Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Natural Disaster Could Strike At Any Time - Are Your Prepared?

You never know when a natural disaster can strike. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are big reminders of how terrible unexpected disasters can be. You may never know when a disaster can strike, however, you can minimize the risk of harm by being prepared. In this blog, your bank at the Lake of the Ozarks will give you the following tips to better prepare for ANY natural disaster and helpful information regarding insurance coverage for situations such as these.

Natural Disaster Preparation Tips

Have a Family Emergency Plan.

When a natural disaster strikes, you and your family may not be together, which can cause a panic. Try to stay calm. Following a plan of action can help calm your nerves. Your family emergency plan should include the following:

  • How you will contact each other
  • Identify a safe place to gather as an alternative to your home
  • Designate a meeting area both within and outside of your neighborhood 

This plan can ensure the whole family knows where to go, what to do, and who they can stay within the event of an emergency. Check online for road conditions to see if you should drive to get out of harm's way. Also, you can fill your car's gas tank ahead of time if you know a storm's coming, just in case there is a gas shortage.

Make Sure Your Disaster Supply Kit is Ready at All Times.

Keep a disaster supply kit or emergency supply kit ready at all times in your home. Make sure it's easily accessible in case of a disaster. This kit should include the following:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • A crank or battery operated radio with weather radio capabilities
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • An emergency whistle to signal for help
  • A gallon of water per person and pet for at least 3 days
  • Several days of nonperishable food.

It's also a good idea, if possible to include $200 - $500 or more in the case that ATMs are either unavailable or damaged.

Understand What Your Homeowners Insurance Covers.

It can be very difficult to think about the possibility of losing your home, but it's important to know what your homeowner's insurance covers and doesn't cover. Policies vary by insurance company, you should never make any assumptions as to what is covered. Most homeowners insurance policies cover the following:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Damage by the weight of ice, snow, or sleet

Perils of hail, windstorm, vandalism, theft and water damage may be excluded by many policies. Flood is typically always excluded and must be purchased through the Federal Flood Insurance Program. Other perils that may be excluded include earthquake, water damage, (if related to flood or otherwise excluded peril) sewer backup, and nuclear accidents. 

Safely Guard Your Important Documents.

In order to safely guard your important documents during a natural disaster, options include:

  • Store them in a safe deposit box at your local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks
  • Store your documents in a waterproof and fireproof container in a safe place in your home
  • Scan and store these documents in a cloud-based application

Important documents and items you will want to guard can include, irreplaceable photos, birth and marriage certificates, mortgages, proof of vaccinations for pets, bank account records, and/or insurance policies.

Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best 

Being prepared for a natural disaster can help you and your family stay calm and rational when a disaster strikes. Being prepared can also save lives. Having your family emergency plan and disaster supply kit ready is essential. Also, know your available resources, such as FEMA and the American Red Cross. Being educated on your homeowner's insurance can help you make better decisions on what to purchase to ensure you are covered for everything needed. The important thing is that you and your family are prepared at all times for a natural disaster. First Bank of the Lake hopes these tips help you become better prepared in the case a natural disaster strikes.

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway

Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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