Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

As devastating rains, floods, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes hit various areas across our nation, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people are displaced. Many are without families to help in their recovery and others are without resources to start over again. The American Red Cross suggests taking the three key steps to emergency preparedness: make a plan, have a kit and be informed.

Having a fireproof and waterproof storage container for legal documents such as deeds; leases; wills; insurance policies; birth certificates; marriage certificates; copies of driver’s licenses and other ID cards for health benefits, social security, and credit cards; and copies of any other important papers will speed the recovery process. Also recommended is a reasonable amount of cash since access to ATM machines or banks may be very limited or non-existent in a disaster due to power outages. If you have a family member with executive function or organizational issues, helping them compile a Go Kit could be critical to their survival and well-being.

Visit the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org for tips and strategies for preparing, responding and recovering from disasters and emergencies. The site provides information on how to manage the financial impact of disaster, from handling insurance claims to replacing vital documents that may have been lost.

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