Be prepared. It is storm season in Missouri. These tips from real estate professionals who have been through natural disasters will help you protect your family and your business.
- If you don’t have a basement, install or identify a nearby in-ground storm shelter. When you hear sirens, take shelter immediately.
- Register your storm shelter with your local fire department, so if you’re stuck under debris, rescue workers know to look for you.
- Use a fireproof safe and keep it in a closet in your home or office. Label your safe with your name and phone number in case it is carried away by a storm. That will improve the odds of it being recovered.
- Back up all of your important documents, both work and personal, in a cloud storage account. Keep hard copies in your safe, including financial records, insurance documents, passports, and irreplaceable keepsakes.
- Establish a plan with family members to meet somewhere following a disaster if cell phones don’t work.
- Recommend to home owners that they take an inventory of their personal belongings with photos and videos and save receipts. Dallas Hancock, with the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® in Illinois, recommends using Knowyourstuff.org, a resource from the Insurance Information Institute where you can document assets and belongings, which will make filing an insurance claim after a disaster or burglary a lot easier.
- Cancel any credit cards that are lost in a storm, fire, or burglary as soon as possible. Also contact utility companies and cable and Internet providers to cancel service.