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When you think of “preparedness,” what comes to mind?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to have a basement stocked full of extra food or a year’s worth of drinking water in your garage to be considered “prepared.”
September is National Preparedness Month, and while being prepared might look a little different depending on the person or the situation, there’s one thing we can probably all agree on - being prepared for whatever emergencies might come our way is important.
So how can you safeguard yourself, your family, and your belongings for an emergency? Here’s what you need to know.
Educate Yourself on Potential Risks
We all know being prepared for an emergency is important. But what does being prepared actually entail? Part of it, of course, is having the right supplies on hand.
But another equally important part is educating yourself on potential risks. After all, if you don't know what might happen, how can you be prepared for it?
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you learn about potential risks. The internet is a great place to start, with sites like the CDC, EPA, National Weather Service, and FEMA offering detailed information on everything from hurricanes to wildfires. You can also find helpful resources at your local library or community center.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the disasters or emergencies that are most common in your area - and leave no stone unturned. While you might not have to worry quite as much about a hurricane while living in northern New York as you might if you lived in Florida, extreme weather events like these do happen.
Make a Plan
Planning for an emergency can feel like a daunting task. Do you have enough food and water? What if you need to evacuate? And what about your pet?
Here are a few preparedness planning tips:
Make a list of potential emergencies. This could include things like fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or even a pandemic.
For each emergency, make a list of what you would need. This could include things like food, water, first-aid supplies, and cash.
Make a plan for how you would communicate with your family and friends in an emergency. This could include things like making sure everyone has each other's contact information or agreeing on a meeting place.
Practice your plan! Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.
By taking the time to prepare now, you'll be better equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
Create an Emergency Supply Kit
One of the most important things you can do is to create an emergency supply kit. This kit should include enough food and water for everyone in your household, as well as a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and other essential items.
Every situation is different, but in general, aim to have at least a gallon of water per person, per day. You’ll need some nonperishable food items that can last a few days and any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) your family might need.
Of course, every situation is different, so you'll also want to tailor your kit to your specific needs. For example, if you have small children, you'll want to include diapers, wipes, and formula. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you might want to add a first-aid kit, batteries, and a generator. And if you have pets, don't forget their food and water too!
Once you have assembled your kit, make sure to store it in a safe place where everyone in your household knows where to find it.
Discuss Coverage Options With Your Agent
Keeping your family protected is the most important consideration in the event of an emergency. However, it’s also important to think about what will happen to your belongings.
No one likes to think about disasters, but they can strike at any time. That's why it's important to have insurance coverage in place to protect you and your family in an emergency.
Homeowners insurance covers damage to your home and personal belongings from fire, theft, and certain natural disasters. It also provides liability coverage if someone is injured on your property. Auto insurance covers damage to your car from accidents, weather, and vandalism.
Of course, there are plenty of other types of coverages you can choose from, too - and every situation is different. That’s why it’s important to work with a qualified insurance agent and create a plan tailored to you.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you're protected by purchasing insurance coverage for your needs. At Northern Insurance Agency, Inc., we simplify the complicated…for insurance.