SEPTEMBER: NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH WEEK 1 – SAVE EARLY FOR DISASTER COSTS

SUFFOLK, VA (September 3 , 2019) With Hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc in the Bahamas and many states along the coast bracing for its impact, there couldn’t be a better time to highlight the importance of being prepared for emergencies and in recognizing September as National Preparedness Month.

In the weeks ahead, the Suffolk Fire & Rescue Office of Emergency Management will be continuing their efforts to bring attention to the importance of readying ourselves for disasters, both natural and man-made. With the overall monthly theme of “Prepared, Not Scared”, Week 1, September 1 st through September 7th , focuses on Save Early for Disaster Costs, and they recommend the following:

 Check your insurance coverage. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business. Visit Floodsmart.gov to learn more. It takes 30 days for most flood insurance policies to go into effect. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim if necessary.

 You should also plan financially for the possibility of disaster. Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis and set aside a small amount from each paycheck. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.

Our second National Preparedness Month topic will be highlighted next week:

Week 2 (September 8th through 14th): Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters

The following links can be accessed for additional helpful tips related to severe weather and preparedness information:

City of Suffolk Severe Weather Information – www.suffolkva.us/severeweather

Know Your Zone Website – www.KnowYourZoneVA.org

VDEM – Hurricane Evacuation Guide –

www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup/hurricane-evacuationguide/