Are you ready for if lets a Natural disaster, fire, chemical /biological spill, or attack? Let me tell you I was…still not. My family in Florida tells me all the time that if they did not have emergency preparedness plan, hurricane Ian would have been even harder than it was. To be honest, I thought to myself, yeah you should and need one you get hurricanes. But then our close friends in Ohio had that train derailment and they were not quite ready to pick up and leave. This is where I begin to think ok, I think I should start planning/think about emergencies. As I began planning for emergency preparedness plan, I began to understand that having a plan is more than just picking who oversees who gets what, or saying ok this is where we meet if we have a house fire etc. Here are a few tips I learned for practicing and planning for my own family.
First: What Plans you should be planning. While I’m sitting down making my plan, I had this thought. And that was money. This lesson was learned in two ways in our family, as I’m sure it was with many families. But having an emergency fund or saving.
My Aunt put a little bit of money away from each paycheck to keep for if she must evacuate her home and stay at a hotel or to get an Airbnb, with Hurricane Ian she was out of work for months.
For a while she had her emergency money fund that helped her. Having money set aside for if you need temporary housing. Having it helps pay for food and gas while you’re displaced. It also could help if you lose your job and need some funds while you get work figured out.
Experts say you should have enough to cover 3 to 6 months’ worth of living expenses. Remember start small and add more when you can. Some things are better than nothing.
Second: Documents, with this I mean many different things. Like having all in the same place. When my family was practicing our hurry and leave drill I failed to get to the basement before the Tornado came. I have my documents upstairs in the office, then I had some downstairs in my document cabinet. And when I was in the moment of trying to gather and good, I realized what are the documents I should be grabbing? Lucky for you I have some suggestions here for you.
- Birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, and death certificate. Don’t forget your pets, make sure to have adopt, micro chip and medical documentation for them to.
- Driver license, Passport, social security cards and any other form of personal identification.
- Your Tax information: having your past tax return helps prove who you are, but also your proof pf income if you need to apply for loan or any kind of assistance.
- Bank/Credit Union accounts numbers : having copies of bank/credit union account statements helps you have proof it your account and have your account number.
- Pay stub: another proof of income and proof of employment.
- Insurance information: car, homeowner, health, life insurance.
- Bill and other information documents: mortgage, loans, utilities, all things that you pay monthly, this will help you have account numbers but also help you keep track of what needs to be paid.
- Vehicle Documentation/Information: making sure you have the proper information for your car, VIN, registration, and deed/ title for you care.
- Appraisals: having receipts/appraisals documentation for all your valuable or major purchases.
- Inventory of your household items: photos of all your valuables. Getting all the serial number, brand, model, and brief description of. I learned this lesson the hard way. It was Christmas Eve and some broke into our house. The insurance wanted all of those, and I didn’t have any of that. It was hard to get coverage for all my stuff when I could not provide them with the serial, brand etc.
- Immunization record, Medication list, Wills Power of Attorney, Trust documents.
If you’re like me, and like check list. I have one for you. You can print and check it out more information I will post the link at the end of this blog.
Ok not that we have gone over some of the importance of having important documents on hand, let’s get back to what other essential we need to be thinking about or have planned out.
Third: I’m going to clump these next one together. Make a plan, practice your plan. And assemble and know of all evacuation routes. Sign up for alerts and warnings. Get CPR certified.
Fourth: the last one is supplies. Start have a small home food storage. If you have one check all expression dates. have food that does not take a lot of ingredients. To be prepared for emergencies they say you should have three days per person worth of food. With water you should have one gallon per person plus extra for cooking. Don’t forget to include 3 months of food and water for your pets. Another essential supplies to have on hand other than food are.
- First aid kit
- Battery powered or hand crank radio. NOAA weather radio
- Cell phone charger/ and back up battery
- Manual can opener
- Wrench or pilers
- Garbage bags, plastic ties
- Paper and Pencil
- Feminine supplies
- Change of cloths
- To see a complete list, check out FEMA: ready.gov
Wow that was a lot of information. And to be honest there were several essential items that I still did not even think about, till writing this blog. It’s easy to get caught up with life and forget or say that will never happen. All in all, I personally just wanted to make sure you’re thinking about it and have some information to help you get started.
- JustGreatLawyers: https://www.justgreatlawyers.com/legal-documents-to-prepare-for-emergency-preparedness
- FEMA: ready.gov