It has been a prolific year for Mother Nature and 2017 will be forever remembered as one of the most devastating years on record with regards to damage from natural disasters.
The month of September alone felt a historic wrath from Mother Nature which included multiple category 5 hurricane touchdowns on U.S. soil, two 7+ magnitude earthquakes in Mexico, and vast wildfires consuming over 1,000,000 acres in West and Northwest. Although many may have escaped without tragedy or devastation, others were not so lucky. During this time of reflection, it is important to remember steps that can be taken to help mitigate losses from these events. Some basic steps that can be taken include:
- Create a disaster plan with specific instructions for possible outcomes (e.g. power loss, flooding, incapacitation, shelters, etc.)
- Establish expectations to include specific roles for coworkers and family members. Practice these roles periodically.
- Perform risk assessments to identify where mitigating efforts can be performed (e.g review insurance coverage, test locking mechanisms, board-up windows, etc.).
- Utilize technology for document storage, communication, power generation, etc.
In the aftermath of these disasters, there are several links that may be useful in aiding recovery.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has set up links for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria victims. Here you can find up-to-date information on the storm, information about returning home and cleanup as well as other useful tips. The links are listed below.
FEMA: Hurricane Harvey
FEMA: Hurricane Irma
FEMA: Hurricane Maria
For other disaster recovery information from FEMA or to search for an event, you can search www.fema.gov/disasters for a list. Also, if you are inclined to donate to a cause in support of victims of natural disasters and/or recovery efforts, make sure you research the charity and ensure they are reputable and that relief efforts are effective. A useful website for this research and links to organizations providing disaster relief in addition to charity ratings is www.charitynavigator.org.
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