Master Lock Vault
From hurricanes to tornados or fires, every state in the United States is vulnerable to some type of emergency weather situation. Just in time for National Preparedness Month this September, Master Lock is educating consumers on the importance of preparing for emergency situations, such as severe weather, that can strike at any time.
“We often think that emergencies won’t happen to us,” said Mario Armstrong, The Digital Lifestyle Expert™ and Master Lock representative. “In reality, emergencies catch families off guard all the time, which can make our digital lives very vulnerable. Technology is making it easier than ever to stay informed of emergencies and safeguard what’s most important in these situations — our loved ones, our digital memories and the items that can help us with a speedy recovery.”
Master Lock offers five top tips to help families navigate emergency situations:
1. Stay Informed. Don’t let a situation catch you off guard. Be in the know on the latest emergencies by signing up for automated alerts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA offers a text message program that sends regular safety tips and alerts and allows users to search for open shelters and open disaster recovery centers. For general monthly safety tips, text “PREPARE” to 43362 (FEMA) to sign up. To receive bi-monthly tips specific to a disaster type, text its keyword, such as “HURRICANE” or “TORNADO,” to 43362 (FEMA). For more keywords, visitwww.fema.gov/text-messages.
FEMA also supports Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that sends free texts messages to WEA-enabled cell phones within range of a severe weather event, AMBER emergency or dangerous local situation. To learn more about these alerts and how to activate them, visit www.ready.gov/alerts.
2. Know the Facts. At the time of an emergency, terms used by the news or weather anchor to describe the conditions can be confusing. Understand what the most common terms mean:
According to FEMA, a tornado watch means that a tornado is possible, but a tornado warning means that one has been sighted and to take shelter immediately.
However for flooding — the leading cause of weather-related death — a watch means that flooding is possible, a flood warning means that a flood is occurring or will occur soon, while a flashflood warning notes that a flashflood is currently happening and to get to high ground immediately.
3. Safeguard Your Stuff. Possessions can be replaced, but critical documents are vital to efficient disaster recovery. Ensure your critical documents, such as identification cards, passports, and insurance policies are always accessible by storing digital copies in a safe place online, such as the Master Lock Vault. By uploading important documents into this free, secure digital safe deposit box, all items are protected from fire, flood and theft, and can be accessed from any internet connection or mobile device when they are needed most. Currently, only 15 percent of Americans have digital copies saved and stored online*, leaving them at risk in case of a home emergency.
4. Make a Plan. Almost half of Americans do not have an evacuation plan and/or shelter, food and water readily available should they experience a severe weather emergency*. By preparing for a disaster in advance, families will be able to communicate and cope with the situation at hand more easily.
Before an emergency happens, sit down with family members and decide how to get in contact with each other, map out evacuation routes for the area, determine a neighborhood, out-of-neighborhood and out-of-town meeting place and practice what to do in the event of an emergency. To allow home access to family members and neighbors if needed, securely store keys outside with a Master Lock 5400D or 5422D Lock Box.
5. Gather an Emergency Kit. Build an emergency disaster kit so that it’s ready when needed most. A basic supply kit should include at least one gallon of water per person for at least three days, a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person, manual can opener, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, local maps and cell phone with a charger (or solar charger), according to FEMA.
About Master Lock
Master Lock is the world’s largest manufacturer of padlocks and related security products providing innovative security solutions for home, automotive, campus, power sports, bike and storage security needs for consumers and industry alike. Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS) is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information about Master Lock, visit www.masterlock.com.
*Survey conducted by Survey Monkey from 3/12/13 – 3/14/13 based on data representative of a national U.S. census sample