Are you Financially Prepared for a Hurricane
For most of us, getting ready for a hurricane involves getting extra water, installing shudders, or making sure the generator you bought 10 years ago still works. But one of the most frustrating thing that people experience after a big storm is getting back on your feet.
Hurricane season starts June 1st. James Gallagher talked with FOX4 about the 5 things we should be doing now to financially prepare for a hurricane.
- Check Your Insurance– Consider what you need for insurance now because you may not have a chance right before a storm hits. Make sure all of your policies (home, life, auto) are up to date and check for any potential lapses. Also consider upgrading your insurance to include replacement coverage. Replacement coverage costs slightly more but it means you will be reimbursed for what you would have to pay to buy a new couch or refrigerator, etc. If your insurance only covers “actual cash value,” you will get less from your insurance company for an older item, because of depreciation.
- Enroll in online banking and direct deposit- If roads are closed or you need to evacuate to a different city, you could run into problems without online banking. Enroll now, and make sure you know your login and password information for all your accounts. Consider using direct deposit for paychecks or social security deposits in case mail is disrupted.
- Stock emergency cash- It is a good idea to have emergency cash on hand. Banks and ATMs may not be up and running for days after a strong storm or hurricane. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-5 days worth of spending money, just in case. This is just another example of why it is so important to have an emergency fund.
- Organize Papers- Think about the financial paperwork you would need if you were unable to go home for several weeks. Things like health, life and property insurance policies, credit and bank account information, vehicle registration as well as real estate deeds. You may need these documents to start filing claims after a hurricane so be sure to have them, along with account numbers and claims contact information.
- Create Secure Storage- Put all of your important documents and emergency cash in a locked, waterproof and fireproof container that you can take with you in case you are evacuated. For many people, one of the most stressful parts after a disaster is finding documents and policies and knowing where to call. You can save yourself a lot of time and headaches by putting all these documents in one place now.