We’ve had Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma – two category 4 storms to hit the United States in a very short time period. While you might not live in an area prone to disastrous hurricanes you still need to be prepared for natural disasters. Take time now to storm proof your finances.
On This Podcast Episode:
- Find out what documents you need to protect in a natural disaster
- What’s the best way to store all your valuable documents
- How to prepare yourself for an insurance claim
- While a cash Emergency Fund could save you in a disaster
Mentioned In This Podcast:
- Vital Records: Driver’s licenses, birth certificates, adoption papers, Social Security cards, passports, citizenship papers (such as a “green card” or naturalization documents), marriage license, divorce decrees, child custody papers, current military ID, military discharge, medical and vaccination records for pets along with current photos and ID chip numbers in case you are separated.
- Insurance Policies: Homeowners, renters, flood, earthquake, auto, life, health, disability, long-term care; have at least the policy number and insurance company contact information for each type of coverage.
- Property Records: Real estate deeds of trust and mortgage documents (at least the two-page settlement statement provided by the title company showing the actual cost of the house and purchase expenses); rental agreement or lease; auto/boat/RV registration and titles; video, photos or a list of household inventory.
- Medical Information: Immunization and other medical records, prescription information (drug name and dosage), health insurance identification cards, physician names and phone numbers, powers-of-attorney for health care, and living wills.
- Estate planning documents: Wills, trusts, funeral instructions, powers-of-attorney, attorney names and phone numbers.
- Financial records: First two pages of your previous year’s federal and state tax returns, stock and bond certificates, investment records, brokerage and retirement account information, credit card, checking and savings account numbers, contact information for credit unions, banks, financial institutions, credit card companies and financial advisers.
- Other: Personal address book, a letter with instructions for family or friends (for use in a situation where you’re not present), backups of important computer files, a list of usernames and passwords for online accounts, a key to your safe deposit box, a recent photograph, fingerprints and dental records for each member of the household (some police stations and nonprofits fingerprint children free); account and contact information for utilities and other services (you may have to provide a new billing address or cancel certain services), a list of important documents and where originals and copies are located.
- Regularly backup electronic documents: Backup electronic files related to your business to an external drive or online at intervals you deem important, daily, weekly quarterly, or annually. Important documents or files vary on each individual business, but common files to protect could include those related to inventory, customer contact lists, payroll records, tax information and billing statements.
- Protect onsite documents: Invest in fire-, water- and impact-resistant file cabinets for the office. As part of your emergency preparedness plan, implement a policy that states employees must store their files in the cabinets instead of their inside their desks or on shelves.
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) and financial strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser prior to investing. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive
Shannah Compton Game is a podcast host and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER of the top-rated Millennial Money podcast. Millennial Money has over 6-million downloads in 164 countries. Shannah’s years of experience as a skilled Certified Financial Planner have set her on a mission to revolutionize how people think, act, and feel about their finances…and have some fun doing so.