How to be Financially Prepared for a Disaster or Emergency

unsplash-rainIf a disaster or emergency strikes you may only have minutes to respond and protect yourself and your family.  Once the emergency has passed, your next focus will be on how to rebuild your life. Having access to your finances, insurance, medical and other necessary records will be critical to start your recovery quickly.


Long before any emergency strikes, compile all your important documents in a single location. Keep a paper copy in a secure, fire-proof box in addition to an electronic backup location you can access from any site you need to re-locate to.

General Items

  • Photo ID to prove identity of household members
  • Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
  • Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
  • Military Service ID
  • Wills, Medical Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney

Financial Records

  • Insurance policies, id numbers and phone numbers to expedite recovery funds
  • Bank account numbers
  • Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers & apply for FEMA disaster assistance
  • Income and Expense information to avoid additional expenses, dropped coverage or a negative change to your credit history

Medical Documents

  • Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
  • Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
  • Immunization records
  • Medications


Once all your documents have been compiled, review all your information to be sure you have the right amount of protection.  For example, does your home/renters insurance policy protect you from flood, if so, how does the insurance company define flood. What about wind damage?


Always have small amounts of cash available at home in the event that power is down and you will not have access to banks or ATM machines for several days. Also, prepare for the possibility that you may not be able to go to work for several weeks. Keep an emergency savings account that contains 6 months of living expenses available.

Review all your budget income and expenses. Determine how many can be setup electronically to automatically be taken care of for you. Social Security checks can be setup to be deposited electronically so there is no fear of disrupted mail service. Mortgage payments can be paid automatically.


One of the first steps to being financially prepared for any emergency is to have a solid financial plan in place. The financial plan will reveal any blind spots in your financial life and help you minimize any losses you may face during an emergency. Set up a free consultative meeting to see how you can better prepare for a natural disaster or emergency.


Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)
National Flood Insurance Program
Safeguarding Your Valuables Facilitator Guide