Disaster Preparedness Tips – Featured in Browardnetonline

We were thrilled to be featured in BrowardNetOnline – and provide some disaster preparedness tips.  Here is just a few of the tips we provided.  Please do read the entire article here ..

http://browardnetonline.com/2013/07/disaster-preparedness-get-ready-now-and-relax-later-a-few-helpful-tips-for-south-florida/

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to make those disaster readiness preparations for the hurricane season.   Now we all know it’s been a while since South Florida has experienced any major challenges, but that is all the more reason to take action and get things in order so you can be prepared, especially as Tropical Storm Chantal is floating out in the Atlantic.  Here are a few tips that we think you might find beneficial.

Top Disaster Preparedness Tips:

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. If you happen to have children with any medical conditions, be sure that they carry this with them at all times.  Of course, you hope you will be with them in case of an emergency, but if not, you will feel better knowing they are in good hands.

Take an inventory now.  Write down insurance policies including insurance company and contact information, policy numbers, group numbers, date of births, coverage, etc.  Also, make an extra copy of those important documents and have them handy. Write down an inventory of valuables and take photos if possible. One recommendation is when you buy something new, make an extra copy of the receipt and keep it in your disaster recovery file folder with a photo of it.  Takes seconds, but makes it so much easier when it comes to filing a claim (and you might be able to get more money because you have proven the value of the items.)

Safeguard important information – Get a copy of all important information, wills, trusts, mortgages, deeds, birth certificates, contracts, medical records, insurance information, even household bills to help get things restored quickly, etc.  This should be in one central location that you can grab and go.  In extreme cases, some suggest to put this in a freezer as emergency personnel is trained to look there. It’s also a good idea to write out some of those important passwords for your online activities.  (Just be sure to keep in secure location.)  Many save everything on the computer, and if you have no power, that can be a real problem.

Back up your computer system regularly.  Whether you have a business or not, it’s important to have a good back-up.  We recommend an online system such as Carbonite in addition to flash drives, hard drive back-ups, etc.  Even dropbox can be beneficial. However you do it, just make sure you are protected. Don’t lose those precious photos and family videos.

Have the appropriate food and supplies on hand.  Throughout the year, add to your stockpile and make sure the food you get is food that your family likes and will eat. Many make the mistake of getting canned goods, but it’s not what the family is used to and therefore won’t eat it.  You then end up on that long search for an open store. Basics like bread and milk, you’ll need to get closer to the time, but many of the extras you can purchase while on sale. Get used to saving with the buy one get one free sales.  Buy one to use now, and get one to put away. (Be mindful of expiration dates though.)

Don’t forget the comfort foods.  It can be stressful and that can help tremendously. You can fire up the grill and grill up goodies so stock up on charcoal and lighter fluid.  Also get extra sterno.  Many a mac and cheese dinner can be heated up with that.  Don’t forget coffee (you will need it), lots of water, and extra cash.  Often ATMs are down so cash is needed.

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. Also, consider putting together a back-pack for each family member.  Some considerations include some of the following; clothes, shoes, water, bug spray, a little food, etc.  Think what they might need for just a few days.

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Do you have any tips you’d like to share.  Let us know.  Also, if you would like to receive our sample;  Home Office Recovery Plan, let us know and we’d be happy to send it to you.  Thanks! Diana

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