The Department of Homeland Security has declared September as National Preparedness Month. A natural disaster or major accident could occur in your area at any time, so it’s vital to prepare today.
- Save for a “rainy day”: Having an emergency fund can help if you face a crisis that prevents you from working. Your fund may include a savings account at a bank, but plan to keep some cash in a safe place at home too, because credit cards and ATMs don’t always work during disasters.
- Check your insurance coverage: Check whether your homeowners, renters, health, or other insurance policies pay for temporary living accommodations, replacement clothing or furniture, and other things you might need if you’re affected by a natural disaster. If you don’t have additional coverage, such as flood or earthquake insurance, consider getting it.
- Review important documents: Keep all vital records—such as birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, and the titles to your car and house—in a safe place where you can grab them and go in an emergency.
- Sign up for public safety alerts and warnings: These will keep you informed of emergencies before they strike. It’s also beneficial to get a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to receive alerts about severe storms in your area, giving you more time to hunker down or evacuate if necessary.
- Put together an emergency kit: Build a 72-hour kit for every family member, which should include food, water, tools for light and heat, first aid supplies, medication, and personal hygiene items. This kit can help you survive storms when you’re trapped at home, though it should also be portable in case you need to evacuate.
- Make an evacuation plan: Chart a home fire escape route and select a meeting place a safe distance from the house. Also, become familiar with evacuation routes out of the city for large-scale emergencies.
- Plan for your pets: Visit the vet to have your dog or cat microchipped. This increases the likelihood of finding your pets if they become lost during a disaster. Also, when building your family’s emergency plan, remember to pack supplies for your pets and select an emergency shelter that accepts animals.
- Teach your kids about your emergency plan: Explain the importance of emergency preparedness. Then, educate your children about the family plan, show off the 72-hour kits, and practice fire drills and large-scale evacuations.
- Get involved in your community’s preparedness efforts: Consider volunteering for a local Community Emergency Response Team to help others who are affected by disasters in your area.
With proper planning, you can better rest assured that your family will be safe in an emergency. But, what about restoring your home after a disaster? If you’re ever hit by a severe storm, earthquake, fire, explosion, or another catastrophe, call DKI Services. Our emergency response team will help get things back to normal quickly and cost efficiently.