We spend all kinds of time focusing on disaster preps. What equipment to buy. What skills to develop. What drills to partake in. Basically we do a lot of planning for what to do before and during a disaster but very little time preparing for the recovery period after a disaster. Here's what you need to do (and have) after a disaster:
- Clean-up stuff. Most disasters leave a mess which requires clean-up supplies such as trash bins, trash bags, rubber gloves, boots, gloves, demolition equipment, etc.
- Paperwork stuff. Particularly papers that have to do with insurance, titles/deeds, identification, financial accounts, etc.
- Stuff to set up your home away from home. If you must evacuate during the clean-up phase, you at least want to be comfortable. All of your bug-out supplies should be easily accessible (and not damaged by the disaster). These include clothes, food, camping equipment, etc.
- Back-up stuff. If the crux of your life is housed in your computer, make sure you have an off-site back-up copy of all of your computer files.
- Money. Money is good in most all situations, especially when you will have a number of unexpected expenses.
- Recording stuff. After a disaster you need to document everything so that you will (hopefully) be reimbursed at a later date. Use a pad of paper and pen, a voice recorder, a digital camera, and/or a camcorder to record all pertinent information such as items destroyed, clean up and replacement expenses, etc.
- Contact list. Your friends, acquaintances, and services providers will be more valuable than ever after a disaster. Have a contact list so that you can get a hold of these people to provide moral support, clean up assistance, and repairs to your home.
- Mental health stuff. If you were injured during a disaster, people will make sure you get fixed up at the nearest medical center. If you were psychologically damaged during a disaster, people may not realize this. Make sure you get the mental health care you need if you suffer from post traumatic stress, depression, or other disaster-related conditions.
The recovery phase of a disaster is just as important as the preparation phase. Make sure you put the recovery components in place before you need them.