Documents You Need When Disaster Strikes

When a hurricane, tornado, or forest fire seems to be on the path towards your home, the only thing you are probably thinking about is you and your family’s safety. But after safety, it is important to have a checklist with the financial documents you may need or want after the disaster.

Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, there are some “must have” items for when a disaster hits. These key documents include:

  • Mortgage or rental agreements
  • Homeowners, renters, and automobile insurance policies
  • Financial statements and account numbers
  • Driver’s license, Social Security card, and birth certificate
  • Copies of prescriptions for medications
  • Tax records

Mitchell Freedman, an editor of the American Red Cross’ “Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues,” says that the best way to have these files is on a portable hard drive so that you may grab it and go. Having paper materials in your safety deposit box can sometimes be destroyed or inaccessible after the disaster.

In addition to the documents above, it is important to have proof of your valuables for when you may have to file an insurance claim. It is recommended that you go through your home to write down and take pictures of all valuables including antiques and jewelry. These files can also be saved on your portable hard drive.

The overall best plan for when a disaster hits is to be prepared. Take the time one afternoon and gather all the documents to save them in one place so that they may be available when the unexpected occurs!

For the entire article from Fox Business, click here. Do you have any other tips to help prepare for when a disaster hits? We would love to hear from you!

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