Preparing for a Home Disaster

The Motto “Be Prepared” isn’t just for Boy Scouts; it is for all of us. We all need to be prepared for what may come our way in terms of a home disaster. The last four years have proven what happens when we are not prepared sufficiently for job loss, savings, loss of home andhome disaster credit, not only in the personal lives of Americans; but in our Country’s government preparedness. We are all left deep in debt that we don’t know how to get out of it and we are living on credit just to survive. Well, our government is anyway; with each new disaster, we get further and further in debt that even our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will have to deal with. Many Americans were prepared for not only the financial crisis and a home disaster, but for natural disasters.   The principles are the same.

Natural Disasters

Every part of our country is prone to some sort of reoccurring disaster whether it is earthquakes on the West Coast or Tornadoes and flooding in the heartland called Tornado Alley, or the Gulf and East Coasts with hurricanes and all that goes with it, to nasty Nor’easters. Not to mention, the normal damage brought on by winter storms, like ice, snow and wind damages and summer storms with flooding, lightening, wind and hail damage or drought. No place is exempt; we must all be prepared for home disasters. Knowledge is the key to being prepared. You need to know the risks that you may face in your area. In each area, the State usually has a preparedness plan, evacuation routes and places to seek help. The non-profit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has a natural disaster map that can help you identify what you need to focus on in your area.

Home Insurance

Having a check-up before you go into the hurricane or tornado season is a great idea. A yearly insurance check-up is always a must and can give you one less things to worry about. Knowing that your home will be covered in the event of a disaster is a great comfort. Beyond insurance there are things that you can do to help boost your homes protection against disasters. In hurricane areas you can mount storm shutters, build a safe room or even install hurricane straps to keep your roof in place when the force of the wind hits. Some of these fixes can help in other disasters as well. A safe room can protect your family during tornadoes, hurricanes and even earthquakes. Go through your home and catalog items with pictures and costs can help to ensure fair insurance reimbursement, simplify the recovery process and even make it easier to apply for federal disaster aid.

Be Prepared with 72 hour kits

A three day supply of food, water, clothing, entertainment, crank radio, flashlights and extra batteries, blankets, diapers, baby formula, bottles, antibacterial wipes, dish soap, garbage bags, emergency medical kit, cell phones and extra batteries, and money or traveler checks can be what keep your family alive during a disaster.  And don’t forget to have important papers, like insurance, birth certificates, passports, and personal items in a water proof pouch. Each family’s kit will be a different depending on size and needs. Having the basic needs above in one place and in a movable container is a must. Then fill backpacks for each individual to bring personal things, like clothes, books, games, treats, medications, etc. These bags can be grabbed quickly as you evacuate.

Then Practice your Emergency Plan

Address escape routes, meeting places, family communications, who will shut off utilities, water, gas, electricity that could cause fire and water damage if not addressed. Anything can happen in an emergency, but the more things you have covered the better chance you and you home have of staying safe and whole. Be Prepared.

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