Its’ Time To Make A Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.

How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

    What is my shelter plan?

    What is my evacuation route?

What is my family/household communication plan?

    Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

    Different ages of members within your household

Responsibilities for assisting others

    Locations frequented

    Dietary needs

    Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

Languages spoken

Cultural and religious considerations

Pets or service animals

Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Create a Family Emergency Plan

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

Your home, your personal belongings, and your business are meaningful and valuable assets. If a disaster strikes, having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged. Yet, more than half of all homeowners in the United States do not carry adequate homeowners insurance to replace their home and its contents should a catastrophic loss occur. Now, before a disaster strikes, take the time to:

•Document Your Property

Regardless of the type of coverage you buy, maintaining a detailed inventory of your property’s contents will assist you if a disaster strikes. Your inventory will help you prove the value of what you owned, which could speed your claim processing, and will provide documentation for tax deductions you can claim for your losses. An up-to-date inventory can also help you to determine the correct amount of insurance to purchase.

You can take photos or videos to help you record your belongings, but be sure to also write down descriptions, including year, make, and model numbers, where appropriate. For valuable items, you may want to have an appraisal to determine the item’s worth. Be sure to store your inventory somewhere it can be easily accessed after a disaster.

Store paper copies in a waterproof and fireproof box, safe, or bank deposit box. Leave copies with trusted relatives or friends. Secure electronic copies with strong passwords and save them on a flash or external hard drive in your waterproof box or safe.

Keep your policy number, your insurance professional/company phone number, and claim filing instructions in a secure, convenient location.

A homeowner’s policy generally provides the following areas

of coverage:

• Dwelling—coverage for your house;

• Other Structures—coverage for structures such as garages, decks, and fences;

• Personal Property—coverage for items such as furniture, clothing, and appliances;

• Loss-of-Use—compensation if you need to relocate temporarily due to

covered damage;

• Personal Liability—coverage for accidents occurring on your property; and

• Medical Protection—payments for a person who is injured on your property.

If you live in a manufactured home, in a condominium, or on a farm, there are policies specifically designed for these types of residences. For example, policies for condominiums primarily cover contents with a provision for the portions of your home that are your responsibility to maintain or repair, as stated by your condominium association.

Your bank or mortgage lender may have minimum insurance requirements as a condition of your loan, but be sure to carry enough coverage for your needs.

Renters insurance policies can include the following coverage types:

• Personal Property—coverage for items such as furniture and clothing;

• Loss-of-Use—compensation if you need to relocate temporarily due to damage;

• Personal Liability—coverage if sued due to accidental injury to others;

• Medical Payments—payments for a person who’s injured on your property; and

• Property Damage to Others—coverage if you accidentally break or damage someone else’s property.

Most responsible landlords and professional property management companies will require proof of renters insurance when a lease is signed.

If you own a business, you may need to purchase business(or commercial) insurance to protect your business property and employees.

The size of your business (as measured in revenue and number of employees), the type of business, and your business location will determine the appropriate types of insurance. Note that home-based businesses may not be covered under

homeowners insurance policies, so having business insurance is critical if you run a small business out of your home.

An insurance professional can help you customize your policy based on your particular needs, such as insuring specialized equipment. Standard business policies generally include the following types of coverage:

• Property—protection of your physical business location, such as a store, and its contents;

• Liability—payment for medical costs and other obligations if someone gets hurt on your business property or you or your employees cause property damage, including legal defense costs if you are sued; and

• Business Interruption, or Business Income—coverage for lost revenue in the event that a business needs to close due to fire, burglary, or another covered disaster; assistance making rent and utility payments; and coverage for operating your business from a temporary location.

An insurance professional can assist a business owner with these additional types of commercial coverage:

• Business Vehicle—automotive insurance specifically designed for business

vehicle use;

• Workers’ Compensation—coverage that provides cash benefits and/or medical

care for employees who are injured or fall ill as a direct result of their job;

• Flood Insurance—coverage designed for damage to a business property and

its contents caused by flooding, which is not typically covered under general

business insurance;

• Cyber Liability—protection against cyber risks and costs, including data loss or corruption, identity theft, extortion, and reputation recovery

; and

• Terrorism—coverage for buildings, equipment, furnishings, and inventory

damaged or destroyed in a terrorist attack.

The insurance industry calls the cause of loss, such as fire or theft, a “peril.” Be

sure to check for which perils your policy lists. A homeowner’s policy may provide

coverage for different perils for the dwelling and for personal property. The policy

may also have different deductibles based on the peril.

To have appropriate and adequate coverage for your home or business, it is

important for you to consider the perils for your area. Homeowners, renters, and

business owners who live in areas at high risk for losses from a particular peril may

pay a higher cost for coverage. Always check your individual policy for details.

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