When disaster strikes, most people aren't thinking about everyday financial needs, but it is essential to prepare an emergency financial plan so that you and your family can get back to the "new normal" as soon as possible. Starting early and having adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access to your important records and accounts will help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.
Seven Essential Financial Preparedness Tips
- Download and complete the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit from the FEMA website (available in both English and Spanish).
- Place your valuable documents in a secure place, such as a fire-proof safe.
- Make sure that your documents are filed and easy to reference.
- Keep your financial information and documents updated as things change.
- Save a small amount every month (auto deposit from a checking account to savings account can help you with this) to build an "emergency money fund."
- Visit MyMoney.Gov for financial literacy tips and strategies.
- The Consumer Action Handbook (free download) will help you to recognize scams and provide you with resources on how to get help if you fall victim to a scam.
Important Documents To Include in your Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Here are a few ideas on what to include in your Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. Some of these may not apply to your situation, and you may think of others that are not on this list. Use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit Checklist and Forms to brainstorm and customize it as needed.
- Driver's License
- Other photo ID
- Birth Certificates/adoption papers/child custody documents
- Marriage/Divorce Licenses
- Social Security Card(s)
- Child Identity cards/dental records
- Passport/green card
- Naturalization documents
- Millitary ID/Discharge records
- Pet ID tags
- Pet registration/ownership papers
- Pet microchip information
- Lease/Rental Agreement
- Mortgage/Real estate deeds of trust
- Second Morgage/mortgage insurances
- Home Equity Line of Credit Docs
- Utility Bills (electric, water, gas)
- Loan payments for vehicles
- Vehicle registration/ownership information
- Credit card information/accounts
- Student Loan information
- Bank account information
- Retirement account information
- Investment accounts (stocks, etc)
- Insurance certificates (car, house, apartment, etc)
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Power of attorney paperwork
- Medical information (cards, personal medical history for each person, etc).
Get the whole family involved! Click the image below for more information and ready resources