On August 29, 2005, who knew an evacuation order would be the last time I would see New Orleans as I knew it. A “hurricane trip” as I referred to it happened frequently, so why would this time be anything different? My “hurricane trips” would usually turn out to be short vacations and time off from work, but this time I would never be able to return back to life as I knew it. Hurricane Katrina destroyed my home, my personal belongings and left me homeless. More importantly, I was now faced with financial uncertainties.
With the increase in natural disasters, how can you protect yourself financially from these ugly disasters?
Being Properly Insured
Depending where you reside, it is important to make certain you insure against all risks that can affect your area. During Hurricane Katrina, many residents did not have adequate insurance because they only carried homeowners insurance but neglected to carry additional flood insurance policies. Take time to visit with an insurance agent to determine whether you should carry additional insurance beyond your basic homeowner’s policy.
Keep Cash on Hand
Quite often you may hear, save some cash in case of a disaster. But, I am here to tell you not only save cash, but keep cash on hand! I can recall during Hurricane Katrina how difficult it was to access funds from ATMs.
Since I banked locally, not only was I out of pocket, but my financial institution was as well! So make certain you take some cash when you evacuate, it can go a mighty long way.
Prepare for the “What If . . .”
What if a loved one died? What if you take ill? What if? Natural disasters have left many individuals with the burden of making life changing decisions on behalf of their deceased love ones. Unfortunately, many individuals die without a will or directions for those that survived them.
Make certain you have a will to specify how assets are distributed at death. Preparing a living will could be advantageous since living wills provide instructions to medical personnel regarding your desire to obtain life sustaining treatment.
Finally, if you have the desire at your death to pay off certain obligations, care for your dependents, or fund your funeral, contact your insurance agent to obtain a life insurance policy that fits your needs.
Remember Your Choice, Your Future!