Computers

Preparing for Disaster With a Click of a Mouse

October 15, 2009



(NewsUSA) – American homes aren't as secure as we think. Among
natural disasters -; floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes, wildfires -; and
kitchen fires and broken pipes, most homeowners will see their properties damaged.

But homeowners can take steps to help protect their possessions from disaster, natural or
otherwise.

When moving into a new area, buyers should learn what kind of disasters afflict the region.
For example, if hurricanes are a concern, buyers should consider homes with hurricane strapping -;
flat metal strips that attach rafters and trusses to walls. According to the American Red Cross,
people should not buy homes in high-risk flood zones, in areas threatened by coastal erosion or on
fault lines.

Once homeowners know what to expect, they can install fire alarms, secure bookcases and
other heavy objects that could fall in an earthquake, and they can clear surrounding brush, which
can be a fire hazard. But homeowners also need to secure their financial
information.

Homeowners need to inventory their possessions, either on paper or with
photographs. Even inexpensive items, like dish towels, need to be recorded, because small costs can
add up should everything in the home require replacement.

Homeowners need to record where they keep all of their financial and family
documents, from birth certificates to tax returns, then copy each document and store it in a safe
place. But a large disaster might destroy nearby banks, too.

Online systems can both simplify preparations and provide greater document security. One
online estate planning service, The Estate Vault, consolidates client information, from assets,
liabilities and financial portfolios to medical histories and vehicle registration information.

Customers can choose to keep their information on a secure Web site, on their home computers,
on a CD or USB device or in any combination of those three locations. If documents become
physically damaged, Estate Vault users can simply download their records from the service's secure
Web site. Wills, marriage licenses and credit card records are kept safe and easy to
access.

The Estate Vault stores its data in a building owned by Primus Telecommunications
Canada, which has won awards for its support systems. Canada does not experience earthquakes or
hurricanes, making it one of the world's safest places for document security.

For more information, visit www.estatevault.com. Estate Vault trades on the NASDAQ OTC
under the symbol TEVI.

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