Financial Preparedness: Protecting Your Assets During Hurricane Season

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Hurricane season brings not only the threat of physical damage to your home but also potential financial challenges. Proper financial preparedness can help protect your assets and provide peace of mind during and after a hurricane. Here are essential steps to ensure you are financially ready, including conducting insurance checks, securing important documents, and understanding disaster assistance.

Conducting Insurance Checks

1. Review Your Insurance Policies

  • Homeowners Insurance: Ensure your homeowners insurance policy covers hurricane-related damages, including wind, water, and flood damage. Many standard policies do not include flood insurance, so it’s crucial to add this coverage if you live in a flood-prone area.
  • Auto Insurance: Verify that your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, which typically covers flood damage.
  • Health Insurance: Make sure your health insurance coverage is up-to-date, as medical emergencies can arise during disasters.

2. Understand Your Coverage

  • Policy Limits and Deductibles: Know the limits of your coverage and the deductibles you will need to pay. Higher deductibles can lower your premium but will increase out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.
  • Additional Living Expenses (ALE): Check if your policy includes ALE, which covers the cost of temporary housing and other living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to hurricane damage.

3. Document Your Assets

  • Home Inventory: Create a detailed inventory of your home’s contents, including furniture, electronics, appliances, and personal items. Include photos, descriptions, and purchase receipts if available.
  • Proof of Ownership: Keep records of major purchases, such as home renovations or significant investments in property upgrades.

Securing Important Documents

1. Create Copies of Essential Documents

  • Personal Identification: Passports, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards.
  • Property Records: Deeds, titles, mortgage documents.
  • Financial Documents: Bank account information, insurance policies, investment records, tax returns.
  • Medical Records: Health insurance cards, prescriptions, medical history.

2. Store Documents Securely

  • Physical Storage: Keep original documents in a waterproof and fireproof safe. Portable lockboxes are also useful for quick evacuation.
  • Digital Storage: Scan and store copies of important documents on a secure cloud storage service or an encrypted USB drive.

3. Access to Cash and Banking

  • Cash Reserve: Keep a supply of cash in small denominations, as ATMs and credit card systems may be down during a hurricane.
  • Banking Information: Ensure you have access to online banking and mobile apps to manage your finances remotely.

Understanding Disaster Assistance

1. Know the Resources Available

  • FEMA Assistance: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides various forms of disaster assistance, including grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and other critical needs.
  • SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses for repair and replacement of damaged property.

2. Apply for Assistance

  • Documentation: Have all necessary documentation ready when applying for disaster assistance, including identification, insurance information, and records of damage.
  • Timeliness: Apply as soon as possible after a disaster to expedite the assistance process. Visit FEMA’s website for information on how to apply.

3. Community Resources

  • Local Aid: Many local governments and community organizations offer disaster relief and assistance programs. Stay informed about these resources through local news and community bulletins.

Resources

Financial preparedness is a critical component of hurricane readiness. By conducting thorough insurance checks, securing important documents, and understanding available disaster assistance, you can protect your financial assets and ensure a quicker recovery after a hurricane. For more detailed information and resources, visit FEMA and the Insurance Information Institute.

Taking these proactive steps now can make a significant difference in safeguarding your financial future. Stay informed, stay prepared, and protect your assets during hurricane season.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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