As we all continue to “stay at home” in order to fight off the world-wide coronavirus pandemic, many of us have realized that our home and business disaster preparedness is sorely lacking. This is a great time to take inventory and pull together a plan for the “next big thing”.
Careful planning ahead of time can ease the stressful process of responding to and recovering from natural or man-made disasters. In the middle of an emergency, when time may be short and the stakes high, is not the time when individuals should be thinking about important papers and safety for the first time.
Good recordkeeping makes sense any time, but becomes especially important in the aftermath of a disaster. Official documents and financial and estate planning papers should be kept together as a comprehensive file in a secure location. The following are some of the documents that should be easily retrievable:
- birth, marriage, and death certificates;
- identification records, such as driver’s licenses and passports;
- titles, deeds, and vehicle registrations;
- insurance policies;
- loan information and credit-card statements;
- investment and bank account records;
- income tax information;
- wills and trust documents.
- For especially important and hard-to-replace documents, keep a set of originals in a safe-deposit box and a set of copies at home. Include in your central file the telephone numbers and addresses for the entities with whom you have accounts or policies. Other family members should know where the records are kept.
Advance planning about personal safety means foreseeing the types of disasters your family may face and knowing the steps each person should take in a particular kind of emergency. Select a place in the home where everyone can come together. Confirm your fastest and safest evacuation routes. Identify the most important tasks to be undertaken and assign tasks to the most appropriate persons. Each individual should always have the telephone numbers for family members and emergency help.
New Options Business Services works with a network of independent consultants to meet your business planning needs. Call us to review or create your business safety and disaster recovery program. We are here to help!