Are You Prepared Financially for a Natural Disaster?

It’s hurricane season again! Many experts will tell you to stock up on canned goods, get extra batteries, or even raise your home, but if you don’t prepare financially you are at risk of losing it all! So how do you go about protecting yourself financially from these ugly disasters?

Being Properly Insured
Depending where you reside, it is important to make certain you insure against all risks that can affect your area. During Hurricane Katrina, many residents did not have adequate insurance because they only carried homeowners insurance but neglected to carry flood insurance policies.

Take time to visit with an insurance agent to determine whether you should carry additional insurance beyond your basic homeowners policy.

Keep Cash on Hand
Quite often you may hear, save some cash in case of a disaster. But, I am here to tell you not only save cash, but keep cash on hand! I can recall during Hurricane Katrina how difficult it was to access funds from ATMs.

Since I banked locally, not only was I out of pocket, but my financial institution was as well! So make certain you take some cash when you evacuate, it can go a mighty long way.

Prepare for the “What If . . .”
What if a loved one died? What if you take ill? What if? Natural disasters have left many individuals with the burden of making life changing decisions on behalf of their deceased love ones. Unfortunately, many individuals die without a will or directions for those that survived them.

Make certain you have a will in place, this will specify how assets are distribute at death. Preparing a living will could be advantageous as well, living wills provide instructions to medical personnel regarding your desire to obtain life sustaining treatment.

Finally, if you have the desire at your death to pay off certain obligations, care for your dependents, or fund your funeral, contact an insurance agent to obtain a life insurance policy that fits your needs.

Remember Your Choice, Your Future!

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. She writes the personal finance column “Money, Power, Respect” for The New Orleans Tribune and Tribunetalk.com.

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