Following simple steps can help minimize the impact of a disaster
September is National Preparedness Month; a full month dedicated to educating the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters. BBB Serving Northern Indiana supports this effort and urges families to devise their own emergency preparedness plan.
The anniversaries of the events of 9/11 and the disastrous Texas wildfires of 2011, remind us that life-changing events can be sudden and unexpected. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared.
There are two things every family should do to prepare for any kind of disaster:
1. Make a plan. Discuss with family and friends how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet and what you’ll do for different situations.
2. Prepare an emergency kit. If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water or electricity. Your emergency kit should include such items as:
a. Water – a gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
b. Nonperishable food at least a three-day supply for each family member
c. Flashlights with extra batteries
d. First-aid kit
e. A whistle to signal for help
f. Tools, such as a wrench or pliers
g. Power inverter or solar charger for electronics such as your cell phone.
Families may also want to consider including such items as prescription medications, infant formula and diapers, pet food and cash.
Other things to keep in mind:
· Catalogue your valuables. Take pictures of your valuables. This can help the insurance company assess the dollar amount for your losses.
· Protect important documents. Place copies of important family documents such as birth certificates, passports, insurance policies and photos in a waterproof, portable container near your escape route.
· Start with trust. Whether shopping for insurance before a disaster strikes or looking for a company to clean damaged areas, remove debris and rebuild, check the company’s Business Review for accurate information at bbb.org.
· Know where to turn. FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have many resources available to help families prepare for what to do before, during and after disasters happen.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
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