How to Prepare Now for Future Disasters
10 Tips for Preparing for Disaster
Each year seems to bring with it an increasing amount of hurricanes and floods. And although this year forecasts are slightly downcasting for the hurricane season, it only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to cause significant damage. Disaster planning is vital if you want to protect your home and property from the most common natural disasters in your region. Here are a few disaster preparation tips to help you be prepared.
- Talk to your insurance agent about your flood risk and the benefits of purchasing a flood insurance policy.
- Since the typical home owner’s insurance policy does not include coverage for flood damage, property owners would be wise to obtain flood insurance that’s backed by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP offers flood protection for home owners and renters as well as business owners and office tenants.
- Evaluate your current automobile, home, and business insurance coverage. You want to be sure you have adequate coverage in the event of an absolute loss.
- Take pictures or video tape of your valuables and property, and store the photos or video in a safe place such as a security deposit box
- Create a comprehensive evacuation plan. Involve the entire family in occasional evacuation practice sessions.
- Choose a trusted friend or family member who can be reached in an emergency, and make sure everyone in your household has that person’s contact information.
- Store your important documents and valuable items in a secure location where they will be safe from damage.
- Keep a detailed record all of your belongings. Such documentation will be an invaluable aid if you need to file an insurance claim. For tips on how to do this, visit www.knowyourstuff.org.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit containing provisions such as bottled water, food, first aid supplies, prescription medications, and a battery-operated radio to be ready to go when you are. Visit www.ready.gov for a disaster preparation supply list.
- Contact your insurance adjuster to obtain a free, personal consultation before you are faced with an emergency situation. They will be happy to answer all of your questions regarding your insurance needs. Unexpected disasters will be much easier to cope with when you know you have adequate insurance in place.
Steps to Take After a Disaster
Your first steps after disaster occurs can make a huge difference in getting your life back on track. There are a few things you can do to begin the recovery process without affecting your claim.
First, make certain the building is safe to enter. Be sure to turn off the electricity at the main switch, and don’t turn on any electrical appliances or lights until an electrician has made an inspection. Discard any perishable foods, which could be contaminated. Wait until your water supply has been inspected before using it for cooking or drinking.
Make a video recording or take photos of the interior and exterior of your building to document the damage. Open all doors and windows to help circulate the air and speed the drying process. If possible, board up your windows and cover holes in the roof with plastic to prevent further water damage.
Finally, seek the help of a professional disaster mitigation company. Interstate Restoration can provide emergency response services in the event of a disaster, as well as water, fire, and natural disaster restoration.