Tip Tuesday: Preparing for Disaster

Tips on disaster preparednessHurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, oh my! Natural disasters are a difficult topic to discuss, but they happen and it’s vital we prepare ahead of time in the event a disaster occurs in our area.

Preparing for disasters improve post-disaster outcomes in our communities, schools, businesses and in our homes. You should create a detailed emergency plan for your family, including a safe meeting point where you will wait for each other. This will ensure that no matter where they are at the time of the emergency, they will know what to do.

Below are some general tips on disaster preparedness:

  • Keep cash on hand. ATMs won’t work if the power is out and it might be a while before things are functioning as normal.
  • Know your community’s evacuation route. This information should be available on your local police department’s website.
  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit that will allow your family to camp out for three days. Assume you’ll be without electricity and running water.
  • Store your emergency supplies in sealed containers such as plastic tubs and tape them shut.
  • Learn how to shut off your utilities including gas, electricity, and water.

Your emergency preparedness kit should contain the following:

Water: 1 gallon per person per day, 1/2 for drinking, 1/2 for cooking/sanitation.

Food: Store food that’s high in calories and has a long shelf-life. Consider meal replacement bars, canned foods and dry food items that don’t need to be cooked to eat.

Light Source: Avoid candles to minimize fire risk and include safe light options like a battery-powered flashlight with extra batteries or a hand-crank flashlight.

Warm and Dry Clothes: Include at least one change of clothing and to stay warm and dry you can also pack extra blankets, a tarp or rain gear.

First Aid Kit: Include items for basic care like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers and pain-relief medication and make sure to include medications and equipment specific to your needs.

Remember that looting and crime can be a concern after a disaster. Exterior security cameras and a home security alarm system can deter criminals from targeting your home. Also, be sure to speak with your insurance company about the best coverage options to protect your home. By following these tips on disaster preparedness, you’ll be as ready as you can be in the event of an emergency. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 1-800-898-1899.