Preparing for disaster

June 25, 2011 5:36:43 AM PDT
The recent storms and floods highlight the importance of being prepared for disaster, so you do not lose everything and can bounce back faster.

Experts agree that homeowners and renters should have a preparedness plan. Joan Jensen, president and CEO of Central Credit Union of Illinois was in our ABC7 studio to offer strategies and precautions.

    1. Create an Important Numbers List
  • Maintain a thorough record of important account numbers and company contacts.
    - Checking and Savings
    - Mortgage and Insurance
    - Titles and Wills
    - Pension
    - Medical History and Prescriptions
    - Auto and Student Loans
    - Credit Cards
  • Include phone numbers for branches that lie outside your immediate geographic area.
  • Keep back up paper copy off site.

    2. Document Belongings
  • Create a comprehensive visual record of your family's personal belongings.
  • Itemize possessions with serial numbers and purchase information. Record with pictures and video.
  • Update the list annually or as you purchase new items. Keep a back-up paper copy off site.

    3. Determine Values
  • Research current replacement costs for all your property and belongings.
  • Check to see that you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Maintain updated professional appraisals for jewelry and other heirlooms.

    4. Plan the Who When Where
  • List important contact information (family, friends, doctors, attorneys, insurance representatives, financial institutions, businesses providing services to your household, FEMA and other disaster relief numbers).
  • Establish a prearranged meeting spot and communication plan for reuniting your family.
  • Keep an emergency fund (cash, liquid assets, line of credit, credit cards).
  • Research possible temporary housing locations.
  • Keep master copies of important information in a central location at home and another copy off site some distance from your home.