If the news has you worrying about your home and family, take a look through this list of ways to keep your home safe and protect your family. From natural disasters to burglary to fires, we’ve assembled some comprehensive steps to help ease your worries and give you peace of mind. Cross off the items you’ve already taken care of and note where there’s room for improvement.
Keep Your Home Safe
- Home Security System: A home security alarm is one of the best things you can do to help deter burglars and keep your home safe. Utilize the stickers or signs that the alarm company gives you to alert potential robbers that you have an alarm system; these items may be the best deterrent of all.
- Secure Document Storage: While you know that your home is full of valuable things, it may be easy to forget that safely storing important documents is a vital step to protecting your family. A few ways to secure these important documents would be to use a safe deposit box at your bank. Safe deposit boxes are perfect for storing original documents like birth certificates, wills, social security information, and tax returns. For documents you wish to keep at home, consider investing in a home safe that’s fireproof and has a secure locking mechanism. This will protect your personal information from people you don’t want accessing it, as well as emergencies, like fires or floods.
- Fire Safety: You no doubt have smoke detectors in your home, but have you tested them lately to ensure they are fully functional? Test your smoke alarms, and do so monthly. It’s also a good idea to create an emergency fire escape plan and then practice it with your family so everyone would know what to do if a fire breaks out.
Protecting Against Cyber Hacks
- Safeguard Your Personal Information: It’s important to make sure you keep your security software current- this is your best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
- Password Best Practices: Because we want to easily remember our passwords, we often incorporate personal information in our passwords. Doing so makes it alarmingly easy for hackers to obtain our personal information. Your password should not include anything related to your name, nickname, or even the name of your family pet. Your password also shouldn’t contain easily recognizable numbers like phone numbers or addresses or other information someone could guess by taking a look at your mail.
- Credit Monitoring: It’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report annually. You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
- Identity Theft Protection: Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. If someone steals your wallet, digs through your garbage or hacks into your computer, it could cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to restore and repair what has taken you a lifetime to build. Contact your agent to learn more about how you can protect your family with Farm Bureau Financial Services’ Identity Theft Protection.
- Storm Safety and Preparation: Wicked weather can happen at any time and in any place. Every season brings its set of potential emergencies that can arise. The best way to help protect your family is to develop an emergency plan. Your family should practice periodic storm drills so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
- Severe Weather Hacks: As you’re creating your emergency plan, it’s important to know what to do in all kinds of weather. Check out 16 Severe Weather Hacks Everyone Should Know for tips on how to handle power outages, tornados, blizzards and more.
- Your Homeowners Insurance: Protect your home and make sure your homeowners insurance can weather the storm. Contact your agent to schedule a SuperCheck® to ensure that your insurance continues to offer the best coverage for your needs and to keep your home safe.
Securing Your Family Financially
- Lawsuits lurking around your home: Walk through your home and identify places where trips and falls are most likely – loose rugs or wires, steep or poorly lit staircases. Take time to eliminate these hazards.
- Contact your agent: In addition to keeping your home and belongings safe, it’s important to take a close look at your finances in the event of a disaster or tragedy. Your agent can help ensure that your family is protected with the adequate amount and right kind of life insurance for your specific situation.
Protecting against the unexpected
Life is full of the unexpected, but with the help of a Farm Bureau agent, you can help protect yourself and your family from the unexpected.