Recovering from a disaster includes being prepared for a disaster. Knowing the types of disasters that can occur in the area where you live, is the first step in being prepared. In Central Ohio, we have had thunderstorms, strong winds, winter weather (snow and Ice) and fires. All of the forgoing can create problems for one or more families. The recovery process can be easier if you are prepared for a disaster.
Begin by talking with your family and putting together a disaster plan that includes the following information:
- • Escape routes (from the home, from the area)
- • Family meeting place (Both, outside of the home and a place outside of the neighborhood. How do you get there?Include an alternate route.)
- • Know who is responsible for the younger family members if you are not home
- • Know other family members cell phone numbers or have a list of contacts with numbers. (Don’t rely on your phone, the battery can run down and you won’t have access to your contacts information.)
- • Designate a family member or friend outside of your area as your emergency contact. (Make sure the person is agreeable to act in this role. Consider a secondary contact.)
- • Have a disaster kit, one that is portable in case you need to leave the home. Find more information at http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
- • Review the plan every 6 months or as changes are made that affect the plan.
- • Practice the escape routes with the family so they know what is expected of them.
Many survivors lose valuable personal documents that will need to be replaced. Below is a list of documents and where you can get duplicates.
- Birth and Death Certificates – county’s Vital Records Office or at http:unitedstatesvitalrecords.com, select Ohio
- Marriage Certificates– County Clerk of Court or Ohio Department of Health,
- Marriage Dissolutions– County Clerk of Court or Ohio Department of Health,
- Immigration Documents– contact your county office or www.uscis.gov
- Driver License– Visit any Ohio driver license office, need acceptable identification and proof of address. Fee required. Must apply in person. More information, http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/
- Vehicle Registration/Title– Contact your county motor vehicle office. You will need proof of insurance. Fees administered by county. More information, http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/
- Passport– Complete forms DS-11 and DS-64. Submit them at a passport agency or acceptance facility
- Military Records – Request Standard Form 180 (SF-180) from any office of the Veterans Administration, American Legion, VFW or Red Cross or download from http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-form-180.html
- Mortgage Papers– Contact your lending institution
- Property Deeds – Contact the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located.
- Insurance Policies – Contact the insurance company for replacement papers
- Social Security Card – Go to a Social Security Administration Office. Or, request a copy of your Social Security statement online at www.ssa.gov
- Transcript of Your Tax Return – Call the nearest Treasury Department Office, IRS Office or 1-800-829-3646
- Savings Bonds/Notes – Complete form PDF 1048 (Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds); call 1-304-480-6112 or www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf
- Credit Cards- American Express, 1-800-528-4800; Discover, 1-800-347-2683; MasterCard, 1-800-622-7747; VISA, 1-800-847-2911