As the California wildfires
continue and the new threat of mud slides emerge, disaster recovery planning is
front and center. It's important for all to take this time to plan. If you
haven’t prepared a disaster recovery plan, now is the time to do so. Even 30
minutes now can save one from a lifetime of heartaches.
Dr. Paulo J. Reyes, a First Responder in California and author of the
fiction thriller Sledgehammer has firsthand disaster recovery experience and
participated in various disaster relief efforts in California including the
major earthquake in L.A. in 1994. He advised, "Loss of lives can be greatly
reduced if everyone has a complete plan of action prior to the event. Not only
with the reduction of heart attacks and stress related illnesses, but people
tend to get to safety quicker if they have already planned ahead and know what
they are going to do.” Here are some steps to take to prepare:
Step One --Identify a safe place for everyone to meet. This
pre-determined place should be discussed with family members prior to an
emergency. A second location should be discussed. Also, out-of-town relatives
should be advised of this location. Additionally, each person should have a list
of phone numbers for immediate neighbors and family members. 3X5 index cards
Step Two – Take an inventory now. Write down all your valuables
(personal and business). Don't forget the little things that can truly add up.
Keep receipts of all purchases. The receipts allow you to get that value when
filing a claim. Take photos. Secure all this in a safe place.
Step Three -- Write down a complete family medical history. Include
any medical conditions, medicines and dosages, doctors names and contact
information, where medical records can be found, etc. Be specific. A life can
truly depend on this one step alone.
Step Four – Get a copy of all important information, wills, trusts,
mortgages, deeds, birth certificates, contracts, medical records, even household
bills to help get things restored quickly, etc. Back-up your computer. Get extra
cash. Often ATMs are down so cash is needed.
Step Five -- Write down all your computer passwords, and important
Step Six -- Double check all your insurance coverage. Are you
adequately covered? Write down all your coverages, insurance policies, contact
information, policy numbers, group numbers, date of births, etc. Think coverage
of everything -- life insurance, car insurance, property insurance, business
Step Seven -- No one wants to think about this one, but you should
for your family's protection. Do you have your will up-to-date? If not, please
do. Especially for those with minor children. You need to know that they will be
taken care of and placed in the homes of those who you trust and whom you know
will provide the best care.
Plan now and update your plan often. Also, when you write down your
information and contact numbers it allows you to see if you have the coverages
you need. The amount of stress this will save can make a big difference in how
you recover if a disaster were to offer.
Diana Ennen is the author
of the Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness
for Your Home Office and Virtual Assistant the Series:
Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA.
http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com . Contact us for a free sample of our
disaster recovery book. She specializes in book publicity and marketing.