How to Financially Prepare for Disaster

Spring and summer are hurricane and flood seasons on the East Coast. Have you accounted for natural disasters and emergencies in your finances? Rather than having the "it will never happen to me" attitude, it's important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.

Safely Store Important Documents:

Keep your vital records and financial documents in a safe place in a container that can't be damaged by fire or floods. A fire resistant box containing your birth certificates, insurance documents and other important papers in waterproof bags is one easy option. Keep a checklist of all of your important items and original documents so you know what to look for in the event of a disaster. Back up your computer files in case anything happens to your system. You may even want to keep copies of your important documents with family who live in another area.

Know Your Insurance Coverage:

Do you have renters insurance? Does your homeowner's insurance cover the big items that could be lost in the event of a natural disaster or accident? Make sure you know your policy, so you're aware of what costs you'll need to cover if you fall victim to a disaster.

Expand Your Emergency Contacts:

Do you keep a list of emergency contacts in your phone or in your home? Make sure that you don't just include family, friends and medical contacts. Include your insurance agents, bank, credit card companies, lawyer and financial planner's numbers in case of an emergency.

Keep an Emergency Fund:

Start a savings account for emergencies. At some point they happen to just about everyone, whether it's a natural disaster, accident, theft or other sudden emergency. It's ideal to have at least six months of pay stored in this account to live off, but that may be unrealistic for many of us. Regardless of the amount, don't give into the temptation to tap into it before disaster strikes.

To learn more about emergency financial planning, visit your local North Country Savings Bank. 

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