Preparing for Severe Weather…April is Severe Weather Awareness month in Minnesota. It can feel a bit strange to prepare for natural disasters you’re not sure will ever occur — but it’s actually one of the smartest things you can do for your family. And the best part? It doesn’t require all that much work or energy. Try these tips from American Family Insurance to prepare your family for the unexpected.
9 Steps to Prep for a Natural Disaster
Know what you have. Update your home inventory once a year — like during spring cleaning — to make sure you and your insurance agent have the most up-to-date information.
Get a lock box. Store important information such as emergency phone numbers, safe deposit key, name of your attorney, insurance policies and contacts, birth certificates, passports, bank account records, credit card numbers and contact info, treasury bonds and other investment documents as well as valuable jewelry in a indestructible (waterproof, fire-proof, reinforced) container.
Inform your kids. Tell selected family members where to find that container should anything happen. You can also store the documents on your smart phone, but it’s a good idea to keep hard copies in case electricity is unavailable when you need that information.
Back it up. Store photos and computer data on a memory stick or the cloud, so you’ll still have them if your computer and/or hard copies are destroyed.
Backup power. Consider installing a generator if losing power is a reasonable threat to your safety, like losing heat in cold weather.
Assign a contact. Choose a person who lives out of the state for each family member to contact when they’re safe, as recommended by the American Red Cross Safe and Well program. Challenge everyone to memorize this person’s phone number.
Be ready to give aid. Have everyone learn how to perform CPR and basic first aid.
Keep a safe stash. Pack a in a plastic tub, suitcase or duffle bag that best fits your family. Include food and water, a change of clothing, first aid supplies and communication tools.
Contact your agent. Check to see if your homeowner’s insurance policies cover the natural disasters that are most common in your area.