Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods -- these natural disasters are striking countries all over the world. Since the majority of people do not know until seconds before a natural disaster occurs, how are they to prepare for such an event? FEMA’s web site is frequently visited to obtain the answers to this question. However, is your home the only asset you need to protect when a natural disaster occurs? What about your finances? How can you protect them?
Protecting your home and family are top priority, so this is where we will begin.
Home Survival Kit / Emergency Kit
It is strongly suggested by the Red Cross that a home survival kit be created. These kits should consist of toiletries, a week’s worth of prescription medicine, first aid kit, a Swiss Army knife, thermal blankets, waterproof matches, and water purification tablets. Your home survival kit should be stored in an easily accessible location for quick evacuation from the home.
When natural disasters hit, it is vital to have an emergency generator in your home. The emergency generator will provide a few hours of gas powered electricity that will keep your home warm, your food cold, and key lights on. To operate the generator, you simply pull the cord in much the same way you would start a lawnmower. It is strongly suggested that you have an electrician install a switch so that you are not being charged utility costs when using the generator.
Be sure to protect your electronics, including phone and cable wiring, from power surges when electricity is restored. During a power surge, computers, computer systems in your refrigerator, cable box, home phones, heating and cooling systems, etc. all can be destroyed. A whole-house surge suppressor can be purchased to protect all valuable electronics in your home.
Finally, it is important to have a flood fix. Heavy rains and snow can cause gutters and plumbing systems to back up. When flooding occurs, it can ruin all of the valuables you have stored in your basement or crawl space. A battery powered sump pump can be installed in your home, to avoid flooding when a torrential down pour or blizzard occurs. The sump pump is placed in a pit in the basement floor, when the water reaches the top of the hole, the sump pump kicks on and drains the water. A good sump pump will alert you of flooding and have a back-up pump should the first fail.
Who says insurance is a scam?
Insurance is the key to protecting your home and assets when a natural disaster arises. Depending on where your home is situated, the standard Homeowners policy may exclude natural disasters that frequently occur in that area. For example, if your home is located a few hundred feet from a river, flooding may be excluded from the policy. It is vital to purchase all extra coverages that may be required to protect your assets from a natural disaster: flood, earthquake, valuables. Always insure the building and it’s contents at replacement-cost to ensure that everything will be restored at today’s prices. Insurance can also be purchased for long-term disability should you be injured during a natural disaster. This coverage can be obtained through AFLAC or other insurance carriers that the majority of large businesses endorse.
Money, money, money!
To protect your finances from a natural disaster, place your money in a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. A financial institution backed by the FDIC is generally covered for $250,000.00 per a depositor at each insured bank. Always be sure to verify a financial institution’s strength and stability prior to investing. Bankrate.com can provide you with these ratings for numerous financial institutions.