How to Prepare for an Emergency

When an emergency strikes, you want to be able to have a plan in place and spring into action immediately. Whether this is a family member in the hospital or needing to evacuate prior to a hurricane, there are certain things you can have in place to make things easier on yourself during a very stressful time. While this post won’t be an exhaustive list of every item or action, and you should take steps to prepare specifically for emergencies in your area, this is a good list to start with for both natural disasters and smaller family emergencies.

Keep Important Papers Safe
Putting key papers—the deed to your house, birth certificates and passports for all family members, social security cards—in a plastic folder in an easy-to-remember location inside your house. This way, if you need to leave quickly, you will know that everything you need is inside that folder, and will be able to ensure that it stays with you.

Make a Kit
Make a go-bag you can keep in your garage or car. This should contain a change or two of clothes, non-perishable food items, a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, and bottled water, as well as backup chargers for phones. You may not need all of these items in all emergencies, but by your second day in a hospital waiting room, you’ll be glad to have granola bars and a clean shirt!

A Contact List
While some events will impact everyone in your area—your boss will surely understand if you don’t come to work when there’s a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on your home—others will just affect your family. Make a list of local and wider-spread contacts to phone in the case of an emergency, including employers and family members, as well as other contact numbers, like insurance or banks, so you’ll have them on hand.

Emergency Savings
Having a little bit of cash available for unexpected expenses is always a good idea! Saving even a few thousand dollars towards a possible literal rainy day can make a big difference in how comfortable and smooth your experiences are in a very stressful time.

By keeping these items in mind and on-hand, you should be able to be prepared for any emergency!

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