National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families for disaster and emergency planning. The 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” It’s important to make sure you’re not caught off guard by a disaster – but it’s also important to avoid unnecessary stress or fear over what could happen in the future.
Luckily, the first week of NPM emphasizes an aspect of disaster preparation that can help both your preparedness and your peace of mind: Saving Early for Disaster Costs.
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. Setting money aside in advance can help reduce that burden. At Hills Bank, we offer several accounts designed to make saving simple.
Here are a few other tips to prepare your finances for a natural disaster or other emergency:
- Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place, as ATMs and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel, or food.
- Make a plan. Spending time to document your financial information and contact numbers before a disaster or emergency will save you time and stress if you have to recover from a natural disaster.
- Take care of your most urgent financial issues. If you can’t access your money or pay your bills after a disaster you’ll want to contact your lenders, creditors, and banks to let them know your situation. You’ll also want to find places that can provide financial assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a number of useful resources for evaluating your disaster preparedness, including an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.
It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same is true of disaster preparation. By saving a small amount of money from each paycheck , you can build an emergency or disaster recovery fund that will help you weather any storm.