I was reading my FEMA newsletter and came across some great information about protecting your finances in the event of an emergency. Did you know that April is financial literacy month? This is a good month to get your financial paperwork in order.
FEMA shared a great video that gave some guidance to help you get started. FEMA also provides a financial toolkit and resources in English and Spanish to help you be better financially prepared for a disaster. Talk to your financial advisor to get professional advice to help you be more resilient no matter what happens. Some ideas to help you get started are:
- Look at your home, and check out the Firewise website for ideas to make your home safer from loss due to wildfire. NFPA’s Firewise USA™ provides some great resources to help protect one of your biggest investments, your home.
- Know what your financial obligations are so that you plan to meet them if there is a disaster.
- Read through your insurance policy. If you are not sure what is covered, go over it with your agent. Questions to consider include such things as; 1. Does your policy provide assistance for clean-up sometime hazmat after a fire or other natural disaster? 2. Are costs covered to stay in another place until you can rebuild? 3. How much are your personal effects (ie. television, furniture etc.) insured for?
- You don’t have to be a homeowner to have insurance. Renter’s insurance is just as important to help you be prepared.
- Complete a home inventory of everything in your home take pictures and save receipts. So that you have proof of what you have in your home. Many insurance companies provide guidance for you to do so.
- Make copies of your taxes and other financial paperwork that you keep in a safe deposit box or other secure location. If something happens and you don’t have your credit cards etc. you will have a hard time getting access to your resources and a harder time rebuilding if you don’t have your insurance paperwork.
Take steps today to prepare your home, community and financial health before a disaster occurs. NFPA provides resources and connections that can help you today. The steps that you take today will help you recover far quicker if a disaster does occur.