No one ever thinks they will experience an emergency or disaster. It always happens to “the other guy,” right?
If you think about it, YOU are the “other guy” to someone else so it could easily happen to you.
No matter where you live, you are subject to disasters. Natural disaster and man-made disasters affect everyone and will cause severe damage and endanger lives. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, hot spells or cold spells are all considered to be natural disasters that can be deadly to people and property. Man-made disasters such as terrorism, crime, power outages, famines or war are just as terrifying as any natural disasters.
Preparation is essential for the safety of you and your family. It can also ensure valuable personal possessions are taken care of properly before you lose them. Let’s talk briefly about when and why National Preparedness Month started. Did you know that according to CNBC, only 39% of Americans have enough money saved to cover a $1000 emergency? So how much should you save? The suggested amount of about six month’s expenses should be your savings target goal.
With the terrorist events that happened on Sept. 11, 2001, it became apparent that we all need to be prepared incase an emergency or disaster happens. Depending on what happens and the scale of the event, it could easily overwhelm our emergency responders and supporting agencies. First responders will get to your call for help as soon as possible but it may take days for supporting agencies to ramp up their efforts to be able to respond. Therefore, since starting in 2004 National Preparedness Month has been observed every September and has had various themes to help people learn how to be prepared for an emergency or disaster. It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
During the month of September 2019, there are four weeks of different topics and information to help you and your family prepare. Week #1 is – Save Early for Disaster Costs. When you experience an emergency or disaster it can cost a lot of money just to get through. But, if you plan ahead and set aside some money each week or each month, it could be a lot easier to get through.
Here are just some suggested ways to plan ahead and save money:
• Most homeowner’s & renter’s insurance does NOT cover flood damage. Check to see if your area is prone to flooding and consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy.
• Take pictures of important documents and belongings BEFORE a disaster to help you file a claim should that become necessary. Pictures will help prove what possessions you had before the event.
• Talk with your kids early about money. Include them in discussions about saving for a disaster. Unless you explain to kids how family finances might be affected by a disaster or emergency, they won’t be able to understand
• 30 Days…..That’s the number of days it could take for most flood insurance policies to go into effect.
• What important documents should you have for an emergency?
• Plan ahead! How will you pay your bills if a disaster should strike?
• Keep some cash on hand in case of an emergency. ATM machines & credit card readers may not be working. You may need the cash to pay for things like lodging, gas and food, etc.
• Save a little bit from each paycheck and put it into an “emergency account”. By saving a little bit from each check you can build an emergency cash reserve a little bit at a time.
Check back over the next three (3) weeks to learn more about preparing for a disaster or emergency. Next week we will discuss making a plan and how to put your plan together.
Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can!
AZ Safety Solutions is firefighter/EMT owned safety education company dedicated to providing the community we serve the very best in safety education. Our instructors have a combined 85(+) years of field emergency response and teaching experience. You can contact us by calling AZ Safety Solutions at (520) 838-4508 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by Karen Hauca.