As someone who manages risk for my clients daily, I’m always trying to ensure that they are prepared for any situation and they have the coverage needed to protect them and their assets. September is National Preparedness Month, and if you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a month dedicated to reminding us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year for the unexpected. Disasters Happen. You can’t predict when and where, but you can prepare for them!
- It’s never too late to learn new skills – knowing how to perform first aid or CPR can save lives.
- Make sure to take the time to check your insurance policies and coverage for any hazards you may face. This could range from floods to fires, to other natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados. While not highly likely, we have seen tornados and hurricanes become more common over the past years. We all remember Hurricane Sandy and most recently, Florence in the Carolinas.
- Keep a copy of your insurance information handy. Whether you can access it online, you have a scanned copy saved on your phone, or you keep an extra one printed in the car – make sure you know who to call, what’s covered, and your policy number in the event you need it.
- Have an emergency fund. If you need to evacuate, having some extra cash for hotels, food, gas, etc. can make a huge difference in keeping your family safe and less stressed during an already turbulent time.
- Keep a record of your possessions. It’s not an easy task but document your belongings. An easy way is to move through your home or business, room by room, and take photos or videos of the contents. Keep it in a safe place with access to it online. Emailing a copy to yourself or storing it in the Cloud like Google Docs or DropBox are also great ideas.
- Know how to protect your home or business. Be aware of gas and water shut-offs if you need to evacuate. Have a plan for how to secure your home or business so you don’t need to scramble last minute in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
- Have a communication plan. There’s no telling when disaster can strike, so having a communication plan in place can ensure that everyone is safe and knows what to do. A phone tree is a great method to use – several people are appointed to call groups of people, and then report back to one person who can track who was reachable and who wasn’t. When people don’t know who to call or where to go, that’s when panic and chaos set in.
Planning for a disaster is never fun but being prepared when it strikes can make the difference between being safe and protected vs. lost and confused. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. If you have questions on what your policy may cover in the event of a disaster, give me a call!