Creating a Disaster Plan
What to do before, when, and after disaster strikes.
It is important to keep critical supplies on hand in case severe weather strikes. Click here for a full list.
Your Family Disaster Plan
Read over the guidelines below to learn how to prepare for disaster. Then click here to print out a form you can use to develop your family's disaster plan.
Protect Important Documents
Store important documents in a safe place for easy access during and after an emergency. This includes birth certificates, social security cards, immigration papers, insurance documents, and property inventory. Store these documents in a safety deposit box, safe, a waterproof/fireproof container, or with a relative who lives out of town.
Special Medical Needs
If you or someone you know requires non-critical medical support, pre-register with your county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for a Special Care Shelter. Also, make contact with your local Red Cross and Police / Sheriff Department so that they are aware of your needs.
If you have a breathing problem, the American Lung Association suggests getting your doctor's recommendation for your special medical needs during a severe weather emergency.
Keep extra supplies and medical items such as food, water, medicine, nebulizer, oxygen equipment, a backup battery for ventilators, and a backup oxygen cylinder (48-hour supply) on hand in case of a weather emergency. Don't forget to check with your medical supply vendor about any services they provide in the event of severe weather and/or power failure.
Medicine and Prescriptions
In your emergency supplies, keep extra over-the-counter medicines and supplies such as aspirin, diarrhea medication, bandages, topical antibiotic, gauze, etc. Don't forget to take along with you at least a 10 day supply of any prescription medications and/or prescriptions if you plan on going to a shelter or if you need to evacuate.
Protecting Your Property
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does NOT protect you from damage caused by floods or groundwater. In fact, you’re not even required to have flood insurance unless you’re buying a home within a designated flood zone. If you’re not sure if you home is located in a flood zone, contact your local county engineering office.
Many homeowners choose to purchase flood insurance as extra protection. If you want or need flood insurance, you should contact the insurance agent who handles your homeowner’s policy. It’s a good idea to have the same agent who writes your homeowner’s insurance policy write you flood insurance policy so that, in the event you need to file a claim, you only have to work with one insurance agency.
Don’t forget there is a 30-day waiting period before your flood insurance policy becomes effective.
The cost of flood insurance varies, but depends on the value of your home, the amount of coverage you want, the location of your home (low or high risk), and whether your home has a basement.
Filing a Claim
Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. Give an address and phone number where you can be reached if you have vacated your home. Present damage photos and inventory lists to help you adjuster asses the flood damage.
Be patient. Cases are expedited based on severity or hardship.