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Create a disaster plan

Posted March 12, 2014 in Advice Column, Norwalk

Preparing for a natural disaster well in advance is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family and your home. Meet with your family to create a plan detailing what should happen in the event of a disaster.  Where should you meet? Who’s responsible for the dog? Make sure everyone understands the plan — then practice scenarios so they know what to do.

Tips to help you prepare for a natural disaster
• Sign up for severe weather alerts for your area.
•    Program key numbers into your cell phone.
•    Designate an emergency meeting place for your family to gather.
•    Plan escape routes from your home and neighborhood. Remember that in large disasters, major roads could be blocked or destroyed.
•    Be sure all adult and teenage family members know how to shut of gas, electric and water lines if there’s a leak or electrical short.  Keep the necessary wrenches close by.
•    Learn about your workplace’s natural disaster preparedness plans and the plans at your children’s schools or daycare centers.
•    Consider cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training.
•    Consider purchasing a whole-house surge protector that can protect your home in the event of a lightning strike.
•    Remember your pets. Be sure dogs and cats have identification tags, and be sure to bring them inside during a catastrophe.
•    Inventory valuables just in case.

It is smart to make a list of all your possessions (including those most valued) in the event they’re damaged or destroyed.

Here are some tips on how to do this:
•    Walk through each room.
•    Note the descriptions, quantities and values of each item, along with serial numbers and purchase dates.
•    Take photos or videos to help document your valuables.
•    Check out software that can help you document your items.
• Be sure to keep a copy of your inventory in a safe place, like a fireproof document box, and another copy off-site, like in your bank safe deposit box.

Information provided by Mike Lane, Lane Insurance Agency, Inc., 1225 Sunset Drive, (800) 244-4608.

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