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Be Prepared if Disaster Strikes

Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies.  You also need to be financially ready.  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.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), is a joint publication from Operation Hope and the FEMA Citizen Corps, that can help you prepare now. Use this as a guide to identify your important documents, medical records, and household contracts. When completing the kit, be sure to include pictures or a video of your home and your belongings and keep all of your documents in a safe space

You may also want to store valuable personal items like photo albums, jewelry and family heirlooms in a central location so you can easily gather them if you are forced out of your home.  At least know where these items are so you can find them in a hurry.  Valuable items such as coin collections, stock certificates and negotiable bonds should be kept in a safe deposit box. 

Have an Evacuation Plan

In the confusion of a disaster, it is important to be able to find and contact family members.  Establish a rendezvous location and travel route to use if you have to get out of your immediate area.  Keep a list of important phone numbers handy and make sure you have some cash to pay your living expenses for a few days. 

No one can prevent a natural disasters or fire destroying your home.  However, having your financial and personal information safe can make the recovery much easier.