November 2017 Newsletter – Are You Ready For An Emergency?
In the last three months, we have seen an unusually large number of natural disasters around the world. Wild fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes are a few plights we are plagued with. How do you prepare for an event you have no control of? This should not just include an emergency kit, but also your personal documentation.
Research shows that 30 years ago, you had about 17 minutes to escape a house fire. Today it’s down to three or four minutes (Davis, 2017). Could you get all your valuables out of the house that quickly?
A fateful accident happened to our colleagues’ family. As they were peacefully asleep one night, their next-door neighbor was unable to put out a oven fire. This caught the wall on fire and eventually ignited the entire apartment block. All the residents rushed out with only themselves and their kids (Cseke, 2017). They escaped unscathed. Everything else was lost.
As luck would have it, they had been planning to move out so most of their personal belongings were in storage. They had taken the time to secure their personal documents before the fire so they remained intact. If you lost your driver’s license as well as other important documents (birth certificate, passport, W-2 & 1099, will, pension, car title or medical records), it would be difficult to prove your identity and get a replacement rapidly. Scanning your documents to a secure format, saving as an encrypted file and putting it on a flash drive can save so much time and heartache. It will make it easier for you to focus on your family after disastrous situations.
Now is the perfect time to put together an emergency plan! The American Red Cross and FEMA offer checklists to help you remember what you will need should emergency strike when you least expect it. This includes your personal documents (i.e. ID, passport, birth certificate, and insurance policies). Then when emergency hits, you will be able to escape knowing that you have saved all your important documents and those you love most.
American Red Cross Emergency Plan. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from http://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-html/kit-contents.asp
Davis, J.R. (2017, October 16). Newer homes and furniture burn faster, giving you less time to escape a fire. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from https://www.today.com/home/newer-homes-furniture-burn-faster-giving-you-less-time-escape-t65826
Cseke, B. (2017, July 28). Fire at Henderson apartment complex displaces 19 people. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/henderson/fire-at-henderson-apartment-complex-displaces-19-people/
FEMA Emergency Kit. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit