Disaster Preparedness

As the East Coast works to recover from Super Storm Sandy, and closer to home, Duluth and other areas of North East Minnesota do the same after last spring’s significant, unexpected flooding, now seems a good time to go through a few tips for preparing for what you hope never happens.

  • Keep important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, Social Security Cards, and titles to cars and homes in a portable fireproof safe.  If you live in an area prone to flooding, be sure to store it in a high place, such as an attic.
    • If you live in a place where you are likely to need to evacuate, such as flood plains or areas prone to wild fires, keep your financial and legal documents in the safe as well.  Also consider scanning them and keeping a USB flash drive loaded with them in a safety deposit box or with trusted family outside the potential danger zone.
    • Keep the receipts for your major purchases, such as cars, furniture, appliances, electronics and sporting equipment in the same manner.  These can help if you need to file an insurance claim.
  • Keep copies of tax returns, as well as the documents to support them, in a waterproof container.
  • Take the time to make a “video tour” of you home, and keep it offsite in a safe location. Narrate the video to describe the makes and models of your valuables, and be sure to record things like valuable landscaping or upgrades that might be easy to miss.
  • Discuss flood insurance with your insurance agent, and be sure you understand what is, and isn’t, covered under your current policies.  Also be sure to keep your insurance for personal possessions (everything inside your house) up to date over the years.