have a variety, including Bic lighters, in case one or more proves defective.
  • Hand-crank or solar-powered emergency radio.
  • First-aid kit, including any medications your family needs.
  • Swiss Army knife or another multi-tool.
  • Miscellaneous items, including whistles, duct tape, rope or paracord, survival knife, tent, flares, maps or GPS devices. If you can manage to get a portable generator, this would be a big help as well.

Power Outages Can Go On and On

Of course, sometimes disasters can go on much longer than that. Take Hurricane Maria for instance.

The longest blackout in U.S. history began last fall when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory’s electrical grid was basically destroyed by the storm. Some people went an entire year without power, resulting in close to 3,000 deaths.

The island is a sitting duck for these vicious hurricanes. And that’s why Puerto Rican lawmakers are working on a plan to try to limit damage in the future.

Recently the Puerto Rico House and Senate considered a bill that would transition the island to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Similar bills have been passed in California and Hawaii.

This is a natural solution for Puerto Rico because of the great amount of free sunshine and wind it receives every year. Importing fossil fuels, on the other hand, is expensive. Storing this energy will be a big component of Puerto Rico’s plan.

The Time to Prepare is Now

The United Nations report – and many other signs of the time – show us something very clearly.

It’s more important now than ever to prepare for a disaster. And to think of all the bases you need to cover to keep your family safe, for even a long-term disaster.


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