AxcessPoints' Top 10 Disaster Tips outlines how the Internet, laptops, cell phones, social networking and other breakthroughs can vastly improve disaster preparedness, while expediting the recovery process.
Top 10 Disaster Tips For A Digital World
1. Use the Internet to understand and evaluate the types of natural disasters that are most likely to affect you. Post Hurricane Katrina, 44% of Americans report that they have not done more to prepare for a disaster because they do not know what to do.
2. Store personal, financial, and medical information online with a reputable third-party repository. The ability to retrieve bank and brokerage account numbers, insurance policy information, and medical histories is one of the surest ways to expedite the recovery process.
3. Register for services that provide real-time weather and Homeland Security information and send periodic reminders to update emergency kits. Tune in to NOAA, a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.
4. Prevent financial fraud by signing up for an identity theft protection service. After a disaster, people are most vulnerable to identity theft. Identity theft protection services guard against unauthorized financial transactions, and monitor credit reports.
5. Make a video of all personal possessions and then store a copy on a computer, an external hard drive or an online back-up company. In case of loss, a video of personal possessions, including cars, pets and all household belongings, will enable insurance companies act quickly on your behalf.
6. Update your cell phone address book. Having the numbers of children, friends and extended family in your digital phone book is critical in case your home phone book is destroyed or inaccessible.
7. Make sure you have the home and cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your supervisors, and vice versa. The passage of Sarbanes-Oxley requires larger employers to develop and execute contingency plans when a disaster strikes. Knowing how to reach employees is a key part of that plan.
8. Protect your computer and electronic devices with surge protectors. Power surges and drops can damage electronic equipment that can prevent your ability to retrieve information. Surge protectors are inexpensive insurance.
9. Micro chip your pets. Each year, thousands of pets are orphaned after a disaster. If each pet is micro chipped, the humane society or veterinarians can quickly reunite them with their owners.
10. Back up computer data regularly, either through a third-party service provider or on an external hard drive. Information on your computer is likely to be extremely valuable for one purpose or another.