Disaster Planning- Whats Your Plan?
June 1st is the start of Hurricane Season, but beware even if you are not in a Hurricane Zone. Is your family prepared with supplies and necessities? Does everyone know how to stay in contact if separated? Do you have a backup plan if you lose power for a day or more? There are many things to consider as you plan ahead in case of an unexpected disaster. Since this task can be a bit daunting, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website has many tools to assist you in preparing.
Be familiar with what types of disasters could occur where you live. Research what you need to do when planning.
To give you a head start, we have summarized steps you can take in preparation for a disaster taken from both FEMA and the American Red Cross.
Find out what disaster plans are in place in your community, workplace, schools, etc. You will then know what to expect wherever you and your family members may be located.
What are the warning signals you might see or hear in your area if a disaster occurs?
Check with your insurance company and, if necessary, change or update your policy in order to have adequate coverage.
Create a plan with your family and make sure everyone understands how you will handle both.
Pick two meeting places for your family in the event you are separated.
Designate someone out of state to be the main contact for your family and make sure everyone knows their information.
Be sure to include any household pets in your planning.
You should always keep emergency numbers posted. This is especially important for children as it is normal to become a bit flustered during an emergency.
Learn ahead of time how to turn off the main utilities in your home.
Keep a copy of all vital medical, insurance, and family records in a safe and easily accessible location.
Lastly, another important step when planning for a disaster is to take a home inventory. In the event it's needed, you will have a record for your insurance company. You can find more information on a free Home Inventory product from the Insurance Information Institute at http://www.knowyourstuff.org.
Planning ahead can help reduce the stress you may experience worrying about how a disaster will affect you and your loved ones. It's important to take time now to prepare.