How to Be Prepared for the Unexpected

How to Be Prepared for the UnexpectedAre you prepared for the unexpected?  Is your home or your family ready for action at a moment’s notice? The disaster management strategies listed below will help you be prepared should disaster strike.

First, establish a disaster plan. This plan covers what your family should do in case of an emergency and who to call if there are no adults at home.  List out all exits of the home, all important phone numbers, and copies of all insurance cards and anything else you may need to grab in a hurry.  Set meeting points for where your family meets indoors (in case of a tornado or hurricane), in the neighborhood (should you have an emergency that requires you to leave your home), outside of your neighborhood (should an emergency occur and you can’t get back to your home), and outside of your city (in case a disaster makes it impossible for you to go home).

Next, take personal inventory of all your valuables. Family heirlooms, antiques, and jewelry are a given, but also think about making digital copies of any old photographs and documents that cannot be replaced. Take pictures of each room and its contents to help with any future insurance claims, and back up your computer to a separate hard drive or the cloud to ensure you don’t lose anything on your personal devices. It’s also a good idea to invest in a fireproof safe, which comes in handy for storage of personal items.

Don’t forget the emergency supplies.  Keeping a supply of bottled water (1 gallon per person, per day), some canned and dried foods, batteries, medications, and other essential items in a dry and accessible area of your home. Set a calendar reminder on your phone or home computer to check the supplies every few months to ensure they stay within their proper dates. While it may seem like an unnecessary task, you don’t want to have to scramble to the store at the last minute if a disaster hits. Another good idea is a bugout bag.

As a homeowner, you have home insurance to protect your home when something happens. As the policyholder, talk to your insurance broker to find out what your policy covers and whether you need additional coverage. If you live in an area that is prone to natural disaster, find out if you have coverage for events, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Learn what your insurance deductible is so you understand how much money you will need to pay in case of an emergency.

Many of us don’t anticipate disasters or a need for an emergency plan, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whether a natural disaster or a home fire, ensuring you and your family members know what to do in case of emergency is a great way to make sure you don’t lose some of the most valuable things in your life. With just a little time and planning, you can have an emergency plan and kit in place in your home in no time.

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