Here in Texas the weather is often unpredictable.
How prepared are you if a weather disaster strikes? Planning is key to surviving any disaster. It is critical that everyone has an evacuation plan as well as an evacuation “to-go” box ready for emergencies. Here are three easy steps to follow in creating a “grab and go” box:
- Place papers in sealed, waterproof plastic bags.
- Store in a durable, sealed box. (A portable, fireproof and waterproof box or waterproof backpack is recommended.)
- Store box/backpack at home in a secure, easily accessible location.
If you must evacuate:
- Grab box and take with you.
- Keep the box with you at all times.
- Do not leave box unattended in your car.
The box should include:
- Cash or traveler’s checks for living expenses.
- Rolls of quarters.
- Emergency numbers:
- Doctors, pharmacies.
- Financial advisors.
- Repair contractors.
- Copies of important prescriptions:
- Copies of children’s immunization records.
- Copies of health, dental, and/or prescription insurance cards or numbers.
- Copies of auto, flood, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies (at least policy numbers).
- Insurance company telephone numbers.
- Deeds, Titles, Wills and/or trust documents.
- Health-care directives.
- Stock and bond certificates.
- Recent investment statements
- Home inventory.
- Birth, death, adoption, and marriage certificates.
- Passports and other identity documents.
- Employee-benefit documents.
- First two pages of previous year’s federal and state income tax returns.
- Back-up copies of computerized financial records.
- Keys to safe deposit box.
- Combination to safe.
- Negatives for irreplaceable personal photos.
- Computer user names and passwords.
- List of numbers:
- Social Security
- Credit card
- Bank account
- Driver’s license
- Investment account
- List of debt obligations, due dates, and contact information.
Dr. Jeanette Tucker with the LSU Ag Center stated, “Planning and preparation can prevent the unexpected from becoming a harsh reality. Taking the time prior to the emergency to prepare and organize important papers and documents will save you from unwanted stress and chaos in the case of a disaster.”
For more information on this topic contact the Harrison County Extension Office at 903.935.8414.