Could your finances weather a storm? A disaster – whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake, fire or other catastrophe – can be financially devastating. Good preparation can help keep both your family and your bank account safe. September is National Preparedness Month, so it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re ready for anything.
Be Prepared, Not Scared
The 2019 theme for National Preparedness Month is Prepared, Not Scared. Yes, the thought of a natural disaster is scary, but facing a disaster without having made any preparations is far more frightening.
To help people prepare, FEMA and Ready.gov are focusing on four important areas:
- Save early for disaster costs.
- Make a plan to prepare for disasters.
- Teach youth to prepare for disasters.
- Get involved in your community’s preparedness .
Create an Emergency Plan
If a disaster strikes, do you know how you’ll receive emergency alerts? What will your evacuation route be? Where will you seek shelter? How will your family communicate? Will you be able to meet your family’s medical and dietary needs? What will happen to your pets?
If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time to create an emergency plan. Ready.gov provides tips on how to make a plan.
Create a Financial Plan
Once you’ve prepared for your family’s safety, you need to think about your financial situation. That way, if a disaster strikes, you can get back on your feet and return to normal life as soon as possible.
- Check your insurance coverage. Even if you have a homeowners or renters policy, you may not be covered for every risk. For example, standard policies exclude flood coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about getting the right coverage for your risks.
- Check your insurance limits. Going for a lower limit might seem like a good way of reducing your premium, but if you’re home is destroyed, you won’t have enough to rebuild. Make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild your house.
- Do a home inventory. A natural disaster could destroy everything you own. In addition to making sure you have the insurance coverage needed to replace everything, you need to know what exactly it is you need to replace. Apps like Sortly can make it easy to keep a digital home inventory of all your stuff.
- Build an emergency fund. Even with good insurance, it’s important to have some cash available. If you have to evacuate, for example, you’ll need some money to cover your travel and hotel costs, not to mention missed work.
- Build an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. You know it’s important to have a medical first aid kit. You should also have an emergency financial first aid kid. It contains all the legal documents and contact information that you’ll need during an emergency. See the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit report from FEMA for more information.
For more assistance with getting your financial planning in order, contact PTT Financial today!