This is a guest post by Tisha Kulak. If you would like to write a guest post, email me.
With the increase of natural disasters around the country, it is just as important to have your finances in order as it is to have an emergency evacuation plan and sufficient insurance. As part of any family emergency plan, keep the following check list handy and avoid even more devastation after a fire, hurricane, flood, or earthquake happens.
1. Compile a Master List
In order to stay prepared for the worst, make a point to write down all of your various creditors and other account’s names, phone numbers, and account numbers. Having telephone access to your bank, your creditors, your mortgage company, and your car loan company can help prevent your finances from going crazy in an already bad situation. You can also keep a photocopied record of credit cards and driver’s licenses in the event you need to provide proof of identity and you have lost your belongings. Keep all of your financial information secured and stored at an off-site location, such as a safe deposit box. Update this list frequently so it remains accurate.
2. Keep On-Site Documents Safe
For insurance policies and other documents that remain in your home, purchase a sturdy fire-proof filing cabinet and store important papers in plastic, leak-proof bags.
3. Establish an Emergency Only Card
Having one credit card designated for emergency purposes only will ensure that when tragedy strikes, you will have enough room to purchase things you really need like food, shelter, and clothing.
4. Reserve Some Emergency Cash
Depending on the emergency, you may loose your purse or wallet and will be left without cash. Set aside some emergency funds in a protected area that you can easily access during an evacuation. Keep enough money to be able to adequately split it between the other family members in the event you become separated for any reason, otherwise some of your family will be left without.
5. Program Your Cell Phone
Most people have pre-programmed friends and loved ones into their phones but do not think about the other important numbers, such as those on the Master List, for easy accessibility. The sooner you are able to contact your creditors, banks, and other service providers, the more likely you will receive immediate help.
During an emergency or natural disaster, life can quickly become chaotic and confusing. By being fully prepared, you will not only give yourself a peace of mind but also will benefit from being able to deal with your finances and your insurance providers immediately. No one can ever be truly prepared when disaster strikes but getting a good head start is more than worth it in the end.
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