I went to my office yesterday to pick up some paperwork and discovered the floor was completely flooded. Thankfully I found it when I did, because another 24 hours of water sitting on the floor could have caused massive damage. Since I am completely cloud based, I was able to grab my laptop and will work from home for the next couple of days while the great folks from ServPro get things cleaned up for me.
Disasters can strike at any moment, and yet we rarely are prepared when they do. Here are some things you can do to be sure you are personally prepared in the event of a disaster:
It doesn’t do you any good to have saved for retirement if it could all be lost in a disaster. Be sure you have proper amounts of homeowners and auto insurance, and an umbrella policy. If someone depends on your income, be sure you have disability and life insurance coverage.
Even if you have full insurance coverage, you will probably need to pay your deductible and it can take several weeks for the insurance company to cut you a check. Be sure you have enough in emergency reserves to get you through 3-6 months in a worst case scenario.
It is important to have a kit that you can easily grab in the event of an emergency. This kit can contain food, water, clothes, basic goods and more. The government has a great website that goes into Emergency Kits in detail. If you live in snow country, you will want to have a kit in your car in case you get stuck during the winter. Everyone should have a home kit that will cover you for at least a couple of days.
Cloud Backup of Valuables
One of the most devastating losses in a disaster is the loss of pictures. Make it is priority to scan and save all of your pictures to the cloud. There are a lot of free services such as Google Drive and DropBox that allow you to save documents to the cloud. You can then access them from any computer with internet. You will be thankful you did this.
Team in Place
The final recommendation is to have a team of professionals in place that is available to help in the event of a disaster. This team can be led by a financial planner, and includes an estate attorney, accountant, and insurance agent. Each team member serves a valuable purpose depending on the situation. If your spouse were to have a car accident and need to be in a hospital, you will want access to your power of attorney (estate attorney) and file an insurance claim (insurance agent). Many times, the financial planner can be your one call and they will help coordinate with the other professionals.
There are many things that could be added to this list; this is simply a list to get you started. Just remember, emergencies and disasters can happen at any moment. It is better to be prepared and never need your plan, than to need a plan and not have it.
So what do you think? What else would you add to this list for yourself? Feel free to share in the comments section!
Alan Moore is a fee-only financial planner and founder of Serenity Financial Consulting in Shorewood WI. Follow him on Twitter @R_Alan_Moore. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 414-455-5313, or visit his website at www.SerenityFC.com. Want more education? Download your free guide to the “10 Easy Steps To Securing Your Financial Future Today.”