If you turn on the news on any particular day of the week, there will likely be a leading story about a disaster happening in some part of the world. It’s all too easy to feel immune to the turmoil as invincible as a 16-year-old with a freshly minted driver’s license. However, disaster rarely gives much notice, nor does it care about who you are or where you live, which is why it’s important to be prepared. Here are a few ways to plan for disasters to keep your family and home safe.
Know your surroundings
Every part of the nation has different risks. You need to consider tsunamis on the Pacific coast, or tornados in the middle of the country. Each natural disaster comes with its own checklist for how to hunker down and keep your home and your family as safe as possible. Water damage restoration is more straightforward after a flood if you put certain precautions in place.
If you are new to your area, one of your first calls should be to a local insurance provider. Coverage for specific acts of nature like earthquakes or floods might not be automatically included in your homeowner’s insurance, or you may need to pay a premium. Check the fine print and do so every time it is up for renewal. Ask your insurer how you might be able to reduce your insurance costs by putting mitigating plans in place that will reduce any potential damage to your property.
You can prepare your family by playing out a practice run for what you’d do in the case of a natural disaster. Make it fun rather than anxiety-provoking; you’ll be amazed at how much information even the smallest children can learn. Have a designated meeting spot if you need to evacuate your home, and then chat about different scenarios and how to tackle any issues that arise.
Find an easily accessible place to keep an emergency kit. Ideally, this kit should be different from your everyday medical supplies or pantry items. It’s fine to rotate the items out as needed; however, emergencies happen when you least expect it, so you need to be organized. You won’t have time to restock when disaster strikes and chaos ensues.
You can find essential disaster supplies checklists here. We recommend that you print this off and check the list at least annually so that you can replace expired items or add in new requirements.
In addition to having an emergency kit, we highly recommend making a family-specific packing list and keeping this with your kit. It is easy to forget to pack a child’s favorite toy or the leash for the family dog in a highly stressful situation. This will also limit anxiety that might arise about what family heirlooms to pack in the car before you need to leave.
Regardless of where you live or how prepared you may think you are, it is still worth spending time going through our checklist. The ultimate aim is to ensure that you, your family, and your home are kept as safe as possible. Whether you live in a state prone to wildfires, on a fault line, or in a hurricane zone, planning for a disaster is necessary. We encourage involving the whole family in disaster planning activities. This way, everyone understands what to do and when.