洪水, 龙卷风, 飓风, wildfires—it feels like a week doesn't go by without one of these natural disasters popping up in the news. Every part of the country is faced with its own environmental threats, meaning every homeowner should be prepared for their own worst-case scenario. But the truth is, many Americans struggle to keep emergency funds on hand. 根据最近的一项调查, only 56 percent of Americans would be able to pay for an unexpected $1,他们用存款付了000美元的帐单. 剩下的人就只能在信用卡上负债累累了, 向朋友和家人借钱, 或者申请个人贷款. 灾难来临之前, we're helping you prepare your finances with these six tips for financial preparedness in the wake of a natural disaster.1
First things first: if you don't have a dedicated emergency fund, it's time to start one. And if you've been slowly draining your fund for non-emergency spending, focus on filling it back up. While your insurance may cover the damage done by whatever disaster has just occurred, it could be a little while until you see any money coming your way. 与此同时, 你可能会被困在酒店里付房租, 为家人准备的饭菜, 气体, 医疗费用, 其他费用. 取决于灾难, 你的工作地点也可能受到影响, meaning you could even be out of work for an extended period of time.
说到保持你的应急基金充足, a natural disaster can incur unexpected—and often costly—extra expenses. 如果飓风接近海岸, it's not out of the question to see hotels inland raise their prices. 汽油、食物和水也是如此. 随着需求的增加，价格可能会飙升. In addition, if you're making claims through your insurance, you could expect costly deductibles. And if a power surge occurs, your appliances may need to be replaced. 这些额外的开支加在一起会很快增加.
一般来说，在手头准备一些现金是个好主意, but it's especially important if you're preparing for the possibility of a natural disaster. 无论你面对的是暴风雪, 飓风, 或龙卷风, 你的城镇或城市很容易几天或几周没有电. 这意味着你所在地区的商家可能也会断电, 这可能使它们暂时只做现金业务. Keeping some cash on hand (smaller bills are usually preferred) could allow you to still purchase essentials, 包括食品, 水, 和住所.
If we asked you to list off exactly what is covered by your insurance policies, could you? 如果你和大多数人一样，可能不会. But trying to make a claim with your insurance company days after a natural disaster has occurred is not the time to learn that your property wasn't covered. 而不是, take the time well before a natural disaster strikes to discuss with your partner and your insurance provider what your homeowners or other insurance policy protects. 在一起, you can discuss any additional coverage or changes that could help keep you and your belongings protected in the future.
一旦你确定你的保险已经覆盖了你, 你们要随时准备提出索赔. That means keeping accurate records of what you own, what you paid, and how much it's worth. 制作电子表格, 照片, or video of your current valuables as well as their cost price and current value. This can help to keep the claims process moving when it comes to getting reimbursed for your lost possessions. Try to save digital copies outside of your house in the event your home or files are destroyed due to the natural disaster. This could include keeping digital records in the cloud or physical copies in a safety deposit box or stored at a relative's house.
We've already discussed the extra expenses you may want to prepare for when recovering from a natural disaster. But one extra expense you shouldn't have to worry about is late fees. 设置信用卡自动转账, 汽车付款, 有线电视费, 抵押贷款, or other ongoing expense is one way to avoid missed payments in the wake of a natural disaster. The last thing on your mind when a natural disaster strikes is paying the 有线电视费, 这可以理解. 自动转帐可以让生活在一周中的任何一天都更轻松, but it can also mean one less thing on your plate after a disaster occurs and your world gets a bit more chaotic.
No matter where you live, you just never know when disaster may strike. And as you're left with the emotional turmoil of putting the pieces of your life back together, 重要的是要知道你的经济状况良好. Following these six tips above well before a natural disaster occurs will help keep you and your family financially prepared for the unexpected.
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