Keeping your family safe during disasters

Disaster prep necessities

BALTIMORE - While the teeth of the storm missed most of us, Maryland is vulnerable to natural disasters of all sizes.

So to give yourself the best chance of making through a disaster, Doug Lent with the Chesapeake Region Red Cross says you need to prepare now.

"First and foremost, you need to be prepared to take care of yourself for the first 48 hours," he said.

For under $100, Lent says the basics are all you need. They include plenty of water, a first aid kit, non-perishable food and a weather radio. "If you have a child, you need to plan ahead with toys, diapers and formula," Lent added.

To be safe, Lent says you should pack that emergency kit away in your car to make sure it's ready when you need it.

Just as important as the necessary provisions, you want to make sure all precious photos and important documents are accounted for. In the past, you may have relied on a fire box, DVD's or an external hard drive to back up your materials.

Now, security consultant Nick Owens says the "cloud" is the way to go.

"The cloud has been around for about 10 years," he said. "It's just now getting around to the public where everyday users can access it."

Owens says the cloud is like a  virtual safety deposit box for your online documents.

"It's not just one," Owens said. "We're talking about six copies existing on servers in six different cities."

The price tag for cloud storage varies, depending on your needs. However, when it comes to the best providers, Owens says that's ultimately up to you.

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