It is easier for people to recover from a disaster if they are better prepared for it. There are low-cost steps they can take to reduce their risk, lessen disaster-related damage, and equip themselves for a quicker and less stressful recovery. This preparation includes steps to preserve copies of the documents they may need after a disaster for insurance claims, aid applications, child custody disputes, or other legal issues.
This document includes tips and checklists that help people assemble disaster kits and securely store important documents. Following the steps in this guide will help people stay safe and recover more quickly from a disaster.
Ready.gov is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.
Learn the essential supplies to put in your family’s survival kit. Make a Plan. Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency. Be Informed. Understand which disasters are likely to occur in your area and what you must know to stay safe.
Legal aid organizations can help educate people in the community about these steps. Here are some tips on providing and distributing information and motivating residents to prepare:
It also can be helpful to understand the types of short- and long-term legal issues that commonly arise after a disaster. Residents can become more aware of the types of issues they can get help with through the legal process, and legal aid organizations and other groups can better prepare for the type of assistance people may need in the weeks and months after a disaster.
Disaster survivors’ legal assistance needs include those related to: