Mike Croxall: Emergency Preparation Tips

Monday, August 21, 2017 - by Mike Croxall, president, Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Natural or man-made disasters can hit any family at any time. Ensuring the personal safety of you and your loved ones is your number one priority. But being prepared for the aftermath by organizing your critical documents and communicating their location to designated individuals can save you many problems later should the unexpected occur.

Could you locate all your family’s important documents quickly in the event of an accident, evacuation or disaster? Or could they find them should you be incapacitated or become separated from each other? If not, here are some important steps to take.

It’s a good idea to keep document originals in one location, with backup copies stored in at least one additional, equally secure place. A fire- and waterproof box that can be locked and is small enough to carry is a good way to keep documents nearby, but safe from damage or theft. A safe deposit box at a bank is another secure location. Copies can also be stored with a family member or friend.  

Critical documents that you should be able to quickly access include:

·       Passports, birth certificates and social security cards

·       List of insurance policies, policy numbers and contact information

·       Copies of wills, living wills, power of attorneys and healthcare proxies

·       List of bank, retirement and investment accounts, account numbers and contact information

·       Titles to your car or home and sales receipts or proof of ownership of other high-value items

·       List of loan or debt obligations such as mortgages or credit cards, account numbers, balances and contact information

Other documents to think about collecting, making copies of and storing in a central location include medical histories, physicians’ contact information, dental records, past years’ tax filings, and Internet account user IDs and passwords.

A videotape — also copied and stored in multiple locations — is a good way to record your material possessions, and will help you remember everything and prove ownership for insurance claims if your property is destroyed.

Finally, it is especially important to let a trusted family member or friend know where your important documents are so that they can access them and take action should you be unable to temporarily, or in the worst case, permanently. While no one likes to think about the implications of a personal or community disaster, taking these steps will help you minimize the impact.



Transit Planner Jarrett Walker To Deliver Free Public Lecture Thursday

Jarrett Walker will deliver a free public lecture, "Transit Truths," as the first installment of the Robert C. Taylor Lecture Series hosted by the Chattanooga Design Studio this Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center Performance Hall , 200 E. MLK Blvd.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m.    Blythe Bailey, administrator ... (click for more)

Georgia Trust Announces 2018 List Of State's 10 'Places In Peril'

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation released its 2018 list of 10  Places in Peril  in the state.   Sites on the list include: A.J. Gillen Department Store in Maxeys (Oglethorpe County); Bibb City Elementary School in Columbus (Muscogee County); Cuthbert Water Tower in Cuthbert (Randolph County); Fire Station No. 2 in Rome (Floyd County); Fort ... (click for more)

School Board Says It Would Not Sell School Buildings To Signal Mountain

The County School Board on Thursday night passed a resolution saying it would not sell three schools at Signal Mountain if it chooses to break away and form its own school district. Attorney Scott Bennett said the schools would still be needed and be operated for students on Waldens Ridge outside of the town of Signal Mountain. The schools are Signal Mountain Middle/High, Nolan ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga. Residents Debate Chicken Issue; Town Calling In Highway Patrol On Speeders

Debate about whether to allow residents of Lookout Mountain, Ga., to keep chickens, took place at a public meeting Thursday afternoon prior to the November city council meeting. Most of the residents who spoke in favor of allowing the animals already keep them despite the town’s ordinance from 1988 prohibiting the practice unless the property is at least five acres.   ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How Would I Vote?

I don’t know what to think or who to believe in the debacle surrounding Alabama’s Roy Moore and his quest for a Senate seat. I have no earthly idea what he did or how he acted 40 years ago. Heck, I can’t remember what I did or how I acted 40 years ago but I do recall I kissed some minors back then. To be real honest, they were the only ones that would let me, this because I was ... (click for more)