Although the hurricane season is still months away, being ready to deal with the disaster makes sense. The more you work on a safety plan, the less will be the impact on your home and family. If you live in a disaster-prone area, think beyond fortifying your home to protect it from an impending storm. You need to safeguard your finances from the aftermath of the unexpected disaster. After all, your loved ones need more than physical safety during such crises. Being financially prepared enables you to secure your home and future even if the worst happens. Here are some practical tips to hurricane-proof your finances this season.
Consolidate your emergency fund
Nothing helps more than emergency savings when a disaster hits. They can keep your budget afloat even during the most challenging times. You can rework your budgets to increase monthly savings and consolidate your emergency funds. Even better, start separate savings account for natural disasters. You can use the money to cover essential needs like repairs, medical bills, alternative accommodation, and travel during hurricanes. Consider yourself lucky if the season goes well, but continue saving for an impending disaster. You can see your money growing and use it down the line for better purposes, such as sending your kids to college or paying the down payment for a new home.
Get adequate coverage with insurance
Another crucial step to preparing yourself for hurricane-related hassles is getting adequate insurance coverage. It is easy to overlook insurance, but you must review your policy to verify whether it offers coverage for damage from flooding and strong winds. Consider upgrading if it does not seem enough. You must also understand that insurance companies try to skimp on claims when homeowners seek compensation. The best option is to hire a hurricane insurance claims lawyer to help you maximize the claim. Awareness keeps you a step ahead so that you need not settle for a lowball value for hurricane damage.
Have cash in hand
If the weather looks gloomy and forecasts predict an upcoming hurricane, ensure having cash in hand. You must have enough to address immediate needs such as stocking up on groceries, buying medicines, and paying for emergency repairs. Having enough cash enables you to skip the long lines and possible closings when the weather worsens. You may need to evacuate at some point, so make sure to keep your checkbook at hand to meet large expenses. Using online banking and mobile wallets is an even better option as they are available anytime and accessible anywhere.
Use credit cards sparingly
Having cash in hand is a good idea, but you cannot keep a hefty amount at home because it is risky. A credit card is a good option during such emergencies, but remember to use it sparingly. It is often tempting to use credit cards when they are within easy reach. But you must spend with it only when there is no other way out. Spending too much can disrupt your finances in the long run. The last thing you want to encounter is a massive credit card debt at the end of the hurricane season, so be wise with it.
Safeguard your documentation
Although safeguarding your documentation from the storm does not affect your immediate finances, it helps in the long run. You may require these papers down the line for borrowing loans or validating your financial strength. Make copies and store them in waterproof plastic bags so that you can carry them if you have to evacuate. The important ones you must take care of include birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards, immunization records, home insurance information, health insurance information, wills, tax statements, rent and lease copies, and utility bills.
Handle immediate financial issues
If you see financial issues at hand, handle them before the hurricane season arrives. For example, you must have a close look at the expiration dates on your debit and credit cards. Renew them at the earliest if you need to evacuate. An expired card can land you in a mess amid a natural disaster. Likewise, renew your insurance plans and double-check your vehicle as you will need it for emergency evacuation. Do not forget to have your heating oil supply and fuel tanks full.
Hurricane proofing your home and finances is the best way to deal with an unexpected natural disaster. Fortunately, you need not do much to keep your money and family safe from the storm. Follow these tips to stay one step ahead of nature’s fury.