This week’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Protect Your Property”, and we want you to focus on your financial preparedness BEFORE an emergency strikes. Disasters and emergency situations can happen anytime, anywhere, but you can protect yourself and your family by planning ahead. Safeguarding your financial future in the event of a disaster ensures that you’ll be able to weather any storm.
No matter the hazard, disasters can affect each household differently. One thing that everyone needs when impacted by a disaster is money, and for those who don’t plan ahead, the aftermath of a disaster can be a financial catastrophe. For guidance on how to protect yourself financially, here are three easy steps you can take right now to aid in a quick recovery.
Step 1 – Download/Print FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and fill it out
Gathering all of the necessary paperwork and filling out the information may take some time, but it’ll be worth it if disaster strikes. Completion of the kit means you’ll have gathered and organized important documents and essential contact information like your passports, social security cards, phone numbers, account numbers and more! If you need to call your insurance company or emergency contacts, you’ll be glad to have this information ready.
Step 2 – Store the kit and associated documents in a safe place
It’s recommended that you store both the original documents and copies of the documents in separate locations to ensure you can access the information no matter the circumstances. If stored digitally, be sure to password protect it. If printed or on a thumb drive, ensure that it’s stored in a waterproof and fireproof container. If you choose to leave the kit with someone else, be sure it’s with a trusted friend or relative.
Step 3 – Understand your Insurance Options
The extent of your coverage in the case of a disaster can vary depending on what type of coverage you have and the impact of the disaster itself. Renters, Homeowner’s and Auto insurance policies do not usually cover all aspects of a disaster. You may need to consider specialized insurance options such as Flood Insurance.
A week of planning now can save you frustration and money down the road when your property and other valuables are damaged in a disaster or emergency situation.
For more information on how you can protect your property and finances before disaster strikes, click the link below, or contact your Southlake Office of Emergency Management and protect your financial future today.