5 Things To Do Before a Big Storm Hits


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We’re heading into the high season for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes. Here are five things you can do right now to prevent a personal crisis from becoming a long-term financial one.

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  • DARI – I can’t use this image b/c it’s from Amazon… but I couldn’t find another pic! http://www.amazon.com/MMF-Industries-Steel-Security-227109003/dp/B00006ICA5 And, my god, why can’t I find a freakin’ check-box to use by each of the items in the list!!!??
  • Source is Herman Miller: http://store.hermanmiller.com/Products/Eames-Lounge-Chair-and-Ottoman
  • 5 Things To Do Before a Big Storm Hits

    1. 5 Must-Dos Before a Big Storm Hits Image credit
    2. 1. Create a “Grab-and-Go” Box This is your family’s portable, take-anywhere “Command Central” – the keys to keeping your life running, even if you can’t be in your home.
    3. Your “Grab-and-Go” Box Should Contain… Contacts -- work; kids’ schools and friends; out-of- state family. Medical information -- doctors; list of prescriptions; pharmacy phone numbers. Recovery information -- copies of your home, car, and health policies and cards; forms for filing; current inventory of your possessions. Financial information -- list of bank and other investment accounts and where they’re located; debt obligations and due dates. Critical papers -- copies of your wills, trusts, and medical health-care directive A small stash of cash -- enough to cover what you need to survive for a few days Photo: istockphoto.com
    4. 2. Open a Safe Deposit Box Store the originals of your wills, deed to the house, passport, marriage and birth certificates, etc. Make sure it can be accessed by another trusted person just in case you’re unable to get to it. It should be large enough to accommodate your valuables and important documents.
    5. 3. Catalog Your Possessions If your home were wiped out, could you prove what belongings were lost and how much they were really worth? Could you even remember what the heck was in the attic?
    6. A Room-by-Room Inventory will help speed the process of insurance claims It can be written or done via video. Use the free software at the Insurance Information Institute’s knowyourstuff.org. Don’t forget the stuff in your attic and garage!
    7. 4. Do an Insurance-Claims Dry Run Wind! Rain! Hail! Sewage! Locusts! Oh my! What’s really covered? And for how much?
    8. Review your policy or call your insurance company. Find out… What disasters your policy actually covers. Don’t assume you’re covered for floods (see floodsmart.gov), sewage backup, and wind damage or have adequate liability coverage. How much you'd get: Note whether you have “cash value” (based on depreciation) or “replacement cost” coverage. Consider that most policies cap payouts at 50% to 70% of the home's total coverage . If your coverage is up-to-date: Made any home improvements since you last renewed? Acquired a Picasso?
    9. 5. Preserve Your Memories During an evacuation, it might be hard to cart off your prized Eames lounge chair while wrangling dogs and kids. So… Take pictures of the important things… Family heirlooms, treasured collections, your high school letter jacket, Great Aunt Sadie’s English soup tureen Make copies of copy-able things… Love letters, kids’ artwork, flattering portraits of yourself And don’t forget!: Back up your hard drive frequently and store it in a safe or off-site. Photo: hermanmiller.com
    10. Your financial health is just as important as your personal health. The Motley Fool's special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names specific investment opportunities that could help you build long-term wealth and help you retire well. The Fool also outlines critical wealth-building strategies that every investor should know. Click here to keep reading.