September is National Preparedness Month
While September is almost over it’s never too late to get a plan in place and be prepared. Unless disaster has already struck and you’re not prepared, then obviously it’s too late! But… if you’re reading this now and have no plan, what are you waiting for? Maybe you’ve been putting this topic off for a while now. Why not work on it today? You must stop believing it won’t happen to you. Start today by making a list and gathering items that you do have or can easily afford. Having some items in place is better than not being prepared at all.
When it comes to preparing for an emergency, your first defense is always knowledge. While we can’t stop disasters from happening, we can think ahead and prepare for it. In dire situations when first responders may not be able to reach us, being prepared may keep us from needing emergency help while allowing responders to handle the cases that do. Staying prepared also reduces the impact of an emergency on your life and makes you more capable of dealing with the chaos of the unknown – not to mention potentially avoiding danger altogether.
Disaster Preparedness Tips
If you have a large plastic tote and start gathering items you currently have on hand, such as extra blankets, towels, flashlights, batteries, matches, candles, lanterns, first aid kit, small tool kit, radio, canned food, extra kitchen utensils, water bottles, extra clothing, etc.
Develop an effective disaster preparedness plan for your family. Visit FEMA Preparedness Toolkit. For businesses, visit the Preparedness Planning for Your Business which is designed to help businesses plan for any type of business interruption so it can quickly re-open and resume operations after a disaster.
Develop a home inventory of your personal property. Don’t trust your memory. A complete inventory of your possessions will help you and your insurance company get through the claims process more quickly.
Become familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plans by visiting the community's official website or stopping by city hall. Determine the location of the nearest official shelter. Know your evacuation routes. Know ahead of time the alternate routes open to you in the event of a wildfire or washed-out roadway.
Refill your vehicle’s gas tank whenever it gets down to a half tank. Plan an escape route in the event you have to evacuate your home.
Agree on a meeting place for your family in case local communications networks are offline. Also determine a virtual meeting place such as a voicemail box or online social networking site. Designate out-of-state contacts and provide contact information to each family member in case you can’t communicate locally.
In relation to your insurance: Review your insurance policies to be sure you have the right coverage to meet your needs. Find out what your insurance will cover. Most Homeowners and Business Insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flood, earthquake, landslides or tsunamis.
Store your home inventory and insurance papers in waterproof containers offsite in a safety deposit box. Many insurers also offer electronic copies of your policy form that can be stored online or on your own devices.
In addition to the above, I did find an excellent article that you might find helpful at ammo.com (WHY PREPARE FOR A DISASTER). You can also go to www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org for additional tips and resources.
Remember, it’s not if… it’s when. Plan now. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 810-686-1470.