Emergency Preparedness: 5 Steps To Take

Jul 01, 2021 Financial Hardships

Emergency preparedness is important. Implement the following steps and prepare you and your family before disaster strikes.

A family sitting on a couch, there are two young boys who are smiling at each other.

Have you prepared for the unexpected? According to the AICPA, 27% of Americans report having taken no steps to prepare themselves for a natural disaster. Preparation can be simple and include a supplies kit, emergency plan, and a financial plan in case of an emergency.

Common disasters to prepare for in Texas are tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and regular coastal hurricanes. The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and NOAA has predicted a 30% chance for a near-normal season and a 60% chance of an above-normal season.

Implement the following tips to prepare you and your family for any crisis.

Prepare For Any Crisis

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

Ready.gov suggests building an emergency kit that can last you and your family at least 72 hours. Your kit should contain items like:

Make sure the kit is in an easy to carry container and easily accessible in case evacuation is necessary.

It’s also a good idea to build pets their own emergency supply kit to keep near/in yours with items like pet food, water bowls, extra collar/leash, and toys to keep them occupied.

Establish A Financial Emergency Plan

The best place to start is by building up an emergency savings. An emergency savings is usually defined as 3-6 months of living expenses for you and your family in the case of an unforeseen situation. This includes situations like medical emergencies, car repairs, or a natural disaster.

Organize & Protect Important Documents

Make sure you will have access to important documents by uploading copies to a thumb drive stored in your emergency kit or saved to a virtual cloud. Documents you may need include:

You can also make copies and store those in a waterproof container inside your emergency kit.

Have A Game Plan

Depending on the situation and the disaster, you and your family will have to decide if it would be safer to shelter in place or head to a mass care shelter. Create a household communication plan, have alternate routes for leaving your residence, and identify alternate means of transportation.

Be sure to include your pets in your shelter and evacuation plan. Many mass emergency shelters can’t allow pets inside for health reasons. Determine other places around you where you can stay with your pet or find a family member they can safely stay with in case of an emergency.

Prepare Your Kids

It’s important to include your children in the planning and preparing process so they understand what to do in case of an emergency. Work together to build your emergency kit and shelter/evacuation plan and then walk through different scenarios. Explain to younger children when it is appropriate to call for help and how to do so.

Following these tips will help prepare you for any unexpected emergency that may come your way. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a financial hardship, having a plan will give you and your family some peace of mind to focus on recovery.

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