Creating an emergency plan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One of the most important ways to prepare for a natural disaster is to have an emergency plan.

Laura Southard of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management says one of the first things you can do is make sure you're covered because, for example, things like flood insurance don't fall under your homeowner's policy.

"What we're finding in Virginia because of the tornadoes, a lot of property is under-insured. If it had to be rebuilt today it would cost so much more," said Southard.

Once that's taken care of, talk to your family. Figure out where you'll reunite if your family gets separated.

It could be a church, school, or intersection. And make sure you designate an out of town contact.

"Often when we have emergencies, local phone lines and cell lines get clogged up, so having a person out of town is really important," said Southard.

A water proof bag with important documents should also be kept aside. Copies of the house deed, pictures of your belongings, insurance documents, and phone numbers - all that, could go in your supplies kit.

Your kit should have least three days worth of supplies for each family member. And in it, you want to have the basics: water - at least one gallon per person a day. Non perishable foods - pop top can foods are made easy, but if you have regular cans, make sure to include a can opener. You'll also need a battery operated radio, with extra batteries. Once you have those items, add flashlights, a first aid kit, a list of prescriptions, toilet paper, soap, clothes, and a sleeping bag, it's everything you need to get by, in case of an emergency.

For more help on making a emergency plan with your family...go to

The website has tips for seniors as well.

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