Preparing for Hurricane Sandy – Disaster Preparedness Tips

I live in South Florida and have experienced numerous hurricanes.  That’s why when a system up north or anywhere happens, I like to share my tips.  Many of these have helped me tremendously with the storms we experienced. I would love it too if you have some you can add your tips!

A few tips that many neglect include:

Identify a safe place foreveryone to meet.
This pre-determined place should be discussed with family members prior to an emergency.  A second location should be discussed.  Also, out-of-town relatives should be advised of this location.  Additionally, each person should have a list of phone numbers for immediate neighbors and family members.  3X5 index cards work well.

Take an inventory now.
Write down insurance policies including insurance company and contact information, policy numbers, group numbers, date of births, coverage, etc.  Write down an inventory of valuables.  Take photos.  If possible grab the receipts so you can easily file a claim. Many have
a folder already of these and it’s just a matter of putting it all together.

Write down a complete family medical history.
Include any medical conditions, medicines and dosages, doctor’s names and contact information, where medical records can be found, etc.  Be specific. A life can truly depend on this one step alone.

Safeguard important information – Get a copy of all important information, wills, trusts, mortgages, deeds, birth certificates, contracts,
medical records, even household bills to help get things restored quickly, etc.  Get extra cash.  Often ATMs are down so cash is needed.

Back up your computer system regularly.

Whether you have a business or not, don’t lose those precious photos and family videos. Put them on a flash drive or invest in an online back-up system such as Carbonite.

Be careful with your generators.

Most go outside. Follow the directions closely. Also, get extra gas (in gas cans) for these.

Have the appropriate food and supplies on hand.

Many make the mistake of getting canned goods, but it’s not what the family is used to and therefore won’t eat.  Know your family and get what they would eat.  Get some comfort foods.  It can be stressful and that can help tremendously. You already know the basics to get but keep in mind that after a few days the same ole’ same’ ole gets old.  You can fire up the grill and grill up food (even in chilly
conditions).  Also get sterno that can boil water.  Don’t forget instant coffee.

Get the appropriate weather attire out.

Ponchos,umbrellas, etc.  Also, don’t forget things such as extra bug spray.  Often these storms stir up insects that carry diseases (i.e., West Nile Virus) so be prepared.

Stay calm – It is stressful, there is no doubt about it.  Don’t watch 24-7 of thenews.  Definitely tune in regularly, but your anxiety level rises if you watch it too much.  Remember your family is often watching you, so set a good example.  Also, know there is no right or wrong way to weather a storm. Do your best and that’s plenty!

Stay safe!  And make sure you keep in contact with your friends and family often!

Diana Ennen

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