Save Now or Pay Later
Financial planning is an important part of emergency preparation.
There is nothing that can adequately substitute for being prepared for a disaster. Of necessity, that requires some research, planning, and practice. Even a little preparation and planning can go a long way in providing a sense of well-being – that the most important things in your life are being safe guarded and placed in its proper hierarchy and perspective. This is particularly effective when there is a consistent effort to follow the plan.
Some 29 disasters and emergencies listed at https://www.ready.gov/be-informed can occur in the US depending on your location. Knowing what disasters and hazards could affect where you live, how to get emergency alerts, how to respond to different emergencies, and where you can go if there is a need to evacuate are important parts of your own personal and family emergency plans. During these emergencies, being financially prepared can provide a significant measure of security and peace of mind.
When disasters occur, the financial impacts can be far-ranging and can affect all facets of your life. The following tips are effective in becoming financially prepared:
1. Gather and safely store financial, legal, medical, emergency contact, critical personal and household information.
2. Save funds for an emergency. A small amount of cash in a safe place at home that can be accessed quickly is useful when ATMs and credit cards are not functioning during a disaster. An emergency savings account in a financial institution is helpful for repair and reconstruction.
3. Insurance has been a financial champion for many victims of disasters. Property insurance, health, and life insurance policies provide financial coverage. Review policies to see if potential hazards in your area are covered. Flooding and Earthquake insurance are two examples that are frequently missing from policies.
Some great links that will assist you in developing your own individual and family’s Disaster Preparedness Plan is as follows:
o FEMA Guide to Citizen Preparedness (excellent and in-depth): https://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/areyouready_full.pdf
o Emergency Plans: https://www.ready.gov/plan and https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Emergency-Preparedness
o Emergency Alerts: https://www.ready.gov/alerts
o Financial Preparedness: https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness
o Financial First Aid: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ready_emergency-financial-first-aid-toolkit.pdf