Prepared if Disaster Strikes
As survivors of Hurricane
Katrina and California fires can attest, it is essential to be prepared
for the unexpected, both physically and financially. Being adequately
insured and having an emergency savings fund are important. But so is
having the personal and financial information you may need to manage your
finances if you lose access to your home.
Create an Evacuation
To help identify and organize the information and documents you would
want, start with the Family
Records Almanac. This handy tool can be downloaded and printed has
places to record everything from financial account numbers to family histories.
You may want to put the pages in a binder with plastic storage sleeves
to hold documents like property deeds, tax returns and insurance policies.
You may also want
to store valuable personal items like photo albums, jewelry and family
heirlooms in a central location so you can easily gather them if you are
forced out of your home. At least know where these items are so you can
find them in a hurry. Valuable items such as coin collections, stock certificates
and negotiable bonds should be kept in a safe deposit box.
Have an Evacuation
In the confusion of a disaster, it is important to be able to find and
contact family members. Establish a rendezvous location and travel route
to use if you have to get out of your immediate area. Keep a list of important
phone numbers handy and make sure you have some cash to pay your living
expenses for a few days.
No one can prevent
a natural disasters or fire destroying your home. However, having your
financial and personal information safe can make the recovery much easier.