Considering the huge number of wildfires experienced in the states of the West this year, sharing information about the 2018 National Preparedness Month with your clients is probably a good idea.

The annual month is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is done so for a number of obvious reasons. One of the points being for us — insurance professionals — to help the individuals, families and businesses that depend upon us.

This year’s focus is planning and the theme is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Each week of the month features a different topic and the topic of week three — September 16 - 22 — is Check Your Insurance Coverage.

Here’s what FEMA says about insurance:

•  It is the first line of defense

•  Coverage needs to be checked and reviewed

Part two of the FEMA formula involves insurance and is titled:

Be Smart. Take Part. Document and Insure Your Property.

Good idea. And after your clients do the insurance double-check, then they need to take a personal or business inventory and get ready for the worst. The America Red Cross says that’s much easier than we think and recommends three basic steps:

Step one — Create a kit and pack these items in an easy to carry container:

•  A gallon of water per person, per day

•  Non-perishable food

•  Flashlight and hand-crank or battery-powered radio

•  Extra batteries

•  Sanitation and personal hygiene items

•  Copies of important papers

•  Extra cash

•  Any medical or baby supplies family members may need

Step two — Plan:

Meet with family members or business employees — or both — and between you create an emergency plan. Included in that plan ask:

•  What emergencies can happen in the area?

•  What do all of you do if you’re separated?

•  How do you let loved ones or business personnel you’re save?

Step three — Stay informed:

•  Like step two, know the area’s most common disasters

•  Learn how local authorities pass disaster information onto homes and businesses

Last, the Red Cross says preparation means making sure someone in the family or business is trained in first aid and CPR in case help is delayed and there are injuries. You can go to the Red Cross’s First Aid App at to get instant access on how to treat most injuries.

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Posted 11:35 AM

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