Weathering the Storm
Once your plan is in place, you can work on creating a disaster supply kit. According to Jeff Bowers, assistant director of the King County Office of Emergency Management near Seattle, this kit should include the basic necessities if all services in your neighborhood were cut off for an extended period of time. “People should be prepared for at least three days. During the windstorm of 2006, people were without power—and some were out of their homes—for six to seven days. In some cases, as long as nine to 14 days.”
A good disaster supply kit should include nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person, per day. Also include a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-powered radio or television, some matches, a first-aid kit, some cash and copies of important documents.
In addition to your home disaster supply kit, keep one in your vehicle that includes flares, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and bottled water.
For help making that emergency plan and creating a disaster supply kit, sign up for our natural disaster email tips.
Finally, you’re not prepared if you’re not insured. Always maintain a current copy of your policy and familiarize yourself with your coverage and claim procedures in the event of a natural disaster. Many homeowner policies don’t cover the most damaging types of natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, so if you live in an area that is prone to these events you will have to purchase separate policies.