I write a lot about getting your estate planning affairs in order, but do you have your financial emergency plan in order? If you have a home disaster (and there have been a lot of natural disasters lately), do you have a plan in place? Here in Florida, as hurricane seasons begins, here are some tips to put your plan into place:
- Have all your important papers scanned onto a thumb drive (insurance policies, tax records, passwords and contact info) or a portable file that you can take with you if you have to get out quickly.
- Review your insurance coverage – do you have flood insurance? Do you have renter’s insurance? Do you even have home insurance (for those of you who are fortunate to have your homes paid off)? Your house is one of your biggest assets, make sure it is covered in the event of a natural disaster and consider getting extra coverage for non-standard risks.
- Have an emergency fund – this is a good principle for saving in general – have at least three to six months of living expenses available in case of an emergency (whether it be a natural disaster or being laid off from work).
- Create a home inventory – when people come in to do their estate planning, we take an inventory of all their financial information. It’s a good idea to have an inventory of your personal belongings, as well, and you might also want to consider taking pictures because it will expedite payment of insurance claims.
- Have a plan for your pets – in a natural disaster, if you have to go to a shelter, know which shelters will allow pets or put a plan into place as to where your pets will go if they have to evacuate their home, too.