What to Do When Disaster Strikes

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United States Billion-Dollar Disaster Event Cost (CPI-Adjusted)

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Scientists are saying that this is the new normal, and we’re likely to see worsening storms, droughts, and floods in the coming years.

1 NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018).  

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Preparation is key. Pack a bag with:

  • Bottled water.

  • Canned food.

  • Other essentials such as meds, diapers, pet food.


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Check your insurance coverage. 

  • You should have “replacement cost coverage.”

  • Find out if you have separate flood, earthquake, or other natural disaster coverage.


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Consider disaster insurance. 

  • Assess where you live and the likelihood of a disaster

  • striking your area.

  • Discuss coverage with your mortgage lender, real estate agent, and neighbors.


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Build an emergency fund. 

  • Keep this separate from your normal savings.

  • Experts suggest you should have six months’ worth of pay on hand.


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1.  Create a survival kit. This should include bottled water, non-perishable food items, blankets, matches, a flashlight with batteries, a first-aid kit, cash, your daily medications, and important documents such as health and home insurance paperwork.


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2.  If you are permitted to stay in your home, find a safe place, usually a ground-floor or interior room. 


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3.  If you do not have a survival kit or you do not feel safe in your home, go to the nearest shelter.


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4.  If you’re ordered to evacuate the area, GO! If you stay put during an evacuation, critical resources could be diverted.


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Once you’ve been cleared to return back to your home or the immediate danger is gone, there are a few things you should do right away to help you get back on your feet quickly and more easily.

• Document damage to your property and secure it from looters and squatters.

• Contact your mortgage servicer and ask about disaster assistance.

• Contact your insurance company to report damage to your home, vehicles, and any other insured items.

• If your property is in a declared federal disaster area, contact these organizations for help. Don’t wait for your insurance company to respond first!