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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Your Disaster Recovery Plan

We spend all kinds of time focusing on disaster preps. What equipment to buy. What skills to develop. What drills to partake in. Basically we do a lot of planning for what to do before and during a disaster but very little time preparing for the recovery period after a disaster. Here's what you need to do (and have) after a disaster:
  • Clean-up stuff. Most disasters leave a mess which requires clean-up supplies such as trash bins, trash bags, rubber gloves, boots, gloves, demolition equipment, etc.
  • Paperwork stuff. Particularly papers that have to do with insurance, titles/deeds, identification, financial accounts, etc.
  • Stuff to set up your home away from home. If you must evacuate during the clean-up phase, you at least want to be comfortable. All of your bug-out supplies should be easily accessible (and not damaged by the disaster). These include clothes, food, camping equipment, etc.
  • Back-up stuff. If the crux of your life is housed in your computer, make sure you have an off-site back-up copy of all of your computer files.
  • Money. Money is good in most all situations, especially when you will have a number of unexpected expenses.
  • Recording stuff. After a disaster you need to document everything so that you will (hopefully) be reimbursed at a later date. Use a pad of paper and pen, a voice recorder, a digital camera, and/or a camcorder to record all pertinent information such as items destroyed, clean up and replacement expenses, etc.
  • Contact list. Your friends, acquaintances, and services providers will be more valuable than ever after a disaster. Have a contact list so that you can get a hold of these people to provide moral support, clean up assistance, and repairs to your home.
  • Mental health stuff. If you were injured during a disaster, people will make sure you get fixed up at the nearest medical center. If you were psychologically damaged during a disaster, people may not realize this. Make sure you get the mental health care you need if you suffer from post traumatic stress, depression, or other disaster-related conditions.

The recovery phase of a disaster is just as important as the preparation phase. Make sure you put the recovery components in place before you need them.


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