Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparing for a Disaster, Part 4 - Home Inventory

October is Disaster Preparedness month. Be it Earthquakes, Floods, Fires Hurricanes or Zombies, you need to be ready. Preparing for one prepares you for the others in a big way. 

Preparing a home inventory and keeping a copy in you grab and go kit is very helpful when filing a claim. It can help the adjuster and you when completing claim forms and figuring out replacement cost.

Note the item, when you bought it, serial numbers if applicable, the cost, and where it was purchased. You can also video tape your belongings, but don't forget to keep a summary list with your grab and go kit. You may only have a few seconds to get out in the case of a fire or evacuation. Keeping a summary copy will help.  You could also include photos if you do not have access to a video camera.

For more helpful suggestions please visit:

Know Your Stuff Home Inventory (see free version link at the bottom)
More Home Inventory Programs

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2011/10/06/218887.htm

Also, check out your version of Microsoft Word or Excel, Open Office, etc. for templates on home inventories.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Preparing for a Disaster, Part 3 - Family Communication Plan

October is Disaster Preparedness month. Be it Earthquakes, Floods, Fires Hurricanes or Zombies, you need to be ready. Preparing for one prepares you for the others in a big way. 

Having a communication plan is crucial in the event of a disaster. Chances are good that your cell phone will not work, you won't have internet (no e-mail, and, gasp!, no blogs!) home phones will probably be out of order too. So unless you are adept at smoke signals, you should put a plan in place to communicate with your friends and loved ones.

Here are some ideas:

 1. Plan on leaving a message for family members with the local red cross as to where you will be in an emergency.

  2.  Plan a meeting location and a couple of back up locations in case your first choice is inaccessible or destroyed. Make sure the location is secure and in a public place, like a school, red cross shelter, shopping center, etc. Out of the way location could be difficult to get to and may be unsafe.

   3. Make a list of family members names, date of birth, social security number, phone numbers and any important medical information (medications, allergies, conditions, etc.). Include doctors names, pharmacy, medical and property insurance info.

 4. Give each member the name and number of an out of state contact and make sure they have the above info in a locked, safe place. Keep your copies locked up and give a copy to at least one other family member for safe keeping.

 5. Include address and phone numbers for work locations, schools, and other places.

For a form you can complete, click here to go to the FEMA Website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are you ready for a disaster? Part 2

October is Disaster Preparedness month. Be it Earthquakes, Floods, Fires Hurricanes or Zombies, you need to be ready. Preparing for one prepares you for the others in a big way. 

Last week we talked about food, water and medications. This week, lets talk about first aide.

Your first aide kit should include:

1.  Band aides in various sizes.

2.  5" x 9" sterile dressings.

3. Sterile gauze rolls. 2 or 3 should be fine. Gauze pads in assorted sizes.

4.  Antiseptic wipes. Rubbing alcohol, antibacterial ointment and peroxide are good to have too.

5. Cold pack. You can get them at camping supply stores and online or the red cross.

6. Small scissors, 2" medical adhesive tape.

This is just a quick list. Check out the red cross and click here for more sites to consider.

For more information, check out this link.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are you ready for a disaster? Part I

October is Disaster Preparedness month. Be it Earthquakes, Floods, Fires Hurricanes or Zombies, you need to be ready. Preparing for one prepares you for the others in a big way. 

First thing is to have food, water, first aide kit and any medications you may need. Don't forget to provide for your pets too!

So how do I do all that? Take it in steps.

1. Food - You can get a kit for your family that includes dehydrated meals. Canned goods and foods that required no refrigeration and very little water to prep are best. I got a great kit at Cost Co or you can shop on the web for them. Camping supplies shops are a great resource too. Remember to write a date on any canned and dry goods and check them twice a year for expiration, bulging or damage. Use and replace any canned goods that are about to expire. Toss out any bulging or damaged items. They can be a breading ground for bacteria and can cause illness.

2. Water - Most recommendations are to allow for one gallon of water per person per day. Plan on being on your own for at least 2 to 3 weeks, longer if you live in a remote or mountain area. Bigger cities, highly populated areas and major disaster areas are where disaster responders are going to go first.

3. Medications - If you have medications that you need on a regular basis like insulin, ask your doctor for an extra supply for your emergency kit and talk with them about how to manage your health issues in the event of a disaster. Remember to rotate out your medications regularly.

For more information, check out this link.