September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Elizabeth Kiss, Family Resource Management Specialist.
Things change. Circumstances change. This week’s challenge is to review your insurance coverage. Why does this matter?
The purpose of insurance is to cover major losses, such as can occur with storms and other weather-related disasters. It is important to have adequate coverage on your home, vehicles, and possessions so that they can be repaired or replaced if damaged. It is recommended to review your insurance coverage at least annually. Every few years you may want to schedule a face-to-face review with your insurance agent.
Last week’s challenge was to create, or update, a home inventory. With that information you now have an accurate picture of your home and its contents in the event of damage or loss.
Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to be sure you have adequate coverage and understand the terms of the policy.
- Policy limits. If your home and contents are not coverage for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost, rather than actual cash value, it is likely that the full cost of rebuilding after an insured loss is not covered.
- Coverage. It is important to be clear about what disasters (perils) are covered. For example, not all policies cover damages caused by earth movement, flood, or sewer back-up. Some policies exclude certain types of property.
- Deductibles. Insurance policies typically require that the policy holder pay a specific amount of money before the insurance company will pay a claim. This is the deductible. If possible, set aside emergency funds equal to the amount of the deductible. This can speed up the recovery process.
Review your auto insurance too. Vehicles depreciate and there is no reason to cover the car for more than it is currently worth. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto resulting from events other than collision such as windstorm, hail, or fire. Collision coverage is limited to damaged caused to your car from a collision.
Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf
Another informative resource is this new guide: Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery. The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) partnered with the American Red Cross and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to produce the guide. Chapter 2, Protecting Your Property, is a good place to start.
We’ve turned the calendar from September to October and that means our annual #PrepareKS challenge has concluded. For a re-cap of the weekly challenges, visit this page.
Did you participate in our weekly challenges? Please complete this short survey and tell us what challenges you completed! #KSRE http://bit.ly/2ddeZUJ
Starting Sept. 1, Prepare Kansas 2016 provided tips on keeping food safe in emergency situations. This year’s program was conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page and here on the blog. Also, each week Jamie Vineyard Rathbun was live on Facebook talking about the weekly challenges.
Here’s a re-cap of the weekly themes and challenges.
Week 1: What can you do ahead of a power outage? This week we focused on activities that all of us can do before the power goes out. We challenged folks to put a thermometer in each of their refrigerators and freezers. We asked folks to post of picture on the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page
Week 2: What you can you do when the power goes out? The week we focused on making sure folks know that when the power goes out it is important to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. We also talked about how to keep food safe. We challenged folks to find out where they can obtain block or dry ice in their communities. We asked folks to share what they learned via social media.
Week 3: What can you do after a power outage? This week we focused on how to decide if food is safe to keep or not after an extended power outage. Never taste food to determine if it is safe or not! We challenged folks go through their refrigerators and freezers and throw items out that have been there longer than the recommended storage time. After doing that,we challenged folks to clean the inside of their refrigerators. We asked folks to share one thing they learn about keeping food safe when the power goes out.
Week 4: What can you do after a flood? This week we focused on how to handle food that has come into contact with flood water. We also talked about the importance of handwashing after coming into contact with flood water. We challenged folks to make sure they were not storing any food, cooking utensils, or pans directly on the floor. We asked folks to take a picture of a cooking utensil or pan and say whether or not it would be safe to keep after coming into contact with flood water.
The 2016 challenge is complete but we post to blog year-round. Look for information about the 2017 #PrepareKS challenge beginning late July.
September is National Preparedness Month. It is also the month of the K-State Research and Extension annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2016 focuses on keeping food safe in emergency situations. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents.
As tempting as it might be to check the temperature inside your refrigerator and freezer when the power goes out, the best thing to do is to keep the doors closed.
A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full). If you anticipate the power will be out for longer than that, prepare to use ice and coolers to keep your food safe.
Prepare ahead of a storm by following these USDA Food Safety Tips:
- Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes so don’t overfill the containers.
- Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
- Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
- Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
Click on the graphic above for more information about food safety information during severe storms from the USDA.