September is the height of hurricane season, and also National Preparedness Month in the U.S., which makes it a good time to remember the importance of preparing your business for an emergency. CrashPlan, a backup service provider, has compiled a list of tips to keep in mind when preparing your home and family for any emergency.
Make a Plan
You never know when a disaster might hit. You might not be with your family, so it’s important to have a plan in advance, and make sure every member of the family knows what to do in case of emergency. A checklist from www.Ready.gov can help you get started. Also, check with your employer or school to see what their plan is. If they don’t have one, volunteer to help them make one.
Turn Off Electronics
In any weather-related emergency it is important to spend time turning off the non-battery operated electronics in your household, like a television or computer. By shutting down and unplugging sensitive electronics, you help prevent damage that may occur during a lighting storm or power outage. However, it is not necessary to turn off water heaters or other gas appliances.
If a weather emergency were to occur, resulting in a power outage, then you will want to have a secondary source of power to charge cell phones and other electronics. Consider whether you might have need for a small generator to preserve food or climate. Even keeping an extra set of batteries in the house could be a priceless purchase.
Build a Kit
In a serious emergency or imminent natural disaster, it’s critical to have certain supplies (flashlight, potable water, first aid kit, etc.) set aside beforehand. FEMA has an excellent list of what should be in your Disaster Supplies Kit.
Don’t Forget your Four-Legged Family Members
Have a “Go” bag packed with a few days of food, some bottled water, any medicine your furry friends need, and a spare leash. Also, keeping an up-to-date copy of their immunizations is helpful if you need to board them in a new kennel that can’t access computerized records.
Backup Your Data
The best way to prevent data loss is to back up your computer on a regular basis. With an automated, cloud-based backup solution like CrashPlan+, your files are always protected. Even if you can’t get to your computer, you can access important files (like your Family Emergency Plan) on your mobile device. As for important paper documents that have not yet been scanned to your computer and backed up online, remember to keep birth certificates, passports, medical records and property titles locked up, and sealed in plastic.
For a complete list of ways to be prepared for any disaster, see the Department of Homeland Security’s web site for preparedness.