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disasterEver heard the saying, “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready?” . . . Well, with the ambush of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and tornadoes we’ve experienced since the beginning of the year, you should’ve seen enough by now to know how devastating the effects of any disaster – natural or man-made, can be.

Since January, FEMA has confirmed over 80 major disaster declarations in the United States alone. Regardless of whether you live in a typical disaster zone or not, the reality is you are now fair game for experiencing one. So, the question is whether you’ll take steps now to safe guard your family in case of emergency or wait until disaster actually strikes. President Obama declared September as National Preparedness Month , appropriately so as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 lingers. In his proclamation, the President encouraged “all Americans to recognize the importance of preparedness and observe this month by working together to enhance our national security, resilience, and readiness.”

When preparing for a natural disaster, the necessities that usually come to mind are food, water and shelter. While physical safety is definitely a primary concern, few tend to think of finances as the next major priority. So, in addition to checking out sites like for physical preparedness, below you’ll find a few tips to get your financial house in order in case of catastrophe.

1. Get it together. The last thing you want to do in the event of an emergency is scurry through papers in your kitchen’s junk drawer. Create a filing system that allows you to get all of your documents together in one, organized place.

2. Take inventory. Maintain an updated inventory of all valuables along with serial numbers, warranty information, photos, and even videos, if possible. Some people walk through their home with a video camera to document everything. Having an inventory is going to save you lots of headaches in the event of a disaster which produces subsequent insurance claims. Remember, however, to keep the list, photos and videos off-site for obvious reasons.


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