Get Financially Prepared: Take Steps Ahead of a Disaster
The occurrences of tornados and hurricanes, and the destruction they cause, have been significant news stories in recent years. Would you be prepared to take action when you are in one of these situations? In addition to a 72-hour survival kit of food, water, and medications, you can prepare to prevent a financial disaster as well.
- 1) Prepare a household inventory, listing the contents of every room in your home, including the attic, basement, and garage.
- Accompany the list with photographs or videos of rooms, open drawers, cupboards, and closets.
- Store the inventory electronically, and give a copy to a trusted individual to store away from your property.
- Consider using an on-line service to prepare and store your inventory.
- One format for recording an inventory can be found at personal-finance.extension.org. Find the Household Inventory Interactive form. You may want to create the inventory in a software program that is stored online so that the inventory can be accessed from any computer. For example, “Know Your Stuff” is the Insurance Information Institute’s free online home inventory software, at www.knowyourstuff.org/.
- Review your insurance coverage with your agent, to determine if you have sufficient coverage to:
- protect from all types of losses,
- provide for temporary housing, and
- adequate replacement costs of your home and all contents.
- Develop a grab-and-go box of identification documents like your driver’s license, social security card, bank and credit card account numbers, as well as important telephone numbers. Include a sufficient amount of cash to purchase food, gas, and temporary lodging.
- Have a plan for managing receipts for items you purchase after the disaster. You may need this documentation for insurance reimbursement or to receive disaster relief.
- Read more about getting financially prepared ahead of a disaster in one of our newest publications Get Financially Prepared: Take Steps Ahead of Disaster. It can be found on our website at http://bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/mf3055.pdf. Or call or come into the Extension office to request your free copy.