Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.
Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope
and FEMA to help you prepare financially and provide tips to reduce the impact disasters can leave you with financially.
National Preparedness Month Tip:
Scan photos of important documents and take photos (or video of each room of your whole house is even better) of your personal belongings and save them to a folder on your computer. Backup that folder to a CD or flash drive and store it in a safe deposit box at the bank for safekeeping to help you quickly file an insurance claim after an emergency!
National Preparedness Month Tip:
As we saw with the 2013 floods, even mountain homes are susceptible to flooding; burn scar areas are particularly prone. However, most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at
National Preparedness Month Tip:
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
National Preparedness Month Tip: Sign Up For Emergency Alert Notifications!
In Jefferson and Park Counties, the CodeRED emergency system is used by the Sheriff's Offices to warn citizens of danger. With CodeRED, the Sheriff's Office can call, text, or email to warn of dangerous suspects, flood, fire, or chemical spills. When a wildfire requires evacuations or preparation for evacuations, the notice is sent out through CodeRED so we highly recommend you sign up to receive the alerts to stay informed and safe.
CodeRED reaches numbers from two databases. One is the 911 database, which contains all listed and unlisted land lines in Jefferson County. If you have a land line, it is automatically included in this database.
The second database is made up of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP*) numbers (if you have a bundled internet/phone/television service you probably have a VoIP line), and email addresses owned by people who have opted in to receive the calls.
If you don’t have a traditional land line phone, and would like to receive a text, email or cell phone call in addition to the call on your land line phone, consider registering for this free service.
Individuals and businesses can cancel the registration of phone numbers and email addresses to prevent emergency notifications. To opt-out of CodeRED messages visit their website. You can also visit the registration page and modify your profile without completely opting-out of notifications.
Emergency Preparedness Month Tip: Evacuation Plans
Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate. If your neighborhood has multiple exit routes, practice driving them all until you are comfortable with them. If you aren't sure of the best evacuation routes for your area, stop into the fire station during business hours and we'd be happy to go over the map with you!
✅Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
✅Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
✅Assemble supplies you'll need for an evacuation in a “go-bag”. Make a list now and keep it handy for the crucial items you'll want that you can't pack ahead of time, such as prescriptions or medical equipment. In an emergency, you may be panicked and not remember everything you need, having a list ensures nothing important is left behind!
✅If you have a car:
Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely.
Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
✅If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends, neighbors, or your county government.
Six years ago today, Colorado experienced heavy amounts of rain over several days that culminated in severe flooding in multiple locations, including Evergreen.
Streets and bridges were washed away, some homes partially or severely damaged.
Floods are the nation's most common natural disaster, and yet, flood damage is rarely covered under your homeowners or renters policy. Do you know if you have your home covered? If you aren't sure, give your insurance agent a call to find out and get their advice as to whether you should have it.
to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business.
National Emergency Preparedness Month Tip: Build An Emergency Kit
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs
your family might have, such as supplies for pets,
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food,water
and other supplies
to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
Replace expired items as needed
Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.