How to Be Financially Prepared for Property Damage or a Natural Disaster

natural disasterFour Steps to Ensure Your Family is Protected

“I never thought it would happen to me,” is commonly heard in the aftermath of a destructive storm or other natural disaster. Unfortunately, destructive storm damage and catastrophic weather events are becoming more and more common, no matter what part of the world you live in. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes can strike at any time, resulting in both structural and personal property damage. In addition to the emotional devastation that comes with property damage, those who haven’t prepared for the financial impact of a natural disaster have a harder road to recovery. In addition to preparing yourself and your family physically through an emergency preparedness checklist, here are four steps to take to ensure you’re prepared financially if Mother Nature wreaks havoc on your property: 

  1. Store your financial records in a safe place. If your wallet is lost or the power is out, how will you access credit card and bank accounts? Do you have your passwords stored in a place where you could access them after a storm? Are your financial documents in a fire and waterproof box in your basement (or other safe spot in your home)?
  2. Review your homeowner’s insurance. It’s important to know you’re covered when an emergency occurs. Review your insurance policies annually with your agent, and be sure you understand what is and is not covered. Most importantly, be aware that flood insurance is not automatically included in your homeowner’s insurance. Consider adding it on. Lastly, don’t forget to create a home inventory checklist of the contents in your home and update it regularly. In the event that you suffer damage, you’ll be glad you made the list.
  3. Keep some cash on hand. If a natural disaster occurs, you’ll need some cash on hand. If the power is out, your credit cards might not do you much good. Store some emergency cash in your basement or crawl space, in a waterproof and fireproof container.
  4. Have a rainy day fund. In addition to a stash of cash, you need to have a rainy day fund in the bank. Shoot for being able to cover one month’s of expenses. The best way to create this discipline of saving is to have the funds automatically withdrawn from your checking account monthly and put into a separate account.

Just a phone call away 

No one likes to think about storms and disaster. But being prepared is the best way to be sure you’ll be in a position to keep your family safe and protected. Take a few moments now to prepare. Hopefully, you’ll never have to say the words, “I never thought it would happen to me.” But if you do find yourself in need of board-up or a restoration service due to an unexpected event like water damage from a flooded basement, roof damage, or fire and smoke damage, know that the team of compassionate, experienced and trusted restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With offices throughout the Midwest in Fort Wayne, Crown Point, Indianapolis, Columbus, Muncie and Lafayette as well as Cincinnati, Ohio, there’s a Hays + Sons near you.

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