When heavy rains and high winds are imminent, and you need to evacuate your home, something important could get lost or left behind in the rush to safety. Here are a few ways to get prepared before a weather emergency is at your door.
Be prepared to go
Designate a meeting place for you and your family now. You may need to leave your home. If that happens, some of you could get separated. Then do a practice run. In addition, determine how everyone will contact each other if you’re apart.
Next, make a “go-bag” of basic items you may need in an emergency such as non-perishable food and water. Also, include supplies like flashlights, paper maps of the local area and a battery-powered radio that can last at least 72 hours. Visit ready.gov for a complete list of recommended items for your kit.
Document what’s important now
Inventory your home by documenting all valuables (e.g., cars, collectibles and electronics) including the model and serial number. It’s also helpful to take photos of valuables, in case you need to file a homeowners insurance claim later. While you’re at it, be sure your insurance policy is up to date.
Critical files should be grab-n-go
Store your inventory list and other important papers in a small, fire-resistant safe that’s durable, lockable and portable. Keep a back-up copy of important documents in a safe deposit box at your credit union or bank.
Use resealable plastic bags inside your safe to hold your safe deposit box key, cash, account numbers, photocopy of passports and/or driver’s licenses and Social Security cards.
If you’ve backed up your computer files on a secure, external drive, add it to the safe and box, too.
Use digital tools to stay informed
Consider downloading the free Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) app so you can receive National Weather Service alerts, lifesaving safety tips and access to disaster resources. Your local news stations and city or county emergency management departments may also have a similar weather alert app. Data fees may apply, so check with your service provider.
Social media may also be a resource for community-sourced information like flooding, downed trees or power outages. It might be a good idea to like and follow neighborhood groups.
Get ready now, before a weather event strikes.
Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.