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Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?

Protecting those important to us is our number one priority. While emergencies don’t happen daily, a solid plan in case of a natural disaster, fire or health emergency will ensure that you and your loved ones know what to do if disaster strikes. Are you prepared for an emergency?

1. Do you know your community’s emergency plans and the warning system in place to inform you of pending disaster? Do you have an emergency preparedness plan in place? 

  • Be sure to share it with your loved ones and their caregivers (for children, seniors, differently abled, pets) to ensure everyone is well informed of what to do in an emergency.

2. Have you verified that your homeowner’s insurance covers any disaster most likely to occur in your areas such as floods, earthquakes, and fire damage? 

  • Make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers BOTH the depreciated value of your home/personal property, as well as the replacement of all property at current market cost.
  • A digital representation of ALL property will be necessary to prove loss if your home is destroyed. Think of how many things you have in your home. It’s impossible to recall all items in all rooms—make a digital record for every room and keep it safe.

3. Have you prepared a “bug out” bag for each of your family members (one for the car, and one for home) and how often do you check to make sure supplies are up to date?

  • A bug out bag is a portable kit with items necessary for surviving 72+ hours after an emergency. 
  • At minimum keep all-weather shoes and clothing, bottled water, waterproof blanket, waterproof light jacket, whistle, basic first aid kit, solar flashlight, solar phone charger, fire ignition device, and dry packed high protein food snacks at the ready.

4. Are your original documents or pictures of important items all placed into a fire and waterproof safe, or are they digitized on a secure cloud network? 

  • Secure and protect items including marriage/birth certificates, driver’s licenses, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds, financials, insurance policies, immunization records, pictures of medications, medical insurance cards, medical bracelets, credit card numbers with contact information and pictures or video of your home contents. 

5. Are you trained in first aid and CPR/AED, and do you have an effective first aid kit in your home? 

6. Do you have access to multiple fire extinguishers throughout your home, specifically the kitchen and garage?

If you answered NO to ANY of the questions above, please take time to review the information on emergency preparedness provided on these websites:
 
Safe Home
National Safety Council Emergency Preparedness 
Ready.Gov 
Build a Kit
Red Cross 
 
Some additional tips to remember:

Quiz – Review your emergency plan every six months and quiz your family about what to do.
Drill – Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis with your family be sure everyone knows the plan.
Test – Read the indicator on your fire extinguisher(s) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to recharge. 
Test –Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries as required. Replace alarms every ten years.
Restock – Check bug out bag supplies yearly for expiration dates and replace as needed.
Refresh – Take new pictures of your property when you add new items (and don’t forget to ensure the pictures are stored safely).