Financial Disaster Preparedness – Are You Prepared?
Financial preparedness is a crucial component of disaster planning to help alleviate financial losses following a catastrophic event such as a natural disaster. A financial emergency kit should be part of your family’s overall plan to ensure necessary documentation is available and accessible to help you recover as soon as possible.
Things to Include in Your Emergency Financial Records Kit Checklist:
- Personal identification for each person in your family. Include copies of birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, marriage certificates, adoption decrees, Social Security cards, medical information, military service records and any other documentation that may be helpful in proving your identity.
- Copies of important financial records. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends a helpful checklist of items to include in your kit such as mortgage documents, property deeds, legal documents, insurance policies, financial statements for bank accounts, credit cards, brokerage accounts and statements related to investments.
- Inventory of valuables. Take detailed pictures and videos of valuable belongings and property before and after a natural disaster to support insurance claims. Pictures of your home should include all angles of your home, driveway, fences, decks and the garage. Document items with estimated costs, serial numbers and available receipts.
- Cash and keys. ATMs and electronic payments may not be available after a natural disaster. Therefore, keep a small amount of cash in a safe place at home to pay for food, lodging and other necessities. Keep smaller bills in the event stores are unable to provide change during a natural disaster. Remember to pack a set of essential keys (home, cars, safes, etc.).
- Contacts. Create an emergency contact list on our own or download a template online to record phone numbers and email addresses of family members, financial institutions, insurance agents, medical providers as well as important business contacts. Share your template with family and friends to help them create an emergency contact list. Be aware of identity theft after a natural disaster and always keep your financial emergency kit in your possession. Keep paper copies in a safe deposit box and store electronic copies on a personal storage device.
If you discover that you are missing any identification or information that can be used to commit fraud or harm your identity do not hesitate to report it. Hawaii State FCU also offers resources to help with replacing stolen or destroyed documents and identification, identity theft resolution and more.