Disaster Prep hints from Heloise

"Dear Heloise, Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and man-made disasters are frightening, and they may also cause chaos and put at risk your personal security.
Taking a few minutes today to create an action plan might help you avoid identity-theft-related situations :

- Be Prepared o Evacuate - Keep copies of birth certificates, driver's licenses, Social Security cards, death certificates, insurances papers and any other vital papers for
each family member in a locked box. Place the box in your car only when you are ready to leave. Unfortunately, thieves sometimes loot cars parked in driveways, ready to
evacuate. * You will need those papers to identify yourself with various assistance groups and with insurance companies. Keep the locked box in sight at all times, even in a

Few people want to leave computers behind. If you are time-crunched or limited in space, remove the hard and take that with you. ** Develop a plan of action in case family
members are separated. You might want to designate a family member or friend in a different state as the contact person that you all will call. Usually phone lines are busy

or down in local disaster areas.

- Lost Information - If you conduct business with a company affected by the disaster, contact the company once it has had time to determine if any vital papers are
missing. Ask what steps you should take or what it plans to do. If you should find documents with information, turn them over to the police.