Save Early for Disaster Costs
Disasters and emergencies can be tough times for families as they look to rebuild their lives after such challenging events. Having access to your personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records are imperative to begin the process of recovery. That is why it is important to plan to collect and secure these records so that you are well prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster and can act quickly. Here are some tips to help you get prepared.
- Collect important personal, financial, and medical information so that it’s quickly assessable during a disaster or emergency. See below for examples of important documents and contact information to keep readily obtainable.
- Acquire health, property, and life insurance if you do not have any existing coverage. If you already have plans, review the policies for the amount of coverage to ensure that you have what is needed for you and your family during emergencies.
- Consider opening an emergency savings account for crises that can be used during difficult times. Hold on to a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. During disasters, it can be difficult to find working ATMs or having the ability to use credit cards. The cash will be needed for the necessary supplies during emergencies such as food, fuel, water, etc.
Important Documents to Have
Having your financial statements, medical records, insurance policies and important contact information available will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Storing important papers either in a safety deposit box, an external drive or on the cloud will make it easy to access these essential documents during a disaster. Here is a list to help guide you on what is important to have.
- Photo ID to prove the identity of household members
- Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
- Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
- Military service card (DD214)
- Pet ID tags
Financial and Legal Documentation
- Housing Payments to identify financial records and obligations
- Insurance policies to re-establish financial accounts
- Sources of income to maintain payments and credit
- Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers, and to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
- Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
- Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
- Immunization records
- Medications and prescriptions
Important Contact Information to Have
- Banking Institutions
- Insurance agent
- Health professionals
- Service providers
- Place of worship
- Childcare facilities
As always, if you “See Something, Say Something”. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 855-RPRT-2-S4 (855-777-8274).