We all remember being in elementary school and doing earthquake drills and fire drills. But how many of us as adults are really prepared? Sure, we may know basic survival skills, but what do we do when a real disaster approaches? It is important to be prepared for any disaster that may damage your property. Home or car insurance may protect your larger possessions, but one thing insurance won’t cover is a loss of important documents. Document recovery should be a high priority should a disaster strike.
There are so many important documents most of us don’t consider or even think about grabbing. Insurance cards, birth certificates, SS cards, passports, our wedding pictures? The video of our children’s birth! There is actually a longer list than you think. The Federal Emergency Preparedness Site has an amazing list if you don’t know where to start.
The good thing is the vast majority of Americans, nearly 95%, now own a cellphone of some kind. The percentage of Americans who own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in 2011. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the Wireless Emergency Alerts system is an essential part of America’s emergency preparedness. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 33,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations – all through alerts on cell phones. There are also apps on our phones for Android and IOS systems that allow us to scan and send copies of important documents to our emails, or families emails.
But what if electricity and internet go down and we don’t have our phones? That’s a good question. Many banks have safety deposit boxes. These boxes are water and fireproof. You can also purchase your own safety box. Make sure it is water- and fireproof. Keep it in an easily accessible location and make sure you have it with your other natural disaster emergency kit items, like your clothing, food, and medications.