There is no question that every year the weather gets crazier and crazier. With tornado season already in full affect, the experts tell us now that we can expect this hurricane season to be the worst in record. Even if you don’t live in tornado alley or the Gulf Coast region, a flood plain, or you just don’t think a disaster will happen to you, it is always wise to have a disaster plan in place.
Almost every affected homeowner that we have met after a disaster has told us that they never thought anything like this would ever happen to them. We like to think that the worse-case scenarios only happen to other people, in other communities. But the truth is that any of our communities could be next. As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. So here are some simple steps to prepare your family, your finances, and your home for potential disasters:
Take some time today to prepare your home, family, business, and church. Here are some practical tips:
1. Take pictures of all of your belongings for potential insurance claims of property loss or damage. Go room to room and take photographs of each wall and every drawer’s contents. Make sure to store these photographs on a cloud storage, such as iCloud or Dropbox, if possible. Also scan and upload important documents and insurance paperwork.
2. Get a water-proof, fire-proof safe to store your important documents and valuables. Label this safe with your name and contact information. (Paint marker or an engraver works best)
3. Create an emergency preparedness kit. Have extra clothes, food, and water, along with a small amount of cash that can tide you over. Have a first aid kit readily available in case of injuries. The Red Cross’s website and mobile apps have some great suggestions for the contents of these kits.
4. Have a plan ready for what you would do in case of an emergency. Talk about this plan as a family, business, or church so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to do. Have a designated safe place in your home, business, or church. Have a designated contact person, one phone number for everyone to contact, and an off-site location if your primary location is destroyed.
5. Review your insurance policies and make any necessary updates. Too often we meet people who have lost out on thousands of dollars in insurance money because their policies were not up-to-date. Finding out after a disaster that your insurance doesn’t cover it is too late! If you have deductibles on your insurance policy for your cars and home it is a good idea to have that amount in savings so you can get back on track quickly.
More practical tips are available at RedCross.org or Ready.gov. As our family, friends, and partners, we care deeply about your safety and well-being. Please take some time to prepare today so that you might be safe in case of an emergency.