Learn How to Create a Disaster Plan

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.

How to Create Your Disaster Survival Plan

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:

  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Disposable plates, cups, and silverware
  • Enough water for each person to drink one gallon per day for seven days
  • Non-perishable food items to last up to seven days
  • Clothing, shoes, and rain gear
  • Battery-operated radio, clock, and several flashlights
  • Handheld can opener
  • Food and water for pets for up to seven days or alternate arrangement for their care
  • Documents such as your property insurance policy and the title and deed to your home
  • Cash
  • Try to keep your vehicles as full of gas as possible
  • Toiletry items
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription drugs
  • Care plan for any elderly relatives living with you
  • Get yourself on the list to receive emergency weather texts

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.

Act Before a Disaster Strikes

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:

  • Birth certificates for every family member
  • Your mortgage account number and contact information for carrier
  • All insurance policies
  • Results of medical tests or proof of chronic medical conditions
  • Prescriptions for medications
  • Passports
  • Wills
  • Credit card information, including the phone number to reach the issuer

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.

Know How to Contact Your Insurance Company

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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