Preparedness - Five Top Tips Everyone Needs to Know when Disaster
Planning for your Family and your Business
publication of this article there have been many disasters.
Hurricanes throughout the United States have reeked havoc. A
tsunami hit Japan. Californians are bracing for the next "big
one." We can't prepare for everything, but there are some things
we can do. Here is the article:
Katrina, one of the most powerful hurricanes in our nationís history,
Hurricane Wilma and Hurricane Ritaís left behind catastrophic damage.
Families were displaced; homes destroyed, and now come the task of
trying to put the puzzle together. This task remains difficult even
today. For those who arenít in the effected areas, you have no idea how
hard the day-to-day struggles are.
You long for life to return to
normal, but everyday brings new challenges of the devastation caused by
these disasters. And itís not just hurricanes that can cause this
damage. The Mideast recently got hit with record number of tornados,
over 100 in one day. The nation has experienced floods, mudslides,
wildfires, and then the constant threat of a pending terrorist attack.
Are you ready?
co-author of Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Preparedness Guide
for Your Home Business,
http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com was hit by 8 hurricanes since
last August. Hurricane Wilma left catastrophic damage in her city of
Margate and her home suffered tremendous damage. Without power for two
weeks and facing the stress of trying to run a family and business, she
advises, "Being prepared for a hurricane or any natural disaster takes
away the stress and anxiety. When timing is critical, I want to focus
on the safety of my family, not on taking an inventory of my business,
or deciding where I need to go. I also need to know that my family
members will know how to find me after the disaster.Ē
Dr. Paulo J. Reyes, a First
Responder in California and author of the fiction thriller Sledgehammer
has firsthand disaster recovery experience
and participated in various disaster relief efforts in California
including the Air Mexicana crash in 1986, the last major earthquake in
L.A. in 1994, and the influenza epidemic 1997-1998. He advised, "Loss
of lives can be greatly reduced if everyone has a complete plan of
action prior to the event. Not only with the reduction of heart attacks
and stress related illnesses, but people tend to get to safety quicker
if they have already planned ahead and know what they are going to do.Ē
Here are some steps you can take to
Step One -- If you do not already
have flood and windstorm insurance, you should consider getting it.
Keep in mind that windstorm insurance policies are not sold when a storm
threatens, so you need to think far enough ahead. You can find out about
the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent
or emergency management office. Homeowners polices do not cover damage
from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane. Find out everything you
can about your coverage now. Ask questions. You need to know this
information now, before itís too late and you discover you arenít
covered when you thought you were.
Step Two - Identify a safe place for
everyone to meet. This pre-determined place should be discussed with
family members prior to an emergency. Depending on the type of emergency
you are planning, you might want to consider establishing a second
location in case the first is inaccessible. Tell out-of-state family
members where this meeting place is.
Step Three - Have a safe place in
the home that you can go. During Hurricane Wilma we found firsthand how
critical this was. One room of our house was badly damaged and winds of
110 mps were blowing through. Under the extreme stress we faced at that
time, our pre-planning allowed us to be safe and secure in a room with
no windows and all the essentials we needed. With the kids screaming, I
knew at the time that I had done everything I could to ensure the safety
of my family. That advance planning is priceless.
Step Four - In addition to a safe
place, each person should have a list of phone numbers for your
immediate neighbors and family members not living with you. We suggest
using 3X5 index cards and laminating them. If my family were to be
displaced, I want relatives and friends to be able to contact them
Step Five -- For businesses ≠ you
should have client contact phone numbers and email addresses in a safe
place so that you can notify them immediately of the situation. Also,
prepare a disaster recovery plan and have someone you trust keep a copy
of it. This should include vital information including medical
information, family and friendís names, your complete contact
information, where valuable information such as wills and trusts and
legal documents are kept, serial numbers for equipment and names of
equipment and household and business supplies, and a disaster escape
route in the event you need to evacuate. Make sure you have back-up all
data and keep off site. This would be beneficial even if you home
suffered a theft. Get a generator if possible. If you are without
power that can greatly affect the livelihood of your business.
To prepare your home and business now is the time to write a Disaster
Recovery Plan. Additional information is available at our site.
Prepare now for the peace of mind that comes with knowing youíve done
everything you can to protect your home and business.
Diana Ennen is the
author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant -The Series: Become
a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, Words From Home, Start, Run and
Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business and the Home Office
Recovery Plan (http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com).
She also is the publisher of the science fiction thriller, Sledgehammer,
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