September is National Preparedness Month and each year we are reminded to prepare for disaster situations in our home and communities.
BE PREPARED: Before an emergency or natural disaster strikes, here are 10 things you can do:
- Plan and save for the unexpected financially.
- Sign up for emergency alerts in your area.
- Map out and practice using several different evacuation routes.
- Have a safe location planned for shelter if your town is evacuated.
- Plan for your pets and know where they will stay if you are evacuated. Here are some pet-friendly hotels.
- Have a plan where you and family members will meet and how you will communicate if you become separated.
- Create an emergency kit, that meets your family’s particular needs.
- Complete a home inventory and document all of your belongings (clothing, mattresses, bedding, kitchen appliances, furniture, electronics, etc.).
- Back up important phone contacts and photos physically or on The Cloud.
- Check your insurance coverage with an advisor, to make sure you’re adequately covered or add protection (ex. Home, Renters, Auto, Flood, Earthquake, Floater, and Umbrella).
BE READY: If you need to evacuate:
- To find local shelters download the FEMA app, text SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362 (ex. SHELTER 12345), or visit the American Red Cross’ website.
- Contact California Casualty as soon as possible and save all receipts for living expenses, such as hotels, meals and other essentials.
- Monitor local media about conditions, further evacuations, or when it might be safe to return home.
BE SAFE: When you return home, there are many potential dangers, such as:
- Dangerous toxins, and debris
- Gas leaks
- Electrical shock
- Poisonous snakes or other animals
- Structural instability and collapse
- Sewage and chemical tainted water
GET HELP: If you need recovery help afterward:
- FEMA disaster recovery help: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
- Small Business Administration financial help: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
- American Red Cross recovery help: https://www.redcross.org/get-help.html
- Salvation Army meals and other relief: https://www.redcross.org/get-help.html
Though it is National Preparedness Month, it is important to remain prepared every month of the year. An emergency or natural disaster can strike at any time or place; and if it does, please remember, you are not alone. California Casualty is there when you need us most, to help make sure you and your family are covered.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.