CHICAGO – Spring in the Midwest brings the potential for severe weather, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging everyone to take steps now to ensure your family is prepared. Don’t forget to consider the safety of your finances before a severe storm threatensyour area.
“Don’t hinder your recovery if disaster strikes. Take the time now to ensure criticaldocuments are safely stored, valuables are adequately insured, and potential spending needs are planned for,” said Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator, FEMA Region V.
Rememberthese three steps: Identify, Enroll & Plan.
• Scan important records such as medical records and financial documents, and save the files on disk or flash drives. Password-protect the data you have stored and keep the backup records in a safe deposit box or other off-site location.
• If you have no way to scan/copy records, store them in a flood and fireproof home safe or a safe deposit box. Avoid storing on the floor of a basement, especially if it is prone to flooding.
• Include any records that you may need immediately, such as medical records or medical contact information, in your disaster kit.
2. Enroll in online banking, direct deposit and/or Go Direct to minimize disruptions to receiving paychecks or any government benefits you may receive.
• Consider keeping a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks on hand in case ATMs or credit cards are not working.
3. Plan ahead of time to recover by considering your post-disaster needs and preparing for them now.
• Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes, and if possible, take photos or a video of your home. Consider keeping a copy on a CD or flash drive in your disaster kit, so that you can provide it to your insurance company following a loss.
• Ensure you’re adequately insured. Contact your insurance agent to review your insurance coverage so your home is financially protected.
• Identify potential spending needs now, and plan for ways to meet those needs.
• Store contact information for all of your financial institutions; after a disaster contact your credit card company, your mortgage lender, and other creditors to let them know about your situation.
For valuable resources on financial readiness before a disaster, visit www.ready.gov/financialpreparedness. For even more readiness information follow FEMA Region V at twitter.com/femaregion5 and facebook.com/fema. Individuals can always find valuable severe weather preparedness information at www.ready.gov/severe-weatheror download the free FEMA app, available for Android, Apple or Blackberry devices.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.