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Prepare Your Clients before Disaster Strikes

A natural disaster can occur at any time. Some disasters give a warning, such as a storm preceding a flood. Others, such as earthquakes, give little or no warning. Once a disaster happens, the time to prepare is gone.

The best way to cope with a natural disaster is to prepare by having a plan before it strikes.

Disaster readiness is an essential part of homeownership. Summer storms and floods can damage property and endanger lives. Pass these tips on to your clients to help them be as prepared as possible before a damaging storm, flood, or hurricane.

  • The Necessary Equipment.

Home owners should make a list of what tools they might need to weather the storm or make repairs afterwards. Common needed tools are chainsaw, pole pruner, generator, and a UTV for larger properties. Also review manuals so you know how to operate the equipment before it’s needed.

  • Take Inventory.

Make sure the equipment currently on hand is in good working order and fuel is in an approved container. Fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol can’t be used in outdoor power equipment. Remind them to keep their family's most important documents, like birth certificates, passports, and social security cards in a safe place in case they need to grab them and leave the house.

  • Safety Gear.

You don’t want to be scrambling to find sturdy shoes after a storm. Gather appropriate shoes, safety goggles, flashlights, batteries, work gloves, reflective clothing, and even safety hats, and store them in an accessible area.

  • Have a Plan.

To prepare to best handle a disaster, a disaster plan is needed—one that the entire family understands. Know where you’d meet if you get separated from family or if your property is inaccessible, as well as how you’d get children, pets, and people with mobility issues out of the area.

Being prepared is a 365-day-a-year activity. Help your clients take charge and take control to be as prepared as possible. Survival during a disaster should not depend solely on individual initiative, but rather collective commitment and planning by and for everyone.

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