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Create a Family Emergency Plan

This helpful tool lets you document your insurance policies and financial accounts, so you have quick access to this information if something happens to you or your home.

Take These Steps to Help Ensure Your Family's Safety in the Event of a Disaster.

While it's never pleasant to think about the possibility of a natural disaster or other catastrophe striking, you can gain peace of mind by taking some time to prepare for the unexpected. By creating a plan in advance, you can make sure that you and your family evacuate quickly and safely with the most important things you need.

A smart way to get started: fill out the How to Build an I.C.E. Pack in Case of Emergency and keep it in a safe place outside your home. This helpful tool lets you document your personal records, such as insurance policies and financial accounts, so you have quick access to this information if something happens to you or your home.

Five More Tips to Follow:

1. Identify the top risks to your area

Learn about the types of disasters most likely to occur where you live by contacting your state’s office of emergency management. Then go to the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov website and become informed about what actions to take to protect yourself in specific situations. You’ll find information on what to do in the event of an earthquake, a hurricane, a tornado or even an act of bioterrorism.

2. Hold a family meeting

You should discuss your evacuation route and establish a meeting place, in case family members become separated. Consider any special needs that your loved ones may have, too, such as disabilities or medication needs, and discuss how you can assist each other. Finally, designate a contact person in a different part of the country who can coordinate communication if necessary. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that every family member carry a wallet-sized card, available at Ready.gov, with essential emergency contact information.1

3. Put together a disaster kit

Get a plastic container and stock it with a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, blankets and enough non-perishable food and water for a few days. Make sure you refresh supplies every year.

4. Assemble important financial papers

Ideally, you’ll keep these papers — insurance certificates and other vital documents — in a watertight, fireproof safe or a safety deposit box. That way, if you need to file a claim, you can get the process started swiftly. You can also scan important documents like driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, and tax statements and upload them online for safekeeping.

5. Make an inventory of your possessions

Spend an hour going through your house, documenting your belongings with a camera or smart phone. That way you’ll have a record of anything you may lose or that may be damaged in an emergency. Ensuring a safe, happy future

You may have life and disability insurance in place to make sure you and your family are taken care of in the event of illness, injury or loss of life. Think of your family’s emergency plan as an additional insurance policy that lets you go about day-to-day life with less worry. You have taken every step to ensure a safe, happy future for yourself and your loved ones.

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