Marina Farina from property insurers Intasure provides some useful pointers on keeping yourself safe in the event of a natural disaster overseas this year.
In 2017, the world witnessed the devastating effects of the Spanish & Portuguese forest fires, the strongest earthquake that Mexico has endured in a century, the shattering hurricanes in the Caribbean Islands & USA and the volcano eruption in Bali.
Given the recent wave of natural disasters, for those of you who have properties overseas or are planning to buy in 2018, it's important to prepare yourself for such an event, given how unpredictable Mother Nature can be.
A natural disaster is probably the last thing on your mind when searching for an overseas property but it's an important consideration. Saying that it shouldn't stop you from continuing your search this year. However, you might want to research the best ways to protect yourself and how to make an emergency plan just in case the unexpected happens.
If this is something you’ve not had to do before, we’ve listed some basic tips to help you, especially if you find yourself living in a high-risk area:
1) Prepare a first aid kit for your overseas home
Keep your first aid kit in a strategic and safe place. You might want to include prescription medication, a spare pair of glasses, fire extinguisher, matches, a whistle, dust mask, torch, batteries, radio or anything else you consider you might need for your wellbeing.
2) Keep a stock of food and water supplies at the property
After a big disaster, you might find that a lot of local stores are closed or they quickly run out of supplies and ATMs can run out of money too. Water and non-perishable food (tins and protein/fruit bars) usually have a long expiry date and are easy to store.
3) Find shelter or a safer place
Be aware of your surroundings and find the quickest and safest place to protect yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask a local if you are unsure. Have a positive attitude but don’t hang around an insecure area without a plan because you could put yourself in danger.
4) Know your nearest Embassy
It might sound obvious but it’s a good idea to find out where the nearest embassy is in your region because your embassy is also your best resource for news and an evacuation plan. Some countries will even provide evacuation flights.
5) Notify family and friends
After the event and once it’s safe to do so, notify your friends & family. You know you’re safe, but they don’t. You could send an e-mail, make a call or use social media but try to contact them as soon as possible. Sometimes the mobiles lines and data signals can be saturated and the media might cause an unnecessary worry for your beloved if they don’t have news of you.
6) Choose an insurance policy that’s right for you
Before you purchase a home and contents insurance policy, it’s important to know exactly what natural disasters the policy covers you for, as well as how much the insurer will pay in the event of one. Having the right insurance in place should give you the peace of mind to enjoy your holiday home in the sun.
If you would like to arrange cover or check what your policy covers you for, then try speaking with a specialist today.