Hurricane and Natural Disaster Preparation

Below is a checklist of things I have learned from other resources about what you should do in preparation for a hurricane or other natural disaster.  Remember, failure to plan is planning to fail. If you have questions, feel free to call me Andy Roberts at 256-508-3087.

Gather important legal documents, which should include:

  • Mortgage/property deeds
  • Car titles
  • Photocopy of driver’s license
  • Passport(s)
  • Social security card(s)
  • Military records
  • Insurance policies
  • Health Insurance information
  • Will(s), Power of Attorney/Trust documents
  • Birth, Death, and Marriage certificates; Adoption or divorce papers
  • Tax records
  • Written instructions for family members
  • List of Emergency Contacts
  • Any other important documentation
  • Make sure you are insured and consider special coverage such as flood insurance.
  • Place important documents (listed above) in a waterproof plastic bag or container like those used by boaters, fisherman or divers. A good food storage bag that seals tightly will work also. Take these items with you if you evacuate your home or city.
  • Video record or take pictures of your home and its contents to ensure that you can recoup replacement costs, especially for valuable items. Place the recording or pictures with your important documents.
  • Place other items like jewelry and other valuables in a plastic storage bag and take them to your bank to put in your safe deposit box.
  • Visit your bank or ATM and withdraw enough cash to cover meals and accommodations for your family for up to 3 days.
  • Create an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.
  • Emergency funds should typically be invested in accounts that can be accessed quickly, such as savings or money market accounts, which offer stability and preservation of principal. It is a good idea to keep a minimum of six months’ worth of living expenses in reserve and perhaps more. Maintaining appropriate cash reserves prevents you from having to take on unnecessary debt or sell assets to cover emergency expenses when asset prices reach a low point in the market cycle.
  • Review your insurance coverage at least once a year or after a major life event. If you live in an area prone to floods, sinkholes, earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes, consider getting a special policy rider for natural disasters. Many homeowners insurance policies exclude damage caused by floods or other natural disasters.
  • Prepare a “bug out” bag in case of an immediate evacuation.
  • Know your evacuation route.
  • Establish a rendezvous point in the event of separation from family or friends.