Be prepared for a natural disaster by following this guide:
1 – Make an emergency plan
When a disaster occurs, knowing your escape route and creating an emergency plan is an important part of preparing for a disaster.
- Know your escape routes during a disaster, consider a rendezvous location and what resources will be available – remember when a disaster occurs you may not be home at the time
- Consider whether you or your family have special needs such as medical requirements or pets/livestock and develop a plan to account for these
- Speak with your neighbours, your community and local emergency services regarding your area - they may offer community programs that encourage disaster preparedness
- Consider your financial situation and how your income could be affected in an emergency
- It’s also important to understand your individual situation when preparing for disasters - is your home in a high-risk bushfire or storm surge area? Knowing which risks are more relevant to you can help you better prepare.
2 – Create an emergency kit
In an emergency situation you may be forced to evacuate quickly and creating an emergency kit will save valuable time, as well as assisting in the safety of your household.
Items to consider packing:
- Sufficient water in sealed containers to last the household for 72 hours
- Torches, candles, matches
- Portable, battery-operated radio (keep up to date with what’s happening in your area)
- First aid kit – with extra fire blankets
- Warm clothes – minimise flammable materials
- Protective equipment, such as: gloves, masks, goggles etc.
- Non-perishable foods
- Spare mobile phone charger and portable battery/power bank
- Useful items such as: duct-tape, adhesive etc.
- Spare batteries
- Spare keys for the household and vehicles
It is also a good idea to make back-up copies of your important documents such as passports, licences, insurance policies, warranties and financial documents. To prevent identity theft, store these in a secure location. You could store these important documents digitally with a USB drive or cloud based technology.
3 – Keep your insurance up to date
By keeping your insurance policies up to date you can ensure that should a loss occur as a result of a disaster, you don’t suffer financially. Once an emergency situation has begun in most situations it’s too late to make any changes to your insurance.
It’s important to check your insurance policies regularly to make sure that you are not underinsured – see our under insurance guide to learn more.
You will need to consider:
- The replacement cost of your home, the amount required to rebuild your home taking into account the current cost of building materials and labour
- The replacement cost of your contents, remembering that it’s ‘new for old cover’
- Consider your valuables, are they covered within contents? Or do they need specific cover?
- Are your vehicles sufficiently covered should they suffer a total loss?
Most insurers, including People’s Choice, have calculators available to help provide assistance when calculating your required level of cover.
Our helpful insurance specialists can review your insurance needs and answer all of your questions to ensure that you have the right level of cover. A People’s Choice insurance specialist is available by calling 13 11 82, contacting us online or dropping into your local branch.
Insurance can help protect more than your home and car. Our Financial Planners are available to help review any personal insurance you may have or would like, such as: personal income protection insurance, life insurance, trauma insurance and permanent disability insurance. Visit our Personal Insurance page for more information.
4 – Inform your family of your plans
The key to a successful emergency plan is to ensure that it is well communicated across all the members of your household:
- Everyone within the household understands what to look for and what to do during a natural disaster
- Make copies of your emergency plan and keep them visible in important places throughout the household
- Encourage regular emergency practice drills
- Ensure all members within the household know how to check for emergencies and what each of the alerts mean (advice, watch and act)
- Ensure you communicate your emergency plans to your family and/or friends outside the household
- Communicate with your neighbours and local community during the formation and implementation of your emergency plan