We Louisianans know all too well that when a hurricane comes calling, it's best to be prepared. We stock water, canned food, candles, a well oiled generator, and a full tank of gas. But what of financial preparedness?
Below are 6 tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to keep in mind during this hurricane season.
- Keep cash in a safe place. Most ATMs in Puerto Rico were inoperable after Hurricane María. Have some cash handy in case you need to buy fuel or supplies.
- Create a budget for disaster-related expenses. Keep your income and fixed expenses in mind. Estimate costs of insurance deductibles, possible mandatory evacuations and essentials like food, clothing, shelter, gas and emergency medical assistance.
- Document your finances before an emergency. This will save time and stress when registering for disaster assistance, if necessary.
- Build an emergency fund. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account and set a monthly savings goal. This will get you into the habit of saving regularly and be financially prepared for hurricane seasons.
- Review your insurance coverage. Make sure your policy covers all your family specific needs. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance.
- Keep financial documents safe and protected. Copies of important documents like stock and bond certificates; IRA or 401(k) account numbers; bank statements; and tax records, including W2s and important receipts, should be kept in plastic bags. Place photocopies of this documents in plastic bags. Consider wrapping them in plastic to protect against water damage. Upload digital copies of important disaster-related expenses.
As always, Bank of St. Francisville is here to help. CLICK HERE to make an appointment to review your finances with your loan officer, open a savings account for emergencies, or open a safety deposit box.