September 26th, 2017 | David Simpson

Planning for and recovering from disaster

Watching all of the coverage for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose makes me realize how important it is to have a plan in place in case of emergencies.  In Washington, we have not had to deal with hurricanes, but we have had wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and the southern portion of British Columbia.  In the winter, we have had snow storms that have reduced mobility and knocked out power for days (or weeks in the outlying areas).  No matter the disaster, it is important to have a plan in place in case and have supplies on hand such as:

  • Cash – If you have to leave suddenly, it is important to have $300 – $500 (or more depending on the size of your family) in cash on hand since ATM’s and credit card terminals may not function due to loss of power. Keep this in a safe or other very safe place for convenient storage.
  • Food and Water – Have fresh water on hand since fresh water may not be available.
  • If your refrigerator loses power, it will likely stay cold inside for four hours if unopened.
  • A freezer will likely keep things frozen in a half-full freezer for up to 24 hours.
  • If you have lost power and/or water for several days due to winter storms or other disaster, you may be able to access clean water from your water heater.
  • Essential Medications and Medical Information – Some families keep medications in a plastic tool box or other convenient storage device to grab in an emergency. Regardless of whether you have run out, it is important to maintain a list of medications to reference if the pharmacy is unable to reach your doctor in an emergency.
  • Important Financial Information – Keep copies of your insurance policies in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or online such as The Vault available in the Miller Advisors Portal. This will help with claim processing when you are recovering.

One aspect of what we do is risk management.  We can help you make a plan to take care of your family in an emergency, whether a natural disaster or sudden family event.  It is better to plan ahead than to react in panic to a situation.  If you have any questions on your plan, please call us to discuss it.