Hurricane season is here. If you live on the southeast coast of the United States, you know what it is like to watch a hurricane move through the cone of uncertainty, wondering if the storm will make landfall near your town. You also know that preparation for landfall is key.
One of the often-forgotten components of hurricane preparation is the financial piece. To be financially prepared for a hurricane, you must start now. Seven days prior to landfall is too late. So, if you live in one of the southeast coastal states, here are four ways to financially prepare for the next hurricane:
1. Check your insurance.
In many coastal regions, standard homeowners insurance will not cover every potential damage produced by hurricanes. Make sure your house is adequately insured against the two primary culprits of hurricane damage—wind and water. Separate polices are likely needed, especially in a coastal area. Additionally, verify that your insurance is based on replacement cost, not just market value. Market value can be less than replacement cost. And if the hurricane causes catastrophic damage, you will need replacement cost coverage.
2. Make sure you have an emergency fund.
Of course, you need an emergency fund for any unforeseen financial event, not just a hurricane. Have three to six months worth of living expenses placed in an easily accessible account, like a savings account or money market account. Your emergency fund can help pay for expenses not covered by insurance or help provide a financial bridge until insurance dollars arrive.
3. Have some cash in a secure place.
If a hurricane hits your town, power outages are likely. You may not have immediate access to banks and ATMs. Therefore, place some cash in a safe place, like a waterproof and fireproof security box. If you must abandon the house, be sure to take the security box with you.
4. Put together your emergency binder.
An emergency binder is a single place where all your most important family and financial information can be found. Every household needs one. You can keep your emergency binder in the same security box where you keep your cash. If you are not sure what an emergency binder should include, consider purchasing The Essential Emergency Binder pages. You will find over 60 fillable pages to guide you. You can learn more about it by clicking on the image below.
Hurricane season is here. Get financially prepared today.