- Make sure you have bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, personal hygiene supplies, and a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks.
- For personal safety, identify what storm shelter is available to your family and prepare an evacuation plan. Choose two meeting places: one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire; and one outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
- If you need to evacuate your home, turn off all utilities and disconnect appliances to reduce the chance of additional damage and electrical shock when utilities are restored.
- Mitigation - There are steps you can take to help mitigate - or lessen - some of the damage to your home caused by natural disasters. Generally a mitigation plan will begin with a survey of your home and the area around your home to identify objects like yard debris that could compound damage your home in high winds or under threat of wildfire. Your state insurance department or state department of emergency management can help you get started on a mitigation plan. Some states may even have programs to help pay for mitigation upgrades for homes in high threat areas.
- Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company. Make a list that includes your policy numbers, your insurance company and insurance agent's phone numbers, website addresses and mailing addresses. Also, check to see if the company or your agent has set up an emergency information hotline, in case of storm damage. It is a good idea to store this information, and a home inventory, in a waterproof/fireproof safe or a safe deposit box. Also consider sending an electronic copy to someone you trust. If you have to evacuate your home, you want this information to be easily available to you.
- A home inventory can be invaluable when deciding how much insurance your life situation requires to adequately insure your home in the path of a natural disaster. Get more homeowners insurance tips.
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