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The Greatest Storm in American History Approaches, Are You Ready?

As Hurricane Wilma nears as the most powerful hurricane in our nations history and Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ritas devastation continues leaving behind catastrophic damage in several coastal states, we see the importance of planning ahead for disaster recovery. Families are displaced, homes destroyed and now comes the task of trying to put the puzzle together and hopefully reunite families with their loved ones. This task will be enormously difficult. However, for those that did plan ahead and prepared a disaster recovery plan, relatives and friends should understand exactly where to locate them. If you havent prepared one for your family, now is the measure to do so-before the next disaster hits.

Diana Ennen, co-author of Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Your Home Business was hit by Katrina in South Florida last week along with the other four hurricanes last year. She once again is in the direct route of the storm. She advises, "Being prepared for a hurricane or any natural disaster takes away the stress and anxiety. When timing is critical, I want to focus on the safety of my family, not on grasping an inventory of my business, or deciding where I absolutely need to go. I also need to know that my family members will understand how to find me after the disaster."

Dr. Paulo J. Reyes, a First Responder in California and author of the fiction thriller Sledgehammer http://www.pauloreyes.com has firsthand disaster recovery experience and participated in various disaster relief efforts in California including the Air Mexicana crash in 1986, the last major earthquake in L.A. in 1994, and the influenza epidemic 1997-1998. He advised, "Loss of lives may be greatly reduced if every one has a complete plan of action prior to the event. Not only with the reduction of heart attacks and stress related illnesses, but many people tend to get to safety quicker if they have already planned ahead and know what they are going to do."

Here are some steps you may take to prepare:

Step One - If you do not already have flood and windstorm insurance, you should ponder grasping it. Keep in mind that windstorm insurance policies are not sold when a storm threatens, so you absolutely need to think far enough ahead. You may find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
Step Two - Identify a safe place for everyone to meet. This pre-determined place should be discussed with family members prior to an emergency. Depending on the type of emergency you are planning, you might want to consider establishing a second location in case the first is inaccessible.
Step Three - In addition to a safe place, each person should have a list of phone numbers for your immediate neighbors and family members not living with you. We suggest using 3X5 index cards and laminating them.
Step Four - For businesses You should have client contact phone numbers and e mail addresses in a safe place so that you can notify them immediately of the situation. Also, prepare a disaster recovery plan and have someone you trust keep a copy of it. This should incorporate vital information including medical data , family and friends names, your complete contact information, where valuable data such as wills and trusts and legal documents are kept, serial numbers for equipment and names of equipment and household and business supplies, and a disaster escape route in the event you need to evacuate.
To prepare your home and business, stop by our page for a sample chapter of the Home Office Recovery Plan . You may also get tips and suggestions on how you might survive a disaster. Dr. Paulo Reyes book is available at his page at http://www.pauloreyes.com


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