Are you ready for an emergency? According to a study done by the Insurance Information Institute, Florida ranked second in the US in terms of catastrophe insured property losses in 2018 with $7.9 billion worth of insured losses. The Sunshine State is prone to hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. In order to lessen the risks, these catastrophes may pose to your family and your home,
Here are 6 steps to follow before disaster strikes:
1. Prepare Your Home
Here are a few simple things you can do now to make your home safer during disasters.
- Secure your windows and doors by using braces. Make sure they can withstand strong winds and will not break or blow away easily.
- Clean out your gutters regularly. This will help you mitigate the risk of flooding.
- Check your roof for wear or damage. Keeping your roof in good condition won’t only lessen the risk of it getting destroyed during a disaster, it will also keep moisture and molds away and prevent fire hazards in the form of wet electrical wiring.
- If you have trees, make sure they are healthy. Most trees that come down during windstorms have some level of disease.
- Depending on your location, it may be worth investing in an emergency room so you’ll have somewhere to fall back into disasters.
2. Prepare Your Kit
Your emergency kit should have food and water supplies for at least three days. It should include a first aid kit and medications good for a week. It should also have blankets and clothes. Don’t forget to include a radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. Place it in a secure location inside your house and let other adults and older children know how to access it.
3. Prepare Your Emergency Plans
Depending on the emergency, you may or may not need to evacuate. The first step to making plans is to identify these situations. Plan for different kinds of disasters. This usually includes details about where to go and whom to contact so your plan should also have important numbers to call. You should also account for whether you and your family are together when a disaster happens. To be sure, including the contact details of their work and school.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has a form that you can fill out with your family to help you make your disaster plans.
4. Prepare Your Family
Ideally, your whole family understands your emergency plans and their responsibilities regarding them. It’s important that everyone is on the same page during a disaster. If members of your family require assistance, like children and the elderly, be sure they are accounted for.
Keep your family informed, as well. Share news and weather reports with them, especially if they could potentially impact your family. Educate your family and yourself about first aid. You can also teach other adults and older children how to turn off the power and gas.
It would also be worth assigning a person for your family to contact in times of crisis. This person should be known to all members of the family. Think of someone who lives in a different area and less likely to be affected by the same disaster. Most of the time, it will be easier to contact someone farther because your phone lines may be affected as well.
Most of all, encourage them to keep calm during disasters. If you have an easy, understandable, and sensible plan, it will help them stay focused.
5. Prepare Your Documents
Sometimes important documents are overlooked during disasters. Make sure you keep documents like passports, IDs, medical records, and insurance policies in a safe and dry place. Mind your picture albums and other priceless family documents, as well.
6. Prepare for the Aftermath
When you’ve gone through a disaster, it is equally important to figure out how to get back on your feet. This can mean doing a tedious cleanup, making repairs, or contacting public adjusters of Florida.
Disasters can be frightening, but doing these steps will surely give you a measure of peace of mind when they do come.