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It’s National Preparedness Month – Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare

National Disaster Awareness MonthNational Preparedness Month (NPM) is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Advertising Council. NPM is held each September to encourage Americans to make sure they are prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. This year’s campaign theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”.

While there was a lack of hurricanes in 2013, there was no lack of tropical storm activity. There were 29 U.S. catastrophes declared of which 24 were thunderstorms. These catastrophes resulted in $12.8 billion in insured losses and almost 1.8 million claims. As we head into the busiest months of hurricane season (September – November), Access Home Insurance Company is encouraging homeowners and renters to be prepared.

Five steps to prepare for a disaster:

1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.

2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Be sure to practice your plan twice a year and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and works together as a team.

3. Build an emergency supply kit. Stock your emergency kit with enough food and water for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid items. Also place a set of multi-purpose tools, copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies), cell phone chargers, blankets, and emergency contact information in the kit. Be sure to keep some extra cash on-hand in case ATM machines are not functioning due to damage or loss of power. Read our June news article on How to Make an Emergency Supply Kit for more ideas.

4. Develop a home inventory. Supplement this inventory with photographs or video and store this information in a safe place. Click below to find a useful home inventory tool:

Insurance Information Institute Know Your Stuff Home Inventory

5. Make sure your smartphone is set to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. America’s wireless industry is helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will send messages to your phone during and warn you when weather threatens. For more information, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation.

For more useful information, visit ready.gov.

Sources: ready.gov, PCI, FEMA