Disaster Preparedness: Planning for the Next Disaster

There are 4 main things to be done to prepare for a disaster.

1. Develop an emergency plan.

Where will you go in case of evacuation? Will you stay with family or friends?

Know what to do with your pets in case of evacuation because many shelters and hotels do not accept animals.

Develop a communication plan between your family and friends, know how to contact each other, and decide on a meeting place if you are separated.

2. Verify your coverage.

Some insurance policies will carry additional requirements for the insured, specifically a duty to report damage and a duty to mitigate damages to the property after a disaster.

3. Prepare a disaster kit that has copies of important documents and some basic food essentials.

Have copies of ID cards, insurance policies, family records, and contact information for local emergency service providers. This also includes pictures of your home before a disaster. This will help assess the damages afterwards.

Food essentials can be non-perishables, water, and any necessary medications.

4. If a hurricane is imminent there are a few things you should do.

Bring in furniture, pots, and trash bins from outside.

Secure your windows and doors with plywood, if necessary.

Turn your fridge or freezer on to the coldest setting, keep it closed, and avoid opening it as much as possible.

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