Are you prepared for a disaster? September is National Preparedness month and we’re here to help you get prepared!
How do you know what to prepare for? Of course disaster could strike at any moment, but it helps to know what common issues could come up based on where you live and the time of year. Here in Eastern Washington, fires, windstorms, water contamination and an occasional earthquake have been known to happen. In the gulf coast you’ll need to be prepared for hurricanes and floods. The midwest has tornados. And we’re all at risk for cyber security issues, car accidents or financial or health crisis. Oh, my!
It can be overwhelming to even think about where to start! Here are our top 5 tips for being prepared for any disaster…
1. Be Informed
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to disaster preparedness. We recommend you visit ready.gov to learn about all things disaster preparedness. They have incredible resources based on where you live, types of possible disasters and planning according to months of the year (check out this cool preparedness calendar). Educate yourself about how to prepare for whatever possible disaster might come your way.
2. Make a Plan
Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and that’s certainly true when it comes to disaster preparedness. The more you can plan in advance for unexpected disasters, the better.
Your preparedness plan will need to be based on where you live, what kinds of disasters you’re likely to face and your family’s specific needs. There is a questionnaire, checklists and multiple informative pdf’s to help you create your plan at ready.gov/plan.
It’s easy to procrastinate making your plan, but there’s no time like the present. Get it done so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re done all you can now to alleviate as much of the inevitable stress (or worse) that could happen during a disaster.
3. Practice Your Plan
There’s no substitute for practice and role playing, especially when kids are involved. Take some time to practice any emergency evacuation plans, family communications plans and even first aid techniques and CPR. There are some fun online and card games available to help kids and teens learn about and practice taking action during an emergency at ready.gov/kids/games.
It’s a good idea to schedule regular drills or reviews of your plans to make sure everything is current and each family member knows what to do.
4. Make an Emergency Kit
There are certain things you know you’ll likely need in an emergency. Water, food, dry clothes, first aid supplies. Having them all gathered into one easily accessible place so you can grab and go are recommended by disaster preparedness experts. You’ll also want to have important documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, titles and wills in a fire proof box that can be easily transported.
See a complete list of recommended items to include in your kit, how and where to store it and keep it updated at ready.gov/kit. What would you include in your kit?
5. Have Insurance
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to have insurance! Don’t leave your most important assets and loved ones unprotected from disasters that are likely to happen at some point in your life. If we’ve learned anything at all from 2020, it’s that the unthinkable could happen at any moment. Our team is standing by to help make sure you have the best policy available for your specific needs.