Jimmy Williams

Recently, many American citizens have been subjected to tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters. During these times of stress, it is critical to possess a plan that helps you stay focused and prevent panic. We believe the best time to prepare for inclement weather is during the time of sunny days.

The first item on your Disaster Plan should be the accountability of all family members (including our beloved pets). Communicate where and what should be the actions of each family member should a fire, flood or a tornado strike the residence. Educate children on the location of preparedness kits (I hope you have one!) and the safest shelter area within your home or at a local FEMA-Certified Safe Area. It is during these frenetic times that we often overlook simple steps that could mitigate or prevent significant loss of family and/or assets.

A properly designed Preparedness Kit should contain, at least, the following items:

• Weather radio

• Blankets

• Prescriptions and other medical equipment

• Flashlights with extra batteries

• Water and non-perishable food for at least a couple of days

• Pet food and treats (keeping our pets stress-free is important to their health)

• First Aid Kit

• Cellphone and/or tablet

• Clothing and coats/jackets

• List of important numbers (i.e., doctor, veterinarian, insurance company, other family members, etc.)

Next, place the preparedness kit in the safe area or in a known location that is readily available for a quick trip out the door. Designate someone in the family to be responsible for the kit including its contents along with its placement in the safe area.

If the disaster is fire-related, discuss the plan of each family member meeting at a specific location away from the home to account for everyone. This could be a tree, a neighbor’s house, etc. Again, don’t forget your beloved pets. However, if it is a decision to save your family or your pets, we respectfully understand the love of our pets, but believe it is in the family’s best interest to focus on the human family members first. If your home is designed with more than one floor, an escape rope ladder should be stored in a convenient location upstairs to allow for family members to easily descend the upper floors to reach safety.

Lastly, inform the local fire and police departments that your family has a safe area and may need to be checked on in the event of a disaster. This piece of communication could be critical if your safe area is within the home and the structure is razed to the ground by tornado.

To help our clients during these tumultuous times, we have developed a Preparedness Kit Checklist which includes review dates to determine the kit is maintained properly. To request this complimentary checklist, simply go to www.compasscapitalmgt.com and look under the “Resources” tab. While you are on the site, you may wish to look at other helpful videos and white papers to improve your family’s lifestyle.

Don’t let Mother Nature dictate your future, take charge of your life by being prepared. You will be glad you did!

Jimmy J. Williams is an Investment Advisor Representative of Compass Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Compass Capital Management, LLC are not affiliated.

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