Residents of Moore, OK search the remains of their homes for their possessions.
Photo Source: www.reuters.com

When a disaster like the recent tornado in Moore, OK or Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast hits, our first thoughts go to the people affected. Are they safe? Were they hurt? Of course the physical devastation is overwhelming but it is the human toll that touches us first.

After the rescues and recovery efforts are underway, our thoughts turn to the loss of personal items. As I have watched the TV news reports with survivors who have lost everything, I am always hit by the fact that they are not in tears over a lost pair of boots or a plastic stadium cup, but rather it’s precious things like the only remaining photo of a grandfather or a child’s beloved stuffed animal that are the things missed the most.

A recent trend which helps victims who have lost these very special items due to a disaster is to start a Facebook group that posts images of lost pictures (even pets) that have flown through the air miles and miles away from their original home to land in a stranger’s yard. Here is one example – https://www.facebook.com/MementosFromMooreOk. What a wonderful way to reconnect these items with their owners!
What can you do to better prepare your family and your cherished items for a disaster?
  • Have your print-only photos scanned then save those digital images to a safe location in the cloud such as Carbonite or Dropbox.
  • Backup your computers using Carbonite and Dropbox.
  • Scan your important documents such as birth certificate and insurance policies and store them in the cloud.
  • Create an emergency communication plan with your family members. If you get separated, how will you let each other know you are ok? Have an out of town friend or family member be a central point of contact.
  • Do a home inventory. This will allow you to make a proper insurance claim in the case that your home is damaged.

My heart goes out to the people of Moore, OK and all the other places in our country that are hit by natural disasters. If you haven’t done so already, please consider helping out with a donation to the American Red Cross by clicking here

 
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