September 12, 2022

Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance encourages disaster preparedness during the month of September

Each September, National Preparedness Month raises awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. This year, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) encourages everyone to create an emergency plan, build an emergency kit, and review their insurance coverage.  

“The life you have built is worth protecting,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. “Preparing now helps ensure you can continue to protect your future and your family’s, even after being directly impacted by an emergency or disaster.”

A planned discussion during dinner or over the weekend is a great way to review your family emergency plan. Ready.gov has an emergency guide template and other resources available to help initiate the conversation. Part of this plan should include: 

  • Determining where you and your family will shelter based on the type of threat you are experiencing. During a tornado, this may be your basement or a community storm shelter, but during an earthquake, it may be underneath your kitchen table. Make sure everyone in your family knows where to go by practicing for each scenario. More information can be found on Missouri's Stormaware.mo.gov website, which includes detailed videos about how to take shelter in specific locations, such as in a mobile home, school, or place of worship.
  • Identifying an out-of-state relative or point of contact who can help your household reconnect in case you are not together when an emergency or disaster occurs. Share that phone number with all members of your family and memorize it.
  • Creating an inventory of your belongings to properly account for all of your personal possessions and storing this document in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. Review this list annually to ensure all items are up-to-date. Use DCI’s checklist to get started.

Insurance is an important part of disaster preparedness. Knowing you have the right policy to protect the investment you have made in your home or personal property helps minimize losses in the aftermath of a disaster. Also, it is important to note a standard homeowner or renters’ policy typically does not cover flooding or earthquake damage. DCI has severe weather resources available at https://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/weather/ to help with reviewing your current policy, adding coverage, or making a claim. 

Anytime severe weather is forecasted, it’s important to stay informed and have multiple ways to receive weather alerts. Another way to stay prepared is by building emergency kits for your home and vehicle, stocking up on supplies annually, and replenishing as needed.  Include a flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, necessary medications, radio, manual can opener, cash, pet supplies, and enough drinking water and food for at least three days.

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