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Be Prepared! - Boy Scout Motto.
A major catastrophe in your life does not have to be a traumatic event. With a just a little advance planning you can creately increase your ability to cope with such events. This section provides a brief recap and a preparedness plan for how to cope with the most common events.
The most devastating type of crisis that you could possible face falls into one of the following categories:
loss of home, loss of income, disaster evacuation, sudden death of a relative or personal healthcare emergency.
The section below provides some positive strategies to help you be prepared.
Either as a result of natural disaster, accident or terrorism, let's suppose that your home suffers significant
damage. Is your insurance policy good enough? Most insurance policies (even "full replacement") have limitations
that may leave the homeowner shortchanged. Here are some key items to double check when they sell you insurance.
Cost Limits - Is the amount funded enough to cover to rebuild the home as is? Or have builder costs substantially increase in the meantime? Do you have enough cash in savings to cover the difference between your insurance coverage and the true cost to rebuild your home?
Insurance Company Rating - Only get insurance from "A" rated insurance company. Companies are rated for financial strength on a scale of A / B / C / D with "D" being the lowest rated. That "D" rating implies that the company will more likely declare bankruptcy instead of covering claims in the event of a crisis.
Loss of Use - This is a useful clause to the homeowners policy because it provides payment of several months rent while your home is being repaired.
Other Structures Coverage - Some policies include an additional premium to cover other structures on your property (even if don't have any). Be sure to ask about this.
Cost to Rebuild - Be familiar with building codes in your area. Sometimes "Replacement Cost" does not include additional building codes and requirements that have been legislated for your city after your home was built. Also be familiar with the current rates (contractors refer to "Cost Per Square Foot") for rebuilding homes in your area.
The Deductible - As a general rule, the larger the deductible, the smaller will your premiums be.
Financial planners recommend that your savings account have at minimum cash equivalent to six month's wages. This will benefit you during periods of loss employment or any other financial emergency not covered by insurance.
Other Welfare Societies
We recommend that you be familiar with other charitable welfare societies in your community that freely provide various forms of emergency assistance. They can assist with situations that are not covered through commercial insurance policies. One common example of this would be your local church. If you are new to a community, investigate the various religions as inquire about what welfare assistance programs they have in place for the benefit of their members. I would like to include weblinks to the best welfare societies in the Resource Section below.
One form of a common welfare society is your extended family. While physical resources may be limited, they will have lots of love, wisdom and energy to help you manage your crisis.
72-Hour Emergency Evacuation Kit
In the event of major catastrophe in your community, the most likely scenario you will face is being forced to evacuate from your home (probably with as little as only two minutes advance warning). You will first head to the nearest Red Cross shelter which would be perhaps the local high school or church. Then you might wait for a couple of days before you could either return home or make alternative long-term living arrangements.
That scenario creates a critical 72-hour window that you want to be mentally and physically prepared to cope with. You can do this by having a 72-Hour Emergency Evacuation Kit - located at a convenient exit point of your house. Useful items (with a supply sufficient for 72 hours) to include with that kit would be:
When faced with the total loss of property, you will need to have quick access to some important documents to get your life back in order again.
To protect your important documents, we suggest placing a copy inside a fireproof safe at an location seperate from your home, such as your workplace or a home of a close relative.
Please give consideration to the following documents:
In the event of a medical emergency, basic first aid training can in many cases make the difference between
life and death. Several organizations, including the Red Cross, provide free one-day seminars of basic first aid principles.
The members of every family should agree on alternative location to contact or to go in the case of an emergency. This would probably be a friend or relative that lives nearby.
Because of their increasing range and mobility, cell phones are turning into a very useful tool for emergency communications for families, business and emergency personel.
Medium size (and larger) organizations such church, business and government, should have a ham radio network
system in place for their leadership to use in the event there is a complete collapse of the local phone network.
This system should have a drill of at least once year.
- International Emergency Assistance and Preparedness
There is a lot of work that takes place before and after a crisis event. Experience crisis event managers.
Are Your Ready Guide
Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness brings together facts on disaster survival techniques, disaster-specific information, and how to prepare for and respond to both natural and man-made disasters. As the most comprehensive guide to personal emergency preparedness published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Are You Ready? will help individuals prepare themselves and their families for disasters.
CDC - Emergency Preparedness and Response Website
Provident Living - Family Emergency Preparedness
Website sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is packed with hundreds of online resourse hotlinks (free to the online public) that promote emergency preparedness for your family and more links for emergency assistance resources.
Boy Scouts of America
Many resources to teach both youth and adults basic principles of emergency preparedness and first aid.
First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit
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Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care
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Here is a book no one should be without. Covering urgent emergency situations as well as the common injuries and ailments that occur in every family, this AMA guide takes the reader step-by-step through basic first-aid techniques, the medical symptoms to recognize before an emergency occurs, and what to do when one does.
Crisis Preparedness Handbook
A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival
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A complete guide to emergency preparedness for our uncertain times. Virtually an encyclopedia of food storage and personal preparedness, it covers topics from exactly how to design a food storage program tailored for your particular family to growing and preserving food, storing fuel, alternate energy, emergency evacuation kits, medical and dental, surviving biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism, communications, selection of firearms and other survival tools, and preparing for earthquakes. Dozens of detailed, expert checklists and tables with photographs and index. Extensive book and resource lists with regular and Internet addresses. An absolute must for those serious about preparing for and surviving during our dangerous times.
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Define Love -
Love is the sincere desire to nurture spiritual growth in either
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