Do not let month pass by without preparing, IBHS advises

Putting together a checklist can ensure that your emergency kit is fully stocked.

In the final days of September, National Preparedness Month is wrapping up and safety officials are hopeful that Americans spent at least a portion of it readying themselves for the unexpected, which by definition can happen at anytime and at any place.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety partnered with the Department of Homeland Security in September to promote the campaign, “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO, noted that disasters can come in a variety of forms, be it a hurricane, earthquake or wildfire. When homeowners are ready for them, it makes the recovery process easier to deal with.

“Being prepared can mean the difference between a quick recovery and being displaced indefinitely from a home or business,” said Rochman. “Take measures today to create a plan and share it with family and employees.”

Look over home insurance policy

There are a variety of ways in which homeowners can prepare. One of them being to review their homeowners insurance information. Frequently, people are under the assumption that their coverage includes flooding. In reality, flood insurance has to be expressly requested. People who don’t have flooding protection should be sure to contact their insurer to inquire about it sooner rather than later, as there’s usually a 30-day waiting period for coverage to go into effect once it’s purchased.

Another smart way to plan is by assembling an emergency kit with features that can account for a variety of scenarios. For example, flashlights almost always come in handy during a major storm, so at least one should be included in every kit. Bottled water, canned food, first aid supplies, and prescription medicine should also be added, enough to last each person 72 hours.

Many people haven’t made these preparations, according to recently released polling data. Just 36 percent of households have talked about how to remain safe during a weather emergency, according to a survey performed by battery manufacturer Energizer. Additionally, nearly 50 percent say that they don’t feel like they’d weather a power outage well because they hadn’t braced themselves for this possibility.

“Severe weather can pop up at any time and if you’re unprepared, you could be left in the dark,” said Brad Harrison, vice president of marketing at Energizer.

A spare set of batteries should also be included in an emergency kit.  Because electronics require batteries that vary in size, it may be a good idea to have more than one type.