Last week we shared steps you can take to prepare your house for a hurricane. Similarly, there are steps you can take now to get organized, so when a storm hits, you won’t be franticly trying to gather important items last minute. Follow these steps to get organized now, so when and if a storm hits, you’ll be prepared.
Create a home inventory
52% of homeowners have prepared an inventory of their possessions to help document losses in an emergency. Having a home inventory in place is recommended for all home owners, whether or not they live in a hurricane zone. Having this in place can help in the event of a fire or burglary. This is basically a list of belongings, including receipts, serial numbers, appraisals, etc. that will make filing an insurance claim easier. You can use technology to make this task even easier by taking pictures of these items and recording a walk-through of the interior and even exterior of your home. There are even mobile apps you can download to help you organize this list room by room.
Organize Key Documents
It’s recommended that you gather any key papers that could be difficult to replace, or that might help you get aid quicker in case your home is impacted by a storm. Recommended documents include:
- Insurance policies (home, auto, boat, etc.)
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Social Security cards
- Prescriptions and medical records
Make Copies and Secure the Originals
Your job isn’t done once you’ve gathered the documents listed above. It’s recommended that you make physical and digital copies of these documents. Keep the physical copies in a single folder that you can quickly grab in case you need to evacuate. Since you don’t want to risk losing the originals on the go, it’s recommended that you purchase a fireproof, water-resistant safe to store those documents in.
There’s a good chance you won’t have room in your car to bring all your electronics. Similarly, you might not have room in your safe to store them there. That’s why it’s recommended that you frequently back up your electronics to the cloud or an external hard drive. Hard drives are much smaller than computers and will be easier to store in a safe than a laptop.
Does your community have an incident response plan in place? If not, download our free guide to get started on creating one today!