Make Sure You Are Prepared If Disaster Strikes
With the recent news footage of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, there are plenty of comparisons to Hurricane Sandy. Occurring in late October of 2012, Sandy resulted in over 100 deaths and left billions of dollars worth of damages in its wake. While there may be little you can do to shield your home against this type of major storm, there are steps you can take now to plan and protect yourself and your loved ones in the event a disaster of this type occurs.
Keeping Important Documents Safe
You do not want to wait until a major storm or other disaster is headed our way before taking the time to gather important documents you will need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends gathering these documents now and placing them in a three ring binder, using plastic sleeves and separators to keep like items together. Documents to keep as part of this file include:
- Vital records, including Social Security cards, copies of your driver’s license or military ID, passports, citizenship papers, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, and immunization records for both you and any pets.
- Insurance policies, including life, health, automobile, and accident insurance, as well as homeowner’s or renters policies and any special coverage, such as flood or fire insurance.
- Property records, Including your deed for your house and other properties you own, as well as ownership documents relating to cars, boats, motorcycles, or other large items.
- Medical information, including any medications you are taking, any existing health issues, and the name of your doctor and other health providers.
- Estate planning documents, including your will, trust documents, powers of attorney, and advance directives you may have made.
- Financial records: FEMA advises including the front pages of the past two years tax returns, stock and bond certificates, retirement accounts, financial institutions, credit card companies, and financial advisors.
Other items FEMA recommends include your address book, a printout of names and numbers from your cellphone, backups of important computer files, along with usernames and passwords.
Making An Emergency Supply Kit
Packing emergency supplies is another smart move, in the event you lose power or are trapped in your home. The Office of Homeland Security provides a checklist of items you might need in an emergency situation, which includes the following:
- One gallon of water per person each day, for a total of three days;
- Non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, granola, and peanut butter;
- Battery powered radio and flashlight, along with extra batteries;
- First aid kit and hand sanitizer;
- Dust mask, tools, and garbage bags;
- Local maps and a whistle to help rescuers identify your location.
For additional suggestions on how to prepare and the items you might need in the event of an emergency situation, call or contact Cavallo & Cavallo online. As your neighborhood law firm, we care about the safety and well being of both you and your loved ones.