Preparing for a disaster is no easy task. There are many different factors to consider when developing your preparation plan. A viable one must adequately ensure the safety of your family and establish contact with loved ones abroad to apprise them of your situation.
The purpose of this article is to offer you five steps to take immediately after a disaster in your home. These steps are crucial and will help secure you and your family in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
Evacuate To A Common Area
First, ensure that you have a common area that your family agrees to meet at in the event of a disaster in your home. Common examples can include a street corner close to your home, a tree in the front yard, or even a neighbor’s home. Gathering at one area will allow you and your family to quickly and easily proceed to the next step below. Once everyone is evacuated, contact the appropriate emergency personnel.
Account For All Household Members
The next step involves accounting for all household members. This is important to ensure that no one is left in your home. In the event one of your family members who was in the home is missing, inform law enforcement right away. Afterward, consider NamUs to fill out a missing person request form. You can also get help printing missing person flyers and register your loved one in their database.
Find Emergency Housing
Finding emergency housing is important in the event of a disaster in your home. You will want to secure a place as soon as possible that has necessities like running water, access to medical care, and electricity.
If the disaster is widespread, you may need to locate to a temporary shelter that has been approved for your area. You can find a listing of shelters that are approved for your area by visiting DisasterAssistance.Gov’s site here.
For rental options, FEMA’s website has a search function you can use here. These property listings are approved by FEMA for individuals who have been displaced by disasters. You can search for rentals by price, bedrooms, and location.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Paramount Restoration LLC said, “Once you and your family are safe and accounted for, notify your insurance carrier if applicable. Inform them of the disaster.” You will be asked to provide relevant information like the date of occurrence, applicable police reports, and a listing of covered valuables that were destroyed. If possible, try to take pictures of the damage to submit to your agent when it is safe to do so.
Retain All Receipts For Potential Reimbursement
Be sure to save all receipts relating to the disaster. This includes things like meals, travel expenses, lodging, and more. Many insurance policies cover a large portion of expenses in the event you are displaced from your home.
It is also important to save receipts for large purchases that you store in your home. Many insurance carriers will cover the value of lost personal property if you can show its value and provide relevant information like serial numbers. Consider storing this type of information in a safe location like a safety deposit box.
Preparation is key when dealing with any disaster. An adequately prepared family has a much greater chance of survival in the event of an emergency situation. First, decide on a dedicated spot to meet up at in an emergency situation and make sure all family members are familiar with it.
Afterward, be sure everyone knows the best possible ways to leave the home. This covers alternative exits like windows and fire escapes when applicable. It is important to establish safe practices like the buddy system for small children.
After these practices are in place, review these five steps with your family. With appropriate planning, your family will be prepared for just about any disaster resulting in less stress for everyone involved.