How do you really prepare for the worst? Is it even possible to cover all your bases in the event of a disaster? What can I do to Prepare before a Disaster?

ARS Storm Cleanup & Restoration

Realistically, it’s hard to prepare for the worst possible outcome in various scenarios, but there are measures you can take to help you recover from the event smoother and faster. Below is a list of 7 helpful tips to help you get through a disaster at your home or business.

  1. Go through your home and take pictures of each room, closet, garage, and other spaces. If you had to start completely over in each room, what would it cost to replace the contents in each space? Make a list of the major contents and what it would cost to replace each of the items at current market value. Keep the pictures and records on a thumb drive away from your home or store them on a safe cloud based web server along with a copy of your Insurance Policy.
  2. Keep all very important files and documents such as Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, or Insurance Policy Information in a fire safe container or in a safety deposit box.
  3. At least once a year, meet with your Homeowners Insurance Provider or Agent to adjust your policy, add new property, check your limits, adjust your deductible, and see if you qualify for discounts. Be sure to include any items that fall under insurance exclusions like jewelry, luxury items, or firearms. During this meeting, discuss the cost of adding a Back-up of Sewer and Drain Policy. While most insurances cover certain types of water damage, most do not cover sewer or water backup. This is a great add on if you live in an area susceptible to flooding or are serviced by a City Sewer Line. We recommend a minimum of at least $10,000 in flood and/or sewer coverage.
  4. Routinely check your home for leaky pipes, mold spots, standing water inside or outside, add downspout extenders to your gutters, check for old or faulty electrical connections, remove trash or clutter, ensure your home’s street number is visible from the street to better help Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders find your home in the event of emergency, clean your dryer lint screen regularly, turn your water main off before leaving for an extended period of time, test you sump pump before rain storms to ensure it’s working and set up a moisture alarm near the sump pump in case it fails, check all around your home for pests and block them from coming in your house, keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and ensure all smoke detectors have fresh batteries and are in working condition.
  5. Have an emergency fund available. Make sure it includes enough cash to pay your insurance deductible and extra to provide for short term living cost. If you don’t have a fund, start by automatically putting a little bit of money aside after each payday into a savings account. It will add up quickly!
  6. Plan for the worst, if your water supply is cut off or contaminated, do you have enough bottled water for your family and pets for a few days? Are you able to cook or prepare food if your utilities are disconnected? Do you have a 72 hour kit for each family member if needed? Will you have light in your home without electricity? Again, start our slowly if you are not prepared in all these areas. Work on an area of preparedness a week or even a month until you are confident you have enough to provide for your family.
  7. At minimum, keep a basic first aid kit handy and brush up on your first aid skills!

This list is not complete or comprehensive, but it definitely gets you thinking and the wheels turning. We cannot always avoid disaster, but it gives great peace during a stressful situation being able to care for yourself and your loved ones.