Insuring and preparing for a disaster

Karen Stiles

Insuring and preparing for a disaster

CREATED Nov. 6, 2012

MILWAUKEE - The recent damage from Superstorm Sandy may have caused some of us to ask, "what would i do if something like this happened to me?

If you do not have a plan or have not reviewed your plan in awhile, now might be a good time to take action.

What kinds of things should we be thinking about to help us prepare and recover if a disaster should strike?


When we think about preparing for a disaster, many of us think about evacuation plans, stocking up on food and water, and securing our belongings. These are all important things.

You also need to think about how will your insurance cover you against a loss, how will you replace things that may not be covered by insurance such as pictures, important documents, or information on your computer, and how will you access help and communicate with loved ones after a disaster strikes.

What can people do now to address these concerns?

Schedule an appointment with your insurance agent to be sure that you have adequate coverage for all of your belongings for everything from fire, theft, loss of use, and flood.

You may need extra riders or policies especially if you have tools for work, expensive collections, or live in a flood plain.

Digitize your pictures and documents, and keep a back-up copy of these and other important computer files in a safe place away from your home or business.

Store important phone numbers in your mobile phone for family and friends, as well as your insurance company, and support services that may be available should a disaster strike.

Have an extra, fully charged battery on hand at all times.

Where can people go to get more information about disaster preparedness?

There are a number of good federal and state resources online including FEMA's ready.gov, Wisconsin's readywisconsin.wi.gov, and redcross.org.

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