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From Home Fires to Hurricanes, A Digital Disaster Kit is Key

Home Fire Escape Plan
The goal is to be able to access these important files wherever and whenever needed.

SanDisk supports the Red Cross and promotes digital preparedness

The American Red Cross regularly provides tips on how to prepare for potential disasters, such as home fires. Naturally, a lot of attention is paid to assembling emergency supplies like food, water, first aid kits, flashlights and batteries, but there are other necessities that should be a part of every disaster kit—things that help during the immediate response as well as in the recovery phase following a disaster.

“Seven times a day, someone dies in a home fire. Every 40 minutes, an injury from a fire is reported,” said Russ Paulsen, Executive Director, Community Preparedness and Resilience. “Most people don’t realize that, in a fire, you may literally only have two minutes to get out of your home. Making sure you have access to important documents—like copies of your drivers license, lists of emergency contacts and insurance information—will help right away and in the long term.”

Original copies of important documents should be kept in a safety deposit box away from home. Photocopies of these documents, along with contact lists and disaster plans, should be placed with disaster supplies and in emergency evacuation kits. Additionally, a digital disaster kit should be created by saving digital copies on a password-protected area of an Internet server as well as on a secure flash (thumb) drive that can be kept on a key ring or quickly slipped in a pocket. The goal is to be able to access these important files wherever and whenever needed.

Recognizing the importance and value of a digital disaster kit, SanDisk Corporation is partnering with the Red Cross to promote preparedness. In celebration of March is Red Cross Month, for each SanDisk product purchased on Amazon.com (or smile.amazon.com) between March 1 and March 17, SanDisk will contribute $1 to the Red Cross, with a minimum donation of $100,000 and up to a maximum of $250,000.

“The Red Cross has reminded us that not all disasters happen while you’re at home with your whole family, so having your important documents in an easy-to-access and completely portable way is one way to be ready whenever and wherever disaster strikes,” said Gisela Bushey, Director, SanDisk Foundation and Community Relations. “As a global leader in flash storage solutions, it’s our mission to enrich people's lives through digital storage anytime, anywhere—so supporting the Red Cross and promoting digital preparedness is a natural fit.”

Of course, shoppers can make this donation go even farther and support the Red Cross every time they shop Amazon simply by starting their visit at smile.amazon.com and making sure to designate the American Red Cross as their chosen charity.

To create a digital disaster kit, load up that mobile storage device with:

  • Current or recent photos of all family members, including pets
  • Personal identification, such as state issued identification cards, drivers licenses and passports
  • Personal and financial records, including a list of your credit cards and contact numbers for them
  • Copies of medical cards and lists of prescriptions, allergies and immunizations
  • Pet vaccination records, their veterinarian and a list of local shelters and pet-friendly hotels
  • Emergency contact numbers, including school and business numbers for all family members, as well as any documents relevant to their emergency plans
  • Being ready to respond when a disaster strikes—be it a house fire, hurricane or flood—includes preparing for what comes afterwards. Once the fire’s out or the water’s receded and the urgent needs are met, thoughts can turn to recovery. Often this includes replacing lost items, which can require documentation. Digital versions of paperwork that may be needed include:

  • Copies of social security cards
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Wills, living wills, trusts and/or powers of attorney
  • Personal and property insurance paperwork
  • Property deeds as well as household and personal property inventory lists
  • For more preparedness tips, visit redcross.org/prepare, and get started organizing original and digital copies of important documents today.

    Tags: Partners.
    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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