6 Financial Planning Tips for Natural Disasters

After seeing all of the natural disasters that have hit the world recently, and the near misses we’ve had in Hawaii… I wanted to share my advice about Financial Planning for Natural Disasters.

Here are 6 things you can do to prepare your finances for the aftermath of an unexpected natural disaster:

  1. Have Identification – In severe cases, we might have to prove who we are just to get access to our own resources and seek recovery assistance. Solution: Store a photo ID for each member of your family in a safe and secure place that can be easily reached. Keep extra pictures of family members just in case you lost someone.
  2. Have Cash On Hand – It is suggested that you carry at least $20-$30 cash per member of your family on hand. This will allow you to pay for temporary expenses or evacuations if there is no credit card processing or ATMs available.
  3. Make a List of Your Financial Accounts – Keep a list of all of your financial accounts, account numbers and passwords. Be sure that it is encrypted or use abbreviations so if someone got a hold of it, they would not be able to use it. You might be able to use a password protected flash drive for this.
  4. Organize Financial Documents – Keep all of your family’s important financial, legal and personal documents or copies in a safe place. Keep the following records: Insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates, stocks and bonds certificates, wills, trusts, deeds and tax returns. These should be stored in a fire/waterproof container or safe. Preferably not in the same location as your home.
  5. Photo & Video Inventory – Take photographs or video and inventory items in each room in your home. Things such as TVs, computers, furniture, jewelry, artwork, and all valuables. Record serial numbers, date of purchase, price and the condition. This will be used for insurance or tax claims.
  6. Review Your Insurance Policy Regularly – Review your various insurance policies and keep them updated. Know that most homeowner policies do not cover floods. Make sure your life insurance policies are sufficient to cover your family in case of a death and loss of income.

Follow these simple tips after a natural disaster, and you will avoid a lot of headaches when dealing with the aftermath, and when you’re putting your life back together.

I’m Alan Akina… Remember, every dollar counts.

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