Are you ready? Natural disasters can include anything from floods to hurricanes. Although we always assume nothing like that would ever happen where we live, there is always a possibility that it can. Waiting until the last minute to try and get ready for a natural disaster is a very risky game. When you prepare before the disaster it will be a lot easier, since you won't be rushing around the stores as all your neighbors do the same. Instead of waiting until the last minute here are 7 steps to help keep you prepared for the next emergency situation. 

  1. Understand what local disasters occur in your area and what to do when they occur. There are some things that you probably already know, such as the fact that if there's a tornado your job is to get to the basement. However, it is important to educate yourself on these procedure and learn as they may be updated over time. There are also many other natural disasters that could occur other than a tornado and it is important to gather more information about these as well. 
  2. Be aware of how your insurance covers the many things a natural disaster could lead to. If you haven't reviewed your insurance coverage's in a while it may be a great idea to call and make an appointment to do so. You can ask your agent many different questions, including how your house is covered if there was a flood or even how your car is covered if a tree were to fall on it in a storm.
  3. Know who to contact at all stages of the event. Something that is great to create and have before any emergency situation is a list of numbers that would include family, your children's school, as well as you and your spouses' workplace. This list should also include the number of your insurance agent and a great handy man for the aftermath.
  4. Have an emergency plan that includes your pets. Your emergency plan should be well known and practiced by everyone in your household. This plan should include what steps your are going to take to stay safe as well as how you will handle your small children and pets. 
  5. Practice, practice, practice. When you are put in the moment where a natural disaster occurs you will typically freeze up or forget something. Everyone does, that's why it's so important that you practice your emergency plan so that you can get to safety quick and easy without forgetting something important on your list.
  6. Keep a stock of supplies. This doesn't need to be a stock to last many months but something small to get you by. Make sure that you are checking the expiration dates regularly and switching out the food as necessary. It is also smart to have extra lumber laying around so that you will not need to battle through the crowds at the home improvement stores.
  7. Keeping an emergency fund is also a very important step in this process. Just adding in $10 dollars a month will help you in saving a little bit extra for a rainy day.