We hope you never experience a devastating disaster, but if you do it’s best to be prepared! Take time in advance to thoughtfully build and review your disaster preparedness plan. It will help reduce the fear and anxiety of the unknown and mitigate the potential loss to human life and property that can accompany a disaster. As you put your plan together, follow these emergency preparedness tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Know your hazards. Most disasters are natural disasters, such as tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, and they sometimes occur with little or no warning. This US Natural Hazards Index can aid in identifying the disaster potential where you live. Identify all the possible risks you face and prepare emergency plans for each scenario; determining the best emergency preparedness plan for each type of natural disaster you may face can help you prepare for a safe outcome.
Home proofing. While you can’t completely prepare for every disaster scenario, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of an event. Proactive steps such as floodproofing, securing heavy items that could topple during a storm, and protective window blinds or shutters can make all the difference with safety and loss prevention.
Build your emergency plan and kit. When disaster strikes, your family should know how to respond. Hold regular family meetings to review your emergency plan and rehearse when to shelter and where to meet should you become separated. This resource from Ready.gov outlines what to consider when building your plan. It’s also important to realize that local officials and first responders may not be able to reach you right away, so having an emergency kit is crucial. It should contain adequate stores of water, food, and emergency medical supplies in case you need to fend for yourself for a while. This Emergency Supply Checklist covers the necessities you’ll want on hand. And remember to practice, practice, practice! When seconds matter, knowing exactly what to do can dramatically increase your chances for a safe outcome.
Know your route. While state-of-the-art tools and technology can predict some natural disasters, there is often limited time to get to safety. Know your way out of your home, where your safe spaces are, and the best route out of town. Try not to rely on GPS mapping to find your routes in case that service is unavailable.
Have an emergency fund. While having an emergency fund doesn’t prevent a disaster, it can help you navigate during and pick up the pieces after. Consider setting aside cash as part of your emergency kit to pay for essential items in the event you can’t access an ATM or bank. In addition, set aside longer-term funds to ensure you can cover immediate needs like deductibles or critical repairs.
We hope your family never has to experience a natural disaster. But, we hope these tips can help you be prepared in the event one does occur. If you have questions on how to be prepared financially for the unknown, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
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