NEW YORK, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Flowers wither and chocolate disappears in a flash, but a well thought out disaster plan is a gift that provides peace of mind all year long, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)
"Nothing says 'I love you' more than helping your mom be prepared in case of a disaster," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, the I.I.I.'s senior vice president and chief communications officer. "It may sound corny, but peace of mind is a wonderful gift that children and even grandchildren can give to help the special women in their lives."
The I.I.I. has resources, including free mobile apps, to help your mother prepare to survive a disaster both physically and financially. Here are four key steps:
- Create a Home Inventory
An inventory is a list of all of your mother's personal possessions with their estimated value. In the event of a disaster, having an up-to-date home inventory will help get her insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for her income tax return and help her purchase the correct amount of insurance. The I.I.I. has step-by-step information on how to create a home inventory. Or use the free Know Your Stuff® - Home Inventory app and software. Just take photos of your mother's belongings and fill in a few key details—her data will automatically sync with free cloud storage, for secure access whenever she wants. The whole family can help with this project by taking photos, scanning receipts, counting items and inputting information.
- Review Insurance Coverage
Offer to review your mother's insurance policies to make sure she has the right type and amount of coverage for her needs. She should have enough insurance to rebuild her home and replace her belongings should disaster strike—this includes considering both flood and earthquake insurance, which are excluded from standard policies. If your mom is a renter, encourage her to purchase renters insurance to cover her belongings.
The I.I.I. has a wealth of resources to help you and your mother review her insurance needs, including the Know Your Coverage app and articles on How Much Coverage Do I Need? and Ten Questions to Assess Your Insurance Coverage. If your mom has questions about her coverage, encourage her to contact her insurance professional and consider participating in the meeting. You may learn something too!
- Develop an Evacuation Plan
Talk to your mom about what she should do and how you can reach each other if she needs to evacuate. Especially if your mother is elderly, in poor health or has pets, help her figure where she will go and what she should take with her. The I.I.I.'s Know Your Plan disaster preparation app has checklists for specific situations, as well as key mitigation steps. Browse our articles on Preparing an Effective Evacuation Plan, Including Your Pets in Evacuation and Disaster Planning for more information.
- Disaster-Proof Her Home
A few simple steps could help make your mom's home a safer haven from disasters big and small. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes both have detailed information on protecting your home against a variety of disasters.
Take the time to talk to your mother about these key disaster preparedness steps and offer to help her with all four or simply the actions she needs most. There is no better way to celebrate Mother's Day than making sure she is properly prepared.
- Evacuation: How to Get Organized
- Evacuation: The 10 Minute Challenge
- How to Pick a Lightning Protection System
- Disaster Planning with Pets
- Don't be a Dummy about Flood Insurance
- Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness
- Taking a Home Inventory
- The I's on Insurance: Your Homeowners Coverage
- Protecting your Home Against an Earthquake
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org
SOURCE Insurance Information Institute