CHICAGO - There are many surprisingly simple steps and decisions that consumers can make that will have a significant impact on their recovery process after a natural disaster or emergency occurs, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
While they may not be the first items you put in your emergency supply kit, common but potentially overlooked things like duct tape, an extension cord or zip lock baggies could come in very handy following a disaster. Downloading smartphone apps is another smart move because they can do everything from provide severe weather alerts to identify emergency shelters. Additionally, the decisions consumers make about insurance coverage could have a profound impact on their ability to recover from a natural disaster or other emergency.
“Because natural disasters and emergencies can occur with a moment’s notice, advanced preparation is the key to the recovery process,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines policy. “Taking time to ask what if questions can go a long way in making sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw your way. By talking with your insurance agent about your insurance coverage you can ensure you are adequately protected in the event a natural disaster occurs. As an example it is important that consumers consider purchasing flood and earthquake insurance since they are not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Too often residents find out the hard way that government assistance is not enough to rebuild after a disaster. However, insurance is the important back-up plan that enables people to recover.”
5 survival tips you may not have thought of when preparing for a natural disaster
Every family should create an emergency plan that includes information about where to go and what to do if you are forced to evacuate. Practice to make sure everyone is familiar with the plan. It is also important to assemble a weatherproof emergency preparedness kit including a radio, flashlight, batteries, bottled water and basic first-aid supplies. However, in addition to the basics, ask yourself what if and see how many other items you may find indispensable:
The Insurance Information Institute has two apps, Know Your Plan and Know Your Stuff Home Inventory that will help you create an emergency plan and create a home inventory of your possessions, which could be useful in reporting a loss to your insurance company.
FEMA App to help alert you to weather and disaster resources.
Emergency Red Cross - The Red Cross is a great resource for disaster safety and their Disaster Apps deliver expert information, alerts, and prep tools to make sure you and your family are prepared.