The changing weather conditions over the past few years have made severe storms more prevalent; they make headlines almost daily. While we certainly hope you never experience a devastating disaster, if you do, it’s best to be prepared!
Take time in advance to thoughtfully build (and then regularly review) your disaster preparedness plan; it will help reduce the fear and anxiety of the unknown. It can also help mitigate the potential loss of human life and property often accompanying 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 in nature, such as tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods. They sometimes occur with little or no warning. This US Natural Risk Index can aid in identifying the disaster potential where you live. Once you identify all the possible risks you face and prepare emergency plans for each scenario, you can determine the best emergency preparedness plan for each type of natural disaster to help you prepare for a safe outcome.
Home proofing. While you can’t thoroughly prepare for every disaster scenario, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of an event. Proactive measures such as floodproofing, securing heavy items that could topple during a storm, and protective window blinds or shutters can make all the difference in 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 preparedness 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 water, food, and emergency medical supplies 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 case you can’t access an ATM or bank. In addition, set aside longer-term funds to 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!
Disaster Preparedness: Plan for the Unexpected
July 05, 2023