Be Financially Prepared for Hurricane Season
With hurricane season upon us and the unforgettable storms of the last couple years fresh in our minds, it pays to be prepared both at home and financially. We have discussed the Home Inventory Checklist and steps to protect your belongings if a hurricane struck your home in Ways to Protect Losses before a Hurricane Strikes. But what of your finances with the bank? By working these easy items into your hurricane plan, you can potentially ease some stress during and after a tropical storm or hurricane.
1. Consider taking advantage of direct deposit offered by your employer or for your Social Security payments. It is also a good idea to try enrolling in online banking so if you evacuate you can keep you with your accounts and pay bills.
2. If a storm is coming, visit your branch or ATM as soon as possible and withdraw enough cash to cover critical expenses for three to five days. There are ATMs available in mandatory evacuation routes, however, they maybe inaccessible or short on cash so it is better to prepare beforehand.
3. Maintain a “safety balance” in your account to cover critical expenses and consider opting in for overdraft protection. We know hurricane season is here and although we may luck out here and there, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Start putting money away into your “safety balance” now to protect yourself just in case.
4. In the event of an evacuation, place all important financial documents in a locked, waterproof container. Included a list of account numbers, credit card numbers, and accurate login and password information for online accounts. (Courtesy of the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)