September is National Preparedness Month, and as parts of the east coast brace for the impact of Hurricane Florence, Alaskans are also urged to make preparations for a natural disaster before one strikes.


Tips for Alaskans to prepare for a natural disaster

Document valuables: Take a video or photo record of your home’s valuable contents. This is to help support any insurance claims you have to make after the fact. The IRS also has a workbook to help you keep track of everything.

Keep copies of important documents: These are things like lists of valuables, titles, deeds, insurance policies and tax returns. Scanning them and storing electronic copies takes up less room than paper copies and travels easier if you have to pack up and leave in a hurry. Also, consider sending a copy to a trusted friend or family member as a backup.

Make a family disaster plan: Have a meeting place and plan safe escape routes that everyone knows. Practice them together regularly. The Red Cross’s “Pillowcase Project” is designed to give elementary kids the knowledge and skills they need to prepare for a disaster. You can download materials here.

Keep a disaster kit stocked: The Red Cross recommends keeping these basics supplies on hand:

  • Water - one gallon per person, per day (two-week supply)
  • Non-perishable food items (two-week supply)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (one week supply)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Important documents
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area

Also, consider items like games or toys for kids and pet supplies.

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