Tragedy in Japan Inspires Reflection: Are You Prepared for Disaster?

Only a few days ago the world was shocked by the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Our hearts and prayers go out the people affected by the tragedy, and many people are asking what they can do to help.

The sudden violence of nature has many of us looking at our own situations as well, wondering if we are prepared—as a country and as individuals—should an equally devastating natural disaster strike our own shores. Of course the first thought most of us have in this regard is whether or not we have a well-stocked supply of emergency rations, but as this article from CBS MoneyWatch.com points out, there is much more to surviving a natural disaster than the first 24 hours. “Most people never think about the items to take that help protect your financial assets.”

Author Steve Vernon includes in his article a list of things you can do to prepare for what comes after the first 24 hours of a natural disaster, including:

  • A stash of cash in case ATMs are shut down for a long period of time.
  • Contact information for family members, close friends, and work contacts.
  • A cell phone and charger, plus batteries and chargers for other necessary electronic equipment.
  • A list of account numbers and contact information for all your regular bills and payment obligations.
  • Your insurance company contact information.

These are only a few of the things you’ll want to have ready (or at least have thought about) if disaster strikes here at home.

Some natural disasters are so big in scope they are almost impossible to comprehend, let alone try to prepare for; but preparation is the best way to keep fear and panic at bay. It doesn’t help anybody to dwell too much on what “might happen,” but having a basic emergency plan in place gives you the freedom to go on with your everyday life, knowing that you’ve done what you can to be ready if disaster does strike.

For more information about disaster preparedness please visit the FEMA website here: FEMA Emergency Planning Checklists.

For more information about how you can help the disaster victims in Japan please check the Crisis Response Page on Google.

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