After disaster strikes many concerns and questions start to arise.

After disaster strikes many concerns and questions start to arise. One of those questions may be regarding your finances. If you are educated about your personal finances and how to manage them, you can be better prepared for emergencies.  

The following four steps will help you become financially prepared with less stress and worry during a time of disaster.

Step 1: Assess and Compile

•   Gather important documents and contacts.

•  Retain original versions of documents, not copies.

•  Consider enrolling in direct deposit or prepaid debit cards.

•  Print and/or download statements of any bills that you pay automatically.

•  Take photos and videos of your home and valuable belongings, including the important documents.

Step 2: Review

•  Review your insurance policies and financial paperwork to be sure they are up to date.

• If you own or rent a home or car, ensure the insurance coverage is enough to support you in an emergency.

Step 3: Safeguard

•  Store paper copies of important documents in a fireproof and waterproof box or safe.

•  Store electronic copies of important documents on a flash drive within the fireproof or waterproof box or safe.

•  If you have a financial advisor, lawyer, or trusted family member/friend you should provide them a paper copy of all important documents.

Step 4: Update

•  Update your financial documents often, especially when certain life changes occur including: a change in residence or when purchasing a home, open/close a bank account, change insurance providers or a new child in the home.

•  Suggested times to update your documents and information include: during tax preparation time, around your birthday, or at the start of a new year.

You may contact Chippewa County Emergency Management Director, Tim Bergland at 320-269-2121 or Kris Boike, Countryside Public Health Emergency Preparedness Chippewa Coordinator at 320-269-2174 for more information on preparing and developing your family emergency plan.

For more on this story and others pick up this week’s paper or subscribe today!