Last year was the costliest year on record for natural disasters, with fires, storms and floods causing a total of $306 billion in damage. Even if you’re not in a high alert area, Mother Nature is unpredictable and you need to be able to protect your family, possessions and yourself in the event she attacks.

Stock up

The biggest issue when disaster strikes is usually a lack of power. Depending on your proximity to the hazardous event, you could be without power for days or weeks. To prepare, stock up on batteries and battery-powered items like a radio, flashlight(s), and a clock. Consider investing in a generator, and then add gas to your stockpile list!

Back up electronics and chargers

If your computer shuts down unexpectedly, or is the victim of lightning or a power surge, you’re at risk for losing all of your valuable files and data. Regularly back up your computer via online servers like Google Drive, or through an external hard drive. Also, buy portable chargers or USB-capable power packs and keep them juiced up so you can keep your phone alive during an outage.

Create an emergency pack

Buy a large container or duffel bag and create an emergency kit. Pack in enough food and water for at least three days, a flashlight, first-aid kit, cash stash, and a battery-powered radio. Toss in some batteries and towels to make sure you’re prepared for anything nature throws at you.

Protect your hard files

Backing up your computer files won’t help protect your paperwork. Keep items like passports, deeds, birth certificates and other irreplaceable papers in a waterproof container with lid. Make sure they are elevated enough to avoid any floodwaters or high-risk fire areas, and make sure they’re easily accessible in case you have to grab ’em and go.

Practice an emergency plan

The best way to protect both your family and yourself is to have an emergency plan. Think of possible scenarios depending on where you live, ie. fire, flood, or power outage. Create a step-by-step plan on how to deal with the natural disaster, and practice it a few times a year. This way, you and your loved ones will be prepared for anything nature throws your way.