The month of September is National Preparedness Month, and with a major hurricane currently off the eastern coast of the U.S., there's never been a better time to prepare a family evacuation strategy.
Even if Hurricane Earl doesn't hit certain areas, other kinds of emergencies could happen at any time anywhere in the country, leaving you with only a short time to evacuate.
Click here to track AccuWeather's radar on Hurricane Earl.
For example, one family was prepared for an emergency, while another family was not.
In a ten minute drill, Erica and Jason Bissch had talked about and practiced for an evacuation. Alex and Steve Gorman, like most American families, had not.
The Bissch family divided up their responsibilities. Jason packed personal files and grabbed a pre-packaged box of financial records and photo albums. Erica Bissch took family medicines, comfort items, and loaded suitcases in the car.
However, it was a different scene at the Gorman home.
After 10 minutes, the Gormans admitted their disaster evacuation drill was a disaster.
"We were a calamity," said Alex Gorman. "We were not prepared for anything like that. I kept worrying about the photo albums."
However, the Bissch had packed what they needed in less than the alotted ten minutes.
Insurance experts said unprepared families are more likely to leave important paperwork behind, which can end up being costly.
"You may think that you'll never have to evacuate your home," said Candysse Miller of the Insurance Information Network of California. "But wherever you live, you do have to plan for it."
In order to recover from a disaster, here's the information you will need.
- Will, deeds, and tax returns
- Birth and marriage certificates.
By planning ahead, the stress associated with emergencies will be reduced, and a financial disaster could also be avoided.