Preparedness Planning

It is often said that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail

By: Matt Beynen
Beynen Home Inventory

It is often said that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.  We don’t start a business without a plan; we usually don’t even take a vacation without a plan.  Why then do most of us leave our home lives up in the air when it comes to having a plan?

When I say emergency planning, most people have their eyes glaze over and think of fire drills at work.  The reality of it is that emergency planning is much more important than just heading to the exit at the sound of a bell.  We protect valuables.  That’s why there are smoke alarms and burglar alarms.  To protect our family and loved ones from the threat of fire and invaders.  What about the rest of the picture?

A full Preparedness Plan doesn’t really take that long to do, and most of us simply take for granted either a disaster won’t happen to us or everything will automatically go smoothly if it does.  The preparedness plan takes into account what to do in an emergency, and how to properly prepare for it.  With that in mind, here is a list of components you should find in a good Preparedness plan.

  • Escape routes, meeting places should a fire hit.
  • Procedures for unknown people trying to get in the house.
  • Places to go should you need to evacuate your home for an extended period.
  • Homeowners Insurance:  does it cover you for the most likely disasters in your area (i.e. Flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane etc. depending on where you live).
  • A Home Inventory.  We buy insurance to protect our belongings.  Most people can’t remember most of the belongings they own.  Document (or have documented) your valuables in case you need to claim insurance.
  • An emergency kit.  Are you ready for a lengthy power outage?  If you need to evacuate, do you know where the important stuff is?
  • A safe place for your documents.  This might fall into the previous point, but you will need birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, deeds, insurance documents, your inventory, etc.
  • What to do with pets in an emergency.  This one can be overlooked easily.  Give some thoughts to what to do with the animals before hard choices have to be made

The above can be tailored to the need of every individual, and the whole thing can be totally done in an hour or so (plus a few more hours to do the inventory).  If all this is in place, you can rest just a little easier knowing that if the unthinkable happens, you will know what to do and how to do it.

Matt Beynen is the owner of Beynen Home Inventory. Based in East Jordan, Beynen can be reached at (231) 582-1321.

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