They say by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. This is especially true when it comes to preparing for an emergency such as storms, tornados, fires, or even something a little closer to home, the loss of a job, or health crisis.
Nobody likes to think of the worst-case scenario but being prepared has a myriad of benefits according to a new report by Bankrate.com. The report, based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 adults, reveals that just 23 percent of Americans have emergency savings to cover six months of expenses. Here are some tips from FEMA to help at least get you thinking about what you need in the case of an emergency.
- Put money aside for an emergency — Start saving today, and add to your emergency fund with each paycheck.
- Cash is almost always accepted — ATMs and credit card machines may not work after a disaster, so keep some cash on hand.
- What types of insurance do you need? — Floods, earthquakes, and landslides are not usually covered by homeowners insurance, and in coastal states like Texas hurricane winds also may not be covered. Look into supplemental policies to cover floods (www.fema.gov/nfip), windstorms, and other perils. Renters can get flood insurance as well.
- Be a record holder — You may need your insurance policies, deeds, leases, passports, medical information, and other documents after a disaster. Keep them in a fireproof, waterproof box and store electronic copies on an external drive or website.
- Sign up for direct deposit — Mail service can be delayed for weeks by a natural disaster. Don’t let that stop your paychecks or benefits like Social Security. Federal benefit recipients can sign up at www.godirect.gov/gpw/ or 800-333-1795.
- Snap some pics — Having photos and/or video of your valuables, including your furniture, can help the recovery process get started quickly and efficiently.
- Learn more — The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is full of information, checklists, and forms to help you prepare for the unexpected.
McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the banking needs of the residents of McHenry County since 1955. In 2002, we celebrated our grand opening of our McHenry Financial Building at 353 Bank Drive in McHenry, IL. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #630527. Visit us online today to learn more and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!