5 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency
No matter where you live it is important to prepare for both natural and man-made disasters. Advanced preparation may help spare you some of the challenges that come during a disaster and in the aftermath. If you have questions or need assistance recovering from a disaster call your LegalShield provider law firm.
- Develop a basic disaster plan for your family. In many emergency situations cell phone networks become overloaded and unreliable. Make a plan for where your family should meet in the event of an emergency. Find out where the nearest shelter is located. Know your local evacuation routes. If your children are at school, who will pick them up? Review the plan with your family each year. Having a basic understanding of what you need to do during an emergency will help avoid miscommunication and anxiety. U.S. residents can learn more at www.ready.gov. Canadians can view additional resources at www.getprepared.gc.ca.
- Review your insurance policies to make sure you have the best coverage you can afford. Be sure that your homeowners insurance will cover the actual loss of your home and your personal property. If you rent a home or apartment, make sure you have adequate renter’s insurance. Your landlord’s insurance will not cover damage to your personal property. It is important to understand the exclusions and potential limitations of an insurance policy. Your LegalShield provider law firm can review any new policies before you sign them.
- Develop an emergency contact list. Your list should include family doctors, utility companies, insurance carriers and your LegalShield provider law firm. If possible, keep a hard copy of the list in another location where it can be retrieved if your home is inaccessible. Make sure your family knows where to find the list in an emergency.
- Keep your most critical documents in a safe deposit box or other secure place where they can be retrieved when they are needed. Critical documents include your will, advance medical directive or living will, insurance policies, military discharge and other important papers. It may also be helpful to keep copies of these documents in an alternate location in the event the bank is inaccessible in the aftermath of a disaster. If you do not have a will, advance medical directive or living will, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.
- Know what to do after a disaster. Take photographs of damaged property and retain all documents, including receipts that pertain to your recovery. Contact your insurance company to place a claim as soon as you are able. Write down the name of anyone you speak with and any claim numbers you are given. In addition to insurance, there are many government and non-government programs designed to assist families with disaster recovery. The process of applying for disaster relief can sometimes be confusing. If you need any assistance in the aftermath of a disaster contact your LegalShield provider law firm.