Hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding are just some of the many types of disasters that can strike with little warning. While you can’t predict a disaster, you can prepare for it to the best of your ability.
Preparing for a disaster not only increases your chances of surviving one, it makes the aftermath a bit easier to cope with as well. Be sure to gather the following supplies and place them in a location where you can grab them quickly in case of evacuation:
Don’t forget to put your disaster plan in writing and to name at least one person as an emergency contact. Make sure this person know that you want to include him or her as contact person before doing so.
In addition to gathering the above supplies, make a list of your most valuable possessions and include the date of purchase, how much you paid, and a serial number if applicable. Be sure to attach receipts or value assessments to this list to provide to your insurance company if you need to make a claim later. Additionally, make a copy of important medical, legal, and financial documents. These could include any of the following:
It’s a good idea to make sure you have a minimum of $1,000 available credit to draw on in case of disaster. If you have advanced warning of the disaster, go to the bank and withdraw only the amount of cash you think you might need to last a few days. Keep in mind that your bank might close for several days following a widespread disaster in the area.
You will be frazzled after a disaster and may not remember how to contact your insurance company to initiate a claim. Be sure to write down the name of your agent, the company, your policy number, and the phone number and keep it in your wallet for easy access. Your agent will walk you though each step of filing a homeowner’s insurance claim.
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