Do You Have a Plan in Place for Natural Disasters? 60 Percent Do Not
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, natural disasters in the United States last year were responsible for $306 billion worth of damage, the most expensive year ever. Yet, despite increasing media coverage and widespread awareness of the tragedy and destruction Mother Nature can cause, 60 percent of those surveyed report not having a plan in place should disaster strike, according to Farmers Insurance®. In fact, half of survey respondents who have actually experienced a natural disaster in their adult lives still don’t have an emergency kit, and 55 percent of that same group don't have an emergency plan in place.
Other interesting findings from the survey include:
- Millennials are the most prepared generation, 44 percent of whom are most likely to have an emergency plan, and 49 percent an emergency kit. In comparison, 41 percent of baby boomers have a kit—and just 38 percent have a plan.
- Among the individuals with emergency kits who have pets, 35 percent have nothing prepared for their pets within the kit; just 30 percent have pet-specific kits.
- Only 27 percent consider including prescriptions—and just 15 percent important documents like passports—in an emergency kit. However, 82 percent cited food and water as critical kit elements.
- Be proactive. Prepare an emergency kit with necessary supplies, such as food, water and medicine, and make a communication plan. Identify your area's evacuation routes to determine where your family will meet, and how everyone will get there.
- Listen carefully. Having as much advance warning as possible before a severe weather situation is critical. Become familiar with your community's early warning system, and make sure all family members know what to do when an alarm sounds.
- Know your neighbors. The old saying, “safety in numbers,” applies in emergency situations. Join (or start) a neighborhood organization so residents can communicate and share emergency resources, such as generators or chainsaws, if need be.
- Be aware of local risks. Learn about the possible emergencies that are more likely to happen in your region and how best to respond to them. Get educated on emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government.
- Inspect and protect. Once the storm has passed and you've checked in with family and friends, the next step is to call your insurance agent to report any property damage. If it’s safe to do so, you can help protect your property from any further damage by making emergency repairs to your home, such as boarding up windows, putting a tarp on the roof, and salvaging undamaged items.