Even in the wake of a global pandemic, the worst wildfire and hurricane seasons on record, civil unrest, and a host of other challenges, there are steps we can take to be prepared in uncertain times. Here are some tips to help you face disasters that may come your way with confidence, a plan, and the proper resources.
Disaster Planning Steps
7. Help others
1. Know your risks (and hazards)
To help prepare for the unexpected, start by identifying the common disasters and hazards (weather- and/or human-related) that can occur where you live. Determine whether you live in an earthquake, flood, or wildfire zone, or if your area is prone to tropical storms or winter storms and related power outages. Is there a heightened risk of vandalism or civil unrest? Then, think about all your assets that might be at risk, including homes, autos, valuables, and watercraft.
2. Create a plan
Having a disaster plan can help you recover as quickly as possible. The success of your disaster plan will often depend on the people involved having a clear understanding of their roles and how they communicate with each other. Consider these “what if” scenarios as you develop your plan:
The communications aspect of your plan may prove to be the most critical. Consider how your communications might differ in the event of a natural disaster as compared to a human-made disaster (e.g., civil unrest, terrorism). Your disaster communication plan should outline who will handle the communications and who should be contacted first in the event of a disaster; it should include a family phone tree and distribution lists, and a plan for how you will communicate and initiate family notification.
3. Collect supplies
Don’t wait until disaster happens to try and build your go-bag of supplies. If something does happen, you’ll be glad you have everything you need at hand. Just think about how difficult it was to get cleaning supplies at the onset of the pandemic. The following is a list of some of recommended supplies that will help you and your loved ones in almost any emergency or disaster:
4. Reinforce your home
With more time being spent at home, many families are renovating and enhancing their homes. Why not take the opportunity to reinforce your property to help protect it against natural and human-related disasters? Here are some tips to consider:
By making even small enhancements to your property, you can help ensure that, whatever the impacts severe weather or other disasters may bring, you’ll be better prepared.
5. Establish relationships with service providers
It’s also important to ensure you have relationships with key service providers and contractors so they will respond to you quickly in an emergency. For example, if you are an art or wine collector and you haven’t already, consider creating a list that includes a collection manager, fine art packers/shippers, fine art warehouses, art conservators, wine evacuation vendors, and your insurance broker/agent. Find the best resources for your needs.
If you need help locating a reputable service provider, Chubb has a network of thousands of pre-qualified professionals who are ready to assist. Simply log on to the Client Portal (log-in required) and select Benefits and Offers to get started. You can also access our network right from the Chubb Mobile app (App Store | Google Play)
6. Protect your valuables
Valuables such as artwork and other collectibles may require additional steps.
7. Help others
If you and your family are safe and ready for an approaching storm or other potential disaster, think about how you can help your neighbors, especially those who are elderly, disabled, or may not have nearby loved ones to assist them. One simple way to help is to use social media to encourage others to create a disaster plan. After a disaster, you can donate your time to help with cleanup, or you can donate blood, goods, or money. You can also work formally with your community disaster planners to provide local-level assistance. Both the Red Cross and FEMA are excellent places to get started.