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7 Ways to Prepare for Weather Related Disasters

Weather can be unpredictable. Prepare yourself and your home by assessing your home’s risk and developing emergency plans to protect against a potential storm.

Preparation can greatly reduce the aftershock of natural disasters. At Gate City Bank, we ourselves have taken preventive measures to ensure that we are prepared and that our customers’ funds remain protected and accessible during hazardous weather conditions. 

To make sure your house is equally protected, we offer the following tips:

  • Assemble an emergency kit. The emergency kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, at least three days of non-perishable foods and water, towels, and a supply of any necessary medications. Stay informed of the storm’s path and progress by monitoring Wireless Emergency Alerts via text message and having a battery-powered radio or TV available.
  • Develop a family communications plan. Know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together if separated; and what you will do in different situations. Having a plan can eliminate some of the stress and confusion.
  • Establish an evacuation route. Prior to a storm, contact your local American Red Cross to locate the shelter nearest you or download their Shelter Finder App. Identify the safest route to get there. Be sure to check if your local emergency shelter allows animals and family pets.
  • Secure your home. Outdoor furniture and other objects can pose a potential hazard. Turn off propane tanks and other utilities if instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
  • Protect financial documents. In the event of a disaster, you will need identification and financial documents to begin the recovery process.  Safeguard important documents in a bank safety deposit box, computer storage devices (USB drive, CD/DVD), and/or waterproof storage containers, including:
    • Personal identification (driver’s licenses, birth certificates, military IDs, passports, etc.)
    • Financial account information (checking, savings, retirement, and investment accounts, credit/debit cards).
    • Insurance policies on all personal property, including appraisals and lists and photos of valuable items.
    • Ownership or leasing documentation for homes and vehicles (deeds, titles, registrations, rental agreements, etc.)
    • All health and medical insurance documentation.

The FEMA website, Ready.gov, also offers tips on preparing for an emergency, including a free app that is available for download through your smartphone and an emergency financial first aid kit to help keep your finances well-organized during a potential storm.

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