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Disaster Preparedness

Flood Scene

With the threat of disastrous weather, such as tornados and hurricanes, often present, it is important to pay special attention to disaster preparedness in both business and personal life. There are also other threats to consider, such as acts of war and terrorism, as well as freak events such as earthquakes, wild fires and floods. It is important that you be prepared for disaster to strike, both personally and financially.

Primarily, it is essential to have the right insurance in place, to protect you from financial loss, should a disaster occur. Some of the most vital insurance plans to have in place, for disaster preparedness, are as follows:

Auto Comprehensive Coverage - This particular aspect of auto insurance can cover your vehicle against damage from perils such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, falling objects and more. The coverage you have will depend on the insurance policy you purchase.

Household Insurance - A disaster could cause significant damage to your home, so a good household insurance policy, which includes contents cover, is essential. Similarly, if you rent your home, a good renters insurance policy is what you will require, in order to cover your belongings. Your landlord should have an insurance policy to cover the house itself.

Property Insurance for Business - If you own a business or run your business from home, it is essential to cover the property where the business is operated, as well as the equipment used for business purposes. It is vital to note that business equipment or structures on your home property will not be covered under your household insurance policy.

Business Interruption Insurance - If you own your own business and disaster strikes, how long will it take you to get the business back up and running? The answer to this question may not be known until a disaster has occurred. Therefore, business interruption insurance may be vital to you, in order to keep the business financially viable after a disaster.

Health Insurance - This is probably the most important insurance plan you should purchase, when thinking of disaster preparedness. You could receive any number of injuries due to a disaster, and this could lead to extremely high medical bills in the future. Therefore, it is vital to protect yourself financially, so that you may receive the treatment you require, should injury or illness occur.

It is worth remembering that many insurance policies exclude certain perils, and may not cover every possible disaster. However, many insurance companies can add cover to policies, when the standard coverage is not enough. This may lead to higher premiums, but it may be worth every penny in the long run. Ensure you discuss disaster preparedness with your insurance company or experienced agent, in order to obtain the cover you need.

Besides insurance, there are many other aspects of disaster preparedness to consider. There are questions you should ask yourself now, in order to follow through with the correct answers if disaster should strike. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where will my family and I go, should we need to evacuate? The answer to this question should also include any pets you own, if possible.

How will we get to a safe location, should we need to evacuate? Keeping a full tank of gas in your car is important, as gas stations may not be functioning at the time of evacuation. Also, if you do not own a vehicle, it is important to make the necessary arrangements for transportation to safety.

If we will not be evacuating, do we have enough supplies to see us through? Keeping plenty of non-perishable food such as canned goods, and bottled water are essential supplies. Also, consider how you will survive, should you be without power for an extended period. It is likely that you will not receive mains water or electricity for some time, should a disaster take place. Furthermore, if your home receives mains gas, ensure all members of the household know how to shut it off, and ensure that you do so before the impending disaster takes place, should the event be foreseen.

Can I treat injuries sufficiently until we can reach medical services? It is highly recommended to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your home, in order to care for injuries or illness until medical attention can be sought. In addition, it is vital to obtain the necessary supply of any medication you or your family needs, such as asthma medication and other prescribed drugs.

There are many things to consider when preparing for a disaster of any kind. The government organization FEMA has tips, guides and resources on their website at www.fema.gov, which can help you and your family to fully prepare.