How to Prepare for a Disaster Financially

A year and a half ago, America faced one of its biggest humanitarian disasters in modern history. Two concurrent Hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, brought great strife to those who live instates which border the gulf of Mexico. All of might not have to worry about hurricanes, but there are certainly other natural disasters such as tornadoes and earth quakes that we need to be aware of. How prepared are you for any disasters which might cause devastation to you, your family and your property? Did you know there are a number of steps that you can take financial to make sure you are ready?

First, keep an emergency fund. Most people recommend that you keep enough money in this fund to live off of for three months. You should put this money in a money market fund with check writing abilities. Keep some cash in a safe accessible place, in a major disaster if electrical service is broken, your credit and debit cards might not work. Be sure to keep at least $50 per person in your family. Keep a roll of quarters handy too. Your cell phone might not work and you may have to rely on a payphone to make your phone calls.

Keep important account numbers, phone numbers, in a safe place which is available to your family. Make sure your family has access to this information in case for whatever reason you cannot be reached. Have a debit card handy so that if there is electricity you can access your funds. Be sure to secure your financial records in at least two places. Some options include a home safe, a safety deposit box, an online backup service, or a “Grab and Go” box. A grab and go box might be the best option, that way you can have it with you when you evacuate. An online backup service is another good option, that way all you have to do is trek down to the local library wherever you end up to print off your documents and get them quickly

If a disaster happens, check for any missing bank cards. If they’re not there, call up your bank and cancel them. Be frugal in a time of disaster, only buy the bare necessities of life. You don’t know how long it will take for everything to return to normal, so let forced scarcity be a way of life. Save all of your receipts during an emergency so you can reconcile them at a later date. If there is a problem with the transaction networks, things might not get recorded properly. If you have any outstanding loans you cannot pay because of the emergency, call the loan company and let them know. Often times they will work with you if you face such a disaster.