September brings us to the beginning of fall and getting everyone organized for all the upcoming holidays and school year! Along with this time of year, we have an opportunity to get our homes organized and prepared for any situation. September marks National Preparedness Month by FEMA. FEMA is committed to helping people get prepared for any situation but specifically looks at preparing for natural disaster related situations and I help by offering programs that are proactive during the month of September. And we sure have had a lot of issues this year … wildfires destroying tens of thousands of homes in the West and flooding damaging homes throughout the Central and Southeast United States, hurricanes touching land in Florida, the Carolinas and up to the Mid Atlantic states,tornadoes caused by these hurricanes and earthquakes in the central United States. Basically, 40 – 50% of our country has been impacted recently with mother nature’s activities.
So knowing that these situations occur, what can we do to prepare or is there anything we can do? There is.
First and foremost, making sure your family is safe or has a plan to get to a safe place will be very important. Do the family members all have mobile phones or some other way to communicate in order to connect? Is there a plan that has the entire family meeting a central location if mother nature decides to pay a visit to your community? This plan will also need to include your pets. So adding a component of getting to or having the necessary travel components for your pets will be important. Another great component is to have a communication plan to any family members that might be concerned that do not live near you… Give these members a quick call to let them know you and the rest of your family are safe.
There are maintenance tasks around your home that could actually help prevent issues from impacting your home and family. A very simple thing to do is make sure your smoke detectors are working. As simple as this sounds, so many fires could be contained with working smoke detectors.
Have the appropriate materials to board or close up your windows to protect against hurricanes and high winds. Also trimming trees around your home near windows will also prevent damage from broken glass.
Check your roof and gutters. Is your roof fire proof and if not, it may be time for a replacement. Remove debris from your gutters to help with managing water running against your house. Roofs and walls can cause a lot of damage to a home or actually protect the home, but you will need to protect them.
Document it All
Whether you use a video, photos or scanned documents, these items can be uploaded to a system to help manage them in case you need to address a claim after mother nature has moved through your neighborhood. If you do not have time to document anything, grab a few documents that identify your insurance company, your mortgage company and pertinent personal documents like passports, drivers license or prescriptions.
Getting prepared can be very simple with some effort but also help you get prepared for any situation that may come your way.