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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Tips on being prepared for when natural disasters strike

  • Although Hurricane Sandy has not affected our region like it has the Northeast, it is a good reminder to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster. One aspect of being prepared is having non-perishable food items and plenty of water, but do not forget to prepare financially as well. Once the storm passes, you will want t...
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  • Although Hurricane Sandy has not affected our region like it has the Northeast, it is a good reminder to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster. One aspect of being prepared is having non-perishable food items and plenty of water, but do not forget to prepare financially as well. Once the storm passes, you will want to get your life back in order as quickly as possible. Properly preparing will help ease a bit of the stress if you ever have to encounter a natural disaster. Double check your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy and review your deductibles. What’s the deductible for hail or wind damage with your policy? Standard policies may not cover particular items or your deductibles may be different, so you will want to check with your agent. Also, be sure to get separate policies for jewelry or other valuables that home owner or renter’s insurance may not cover. It is also beneficial to make a video record of everything in your house with a narration describing each item, the brand and its cost. Typically, home owner’s insurance policies do not cover floods. If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you can typically buy flood insurance through your agent. There are 21,000 communities that participate in NFIP, so odds are you live in a community that participates. You can visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information and to see which communities participate. Most people have financial documents around the house, most likely in a file cabinet, but if a tornado were to hit you could lose those documents if there is damage to your home. The best way to make sure those documents make it through a natural disaster is to get digital. Scan those W-2s, mortgage papers, etc., so you have electronic copies. Then you can either save those documents in the cloud or password protect a CD-ROM and give it to a relative or friend that does not live in your region. As for the hard copies, keep those in a safe at home or a safety deposit box at a bank. Have an emergency fund for both the short-term and long-term. When disaster hits, you may be forced to evacuate and ATMS may not be working or accessible. It is important to have cash on hand for emergencies like these, and it will be one less thing you have to worry about during the chaos. Also, try to establish an emergency fund. It should have enough to account for three to six months of living expenses in case of financial crisis, such as injury or unemployment. Make sure it is in an account that is accessible, but only use it for emergency purposes. You owe it to yourself and your family to be prepared. This is one of those instances where you do not want to learn a lesson the hard way.
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