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Be prepared financially in event of an emergency

We live only moments away from potential disaster and it's important that we do as much as we’re able to be prepared. We all know that having a first aid kit and bottle water stored away is important. But what shape are your finances in? Here are some tips to consider:

To prepare:

• Set aside an emergency fund of three-to-six months of expenses
• Have an available credit line on a credit card for emergency use
• Keep important papers, passports and digital data in an easily accessible fire-proof lock box
• Use offsite or “cloud” storage systems to store important information
• Maintain an current list of all payments and compile account numbers and contact information for all your creditors.
• Photograph all insurable items, burn on a CD and keep in fire-proof box for insurance purposes.
• Consider setting up online bill-paying options

If in an emergency:

• Update your creditors on your situation and provide updated contact information.
• Immediately see if your creditor can defer payments under a hardship clause. Most can do so for a month or two under emergency circumstances.
• Make sure you know all aspects of your insurance policy.
• Save receipts for all purchases. Your insurance may cover some expenses if you keep good records, and you may be able to qualify for disaster relief when it’s time to file your taxes.
• Limit credit card use only to essential items so your debt doesn’t increase more than necessary.


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