The 5 things you need to know to survive natural disasters

Most people think that they don’t need to worry about natural disaster preparedness – until it’s too late. It’s the job of our Home Front Command’s Head Officer of First Aid Courses, 2nd Lt. Eyal, to prepare civilians to survive natural disasters. Now, he’s teaching you.

1. Shut it down

When disaster strikes, get yourself as far away as possible from the destruction. Then unplug, turn off, and deactivate any source of water, gas, or electricity. If you’re outside of a building when it collapses, find the nearest sources and do what you can to prevent further damage.

2. Don’t Yell!

“It’s crucial to stay calm and not to panic, no matter how difficult the situation is,” said 2nd Lt. Eyal. If you find yourself under rubble, it might take some time before you’re found. Yelling wastes your energy and creates panic in an already chaotic situation.

3. Take charge

Every citizen has the power to make an impact, especially when disaster strikes. If you, or someone near you, are trapped under rubble, take matters into your own hands if you can. You don’t need to wait for authorities to arrive to start clearing the way.

4. Elements attract

Rubble can weigh hundreds of pounds, so pure human muscle won’t always do the trick. Be creative and remember that “elements attract.” When picking up metal debris, use something metal. When lifting wood, use something wooden – it makes the lifting a lot easier. If this isn’t an option, you can still use whatever tools you find.

5. Cover up

The smoke and dust that circulates in the air after a building collapse or earthquake can be hazardous to the lungs. Use your shirt or a nearby cloth to cover your mouth and filter out the dust. It won’t beat a mask – but until help arrives, it can help keep you healthy.

The Home Front Command demonstrates these tips during regular courses for citizens of all ages and backgrounds. You can see them in action in disasters both at home and abroad. As 2nd Lt. Eyal explains, “At the end of the day, we all want to save lives.”