National 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.
Access Home Insurance Company is encouraging homeowners and renters to make the pledge and commit to developing a home inventory of their possessions, make an emergency preparedness plan and inspire others to do the same.
According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), the United States insured losses of $35 billion due to catastrophes last year. As a result, it is not only important for individuals to take steps to prepare by developing an emergency plan and kit, but also by being financially prepared.
Preparing can start with four steps:
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 multi-purpose tool, copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies), and cell phone with chargers, blanket, and emergency contact information in the kit. Be sure to keep some extra cash on hand in case ATM machines are not available.
4. Develop a home inventory. Document this inventory with photographs or video and store this information in a safe place. Your Access Home insurance agent may have tools available to assist you in creating your own home inventory. Below are some online resources:
Visit www.ready.gov for more information on preparedness and how to get involved.
Sources: ready.gov, PCI, FEMA