Disaster Recovery Planning: 12 Tips!
First Call Restoration has been serving the residents in the Southeast New York area for more than 20 years. Our business is based upon serving residents facing the realities of fire damage, mold concerns, asbestos issues, and water damage emergencies.
Recovering from a disaster upsets the routine of you and your family, affecting your work and kids school.
Usually when disaster strikes, most people are not prepared.
We encourage you to have a plan and be prepared for a potential emergency situation because this will give you peace of mind.
Continuing on with our goal to educate and inform residents in our service area, this article provides you with 12 disaster recovery planning tips. If you want more information about disaster planning, please call (845) 442-6714 or send us an e-mail. 🙂
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Tip #1: Document Protection
It is important that you safeguard the following documents: personal identification, property and financial documents, medical records, mortgage statements, property tax statements, tax returns, and homeowners insurance.
Keep hard copies of your most important documents in a fire and water-proof portable safe.
Scan and keep electronic files on a USB drive (in a safe) or a cloud program.
Tip #2: Photographs and Art
Scan and backup precious photos and digital downloads. Make sure music, poetry, and art are saved digitally and stored in a safe.
Tip #3: Re-Entry Plan
After a disaster, you may only be allowed to enter your home or business for a short period of time, so plan ahead for what you need to recover immediately.
Tip #4: Create A Re-Entry Kit
Create a kit that you can access easily so that you can collect wet, damaged, or burned materials from your home or business.
Your re-entry kit should include the following: flashlight, boots, gloves, ID tags, garbage bags, plastic bins, and camera to take pictures of damaged materials.
Tip #5: Review Your Insurance Policy
Review your coverage and limitations regularly and meet with your insurance representative if you have questions.
It is important to realize that some policies do not necessarily cover flood damage, which you should find out just in case and make sure that you are covered. The added premium expense will create further peace of mind.
Tip #6: Create A Home Inventory
This tip is one of the most important planning actions that you can take because this will greatly expedite the recovery of possessions and payment by your insurance company.
Take photos and videos of all of your belongings and create a list as well so that you can easily provide this to the insurance company when you are asked to do so.
Tip #7: Recurring Payments
When disaster strikes, you need to ensure that your recurring bill payments (mortgage, rent, credit cards, etc.) are still getting paid.
Create a master list of all your bill payees and store in a safe place.
In addition, if you pay most of your bills online, make sure you create a list of all your user IDs and passwords for all your accounts.
Tip #8: Ownership Documents
To gain access to your business or home, you will need to have photo ID with your address and copies of your deed or rental agreement. The same documentation applies if you own a business.
Tip #9: Housing and Relocation
Depending on the scope of the emergency services required, you may not have access to your property for an extended period of time.
Create a list of friends and family that could host you for a couple of days before you need to re-locate to a hotel or other long term housing option.
Tip #10: Cash Reserves
If you need to have access to cash immediately, keep a small amount of cash and traveler’s checks in a safe place so you can access it when required.
Tip #11: Work/School
Be familiar with telework or tele-school options and policies. Know how to access the tools needed to stay connected in case of delays or closings.
Tip #12: Pet Care
If you have pets, you need to plan for this as well.
Find out which hotels and motels in your area have pet policies.
In addition, prepare a list of boarding kennels and short list the one’s you would be willing to put your pets in, if required to do so.
Finally, keep copies of your pet’s vaccinations and health records, along with any medications, in your disaster kit.
Got Disaster Recovery Planning Questions?
If you have any questions about any of these tips or want more information on how to plan for a disaster, please give us a call, (845) 442-6714 or send us an e-mail.
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