No one likes to think about the possibility of natural disasters like floods, fires, hurricanes or tornados. Nor do they like to think about crimes like theft and vandalism. However, spending a little bit of time making an emergency plan now, can help you have more peace of mind and be prepared if you ever need it.

Here’s some information to consider for protecting your home, yourself and your family in the event of a disaster or emergency:

Be prepared.

Military OneSource offers you guidance on what you need to know to prepare for any kind of emergency. Follow these important steps:

  1. Create a family emergency plan.
  2. Prepare an emergency supply kit.
  3. Know how to connect with missing loved ones.
  4. Find out about your installation’s security procedures and sign up for installation and community alerts so you know what to do in an emergency.
  5. Learn how to best account for yourself and others during both natural and man-made disasters with this 10 minute e-tutorial on Personnel Accountability from MilLife Learning.

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Consider renters insurance.

Renters insurance is property insurance designed for people who do not own their homes. If disaster strikes in the form of fire, vandalism, theft or other ways, having renters insurance ensures you won’t be stuck paying to replace everything that was lost or damaged. Renters insurance is often overlooked, but this small cost can save you a substantial amount of money in the event of a disaster.

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Find a safe place to stay.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, can provide housing assistance if your home is damaged or destroyed. The American Red Cross also provides shelter and other assistance for people in disaster situations.

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Be safe, inside and outside your home.

If your home has been damaged, your power lines and gas lines may have sustained damage also. Be sure to take safety precautions, such as turning off your gas and electricity if you can do so safely, avoiding puddles and other standing water, watching for leaking gas lines and propane containers, and staying alert as standing structures may be fragile.

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Stay informed.

Depending on the disaster, radio and TV reports may provide news through the Emergency Alert System. This system, along with news and government agency social media sites, can provide information about what to do, where to go and how to contact local disaster relief services.

In addition, your installation may choose to activate an Emergency Family Assistance Center or EFAC. The EFAC provides a central hub for dissemination of accurate and timely information and also provides and connects to support and resources.