Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Are you ready for a Financial Emergency?

I wrote the title of this post and didn't realize exactly how extra ordinary that question is. Are you ready? Do you have your and your family's documents in place, an emergency plan, emergency stash of food and money? What would happen if, God forbid, your family was suddenly hit with an emergency and had to leave in a matter of minutes?

House Deed?
Birth Certficates?
Last Year's Taxes?

These are all items you would need to get your life re-set after a catastrophic event. Having this information ready for a split second move could mean the difference between waiting hours for aid or years.

My suggestion, my wife and i have a complete Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and we each have a Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide . As the operation hope website says...

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is a simple tool to help Americans minimize the financial impact of a natural disaster or national emergency. It helps users identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick reference to their most important financial documents. The companion piece to the EFFAK is the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG) which guides individuals through the survival and recovery steps to be taken prior to an emergency.
Both of these premade forms are extremely enightening and will quickly make you aware of what financial information you do not have ready. Additionally, it will make you find documents that you don't regularly look for.

My recomendation, fill out the whole thing. Put all the supporting documents in a three ring binder and slicky inserts. Copy the entire thing twice. Keep one copy in a locked cabinet or locker at work. Give the other copy to a close relative or friend in a sealed envelope explaining that it has very detailed personal information in the case of an emergency. Retain the originals in a fireproof safe in your basement or in a safety deposit box. However, remember, you should keep a small amount of cash with this kit so if you choose a safety deposit box, find a good place to hide your emergency-emergency fund.

Operation Hope


Nick said...

Great article! Being prepared for financial and other emergencies is very important, and many people put it off until its too late! There's actually a website that aims to get your important info organized and stored securely online in the event that something happens to you. Its www.YouDeparted.com - certainly a good addition to a prepared individual's arsenal!

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. Made me go through and update my information and get the latest/greatest documentation in order just in case of emergency.

Lynn said...

For another product to help you get organized, please check out www.theLIFEbinder.com. I created the L.I.F.E. Binder (Life Information for Emergencies) for my own personal use and my friends encouraged me to market it.The binder especially came in handy when my family and I fled from Hurricane Rita 2 years ago; we had all our important financial and legal documents in one binder. I felt like I could "recreate my life" had my home been completely destroyed. I've had lots of positive feedback and would love for you to check out the website.