Never has it been clearer that it is vital to be prepared for any emergency. With Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and multiple wildfires in the news, our thoughts have been with those displaced and affected. Though many disasters cannot be prevented, being prepared can improve the chances of surviving an emergency.
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, a time when we are encouraged to create plans for evacuation and sheltering, as well as to have necessary supplies in place. As a frequent business traveler, it is important to be prepared for emergencies at home and away.
These steps will help you begin:
Prepare emergency supplies. For your home, vehicle and place of work, it is recommended that each individual have water and nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food and any necessary medications for at least three days. In addition, have first aid kits and portable chargers or extra batteries on hand. A battery-operated radio can provide access to important information in the event that Internet and satellite services are disrupted.
Get paperwork in order. Ensure that copies of important paperwork, such as identification and legal documents, are stored in a safe place. When traveling, keep a copy in luggage as well. Identification and prescriptions should be readily accessible in case of evacuation. Insurance documents should also be readily available. Have cash on hand, as some emergencies could prevent the use of credit or debit cards, as well as bank access.
Know what disasters are most likely to occur in your area and in the areas in which you will be traveling. Sign up for alerts from agencies that provide them; enroll in the STEP program if traveling abroad. Our TripCase is also a valuable resource for receiving relevant alerts and notifications. Know where emergency services are located.
Plan for making contact. Each person in the household should have access to a list of multiple people to contact in an emergency. When traveling, ensure that family members have a detailed copy of the travel itinerary. If traveling internationally, register with the U.S. Embassy. Decide together where the family will meet if separated during a disaster. Do not count on phones working; have an alternate method of contact.
Play it safe. Most emergency situations cannot be predicted. Occasionally an event like Hurricane Irma comes along, prompting mass evacuations and many trip cancellations. In this event, having a corporate travel manager is quite helpful, as we can assist with changing plans and help to lessen the amount of hassle and cost.
For more information on emergency preparation, the Red Cross, Ready.gov, CDC and FEMA are helpful resources. We wish you a safe and prepared September.