September is National Preparedness Month and is recognized as a way of promoting family and community disaster planning to ensure Floridians are as fully prepared as possible. As we enter the peak of hurricane season and with COVID-19 adding another layer of threat, Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking all Floridians to take their preparations seriously and reevaluate their plans.
Each week in September, CMS will be providing resources to help you and your family be prepared. This week we are sharing a 4-step guide to creating your family’s emergency preparedness plan.
4 Steps to Readiness
Step 1: Talk through the basics
Bring your family together for a brainstorming session around the most important things to include in your Hurricane Prep Plan. Things to discuss include:
- How will we receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- How will we communicate with immediate and extended family?
- What is our evacuation route?
- What is our shelter plan?
- What do we need to add to our emergency kit due to Covid?
- Do we have plans in place if our house is damaged due to the storm?
Step 2: Consider your family’s specific needs
As you customize your plan for your family, remember to take a holistic view of the situation.
- Do you have pets? It is never ok to leave a pet behind in a hurricane. Treat a pet like you would a child and make sure you have their documents, enough food, and any medications ready to take with you.
- Do any family members have special needs or medications to consider? Contact your doctor to get extras of any medication you or a family member may need, and plan ahead when grocery shopping to pick up any over-the-counter medications you will want to have with you. In the same vein, don’t forget to pack a First Aid Kit.
- Do you have to check in with and prepare for the care of an elderly family member? If Grandma is in a facility, make sure to check in with staff members about what the facility’s emergency and evacuation plan is. Register your senior loved ones on the Vulnerable Population Registry so that emergency workers may reach them if you cannot.
- What are your plans for your business documents? How about for your business’ property?
Step 3: Put your plan on paper
Download and fill out this family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family
Ensure all your family members, even the youngest, know what to do when a disaster occurs. Practice the plan several times and don’t forget to let extended family know your plan and how they can reach you if a hurricane hits.
If a disaster does occur, after you make sure everyone is safe and you inform your loved ones you are okay, call us at 866-345-2033 with any questions about insurance coverage or property damage claims.