(San Francisco, CA, Thursday, October 4, 2018) - The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season was one of the most active seasons US history, causing widespread damage to or destruction of infrastructure, livelihoods and property.
- Hurricane season is currently underway with Hurricane Florence damaging the East Coast.
- Many national and local weather authorities are predicting that the coming hurricane season will likely be as active as last year.
Below are helpful tips that consumers can do to help prepare themselves financially before a disaster occurs:
- Save important financial documents on a thumb drive, such as birth and marriage certificates, wills, deeds, tax returns, insurance policies, and stock and bond certificates. You'll need accessible records for tax and insurance purposes.
- Make a visual or written record of your possessions. If you don't own a camera or videotaping equipment, buy an inventory booklet and fill it out, or make a simple list on notebook paper.
- Photograph the exterior of your home. Include the landscaping. Make special note of any improvements, such as a patio, fencing, or outbuildings, as these increase property value.
- Consider setting up online banking, mobile banking, bill pay and electronic account alerts. This will help you stay on top of your accounts and bills if you are displaced from your home.
- Be on the lookout for electronic communications from your financial intuitions.
Below are helpful tips for homeowners if they impacted by a hurricane or natural disaster:
- Once your family is safe and secure, you will want to assess for any property damage including automobiles. If you have sustained property damage, itâ€™s important to call your lender as soon as possible to talk about relief options.
- If you have property damage, contact your insurance company right away to file a claim and to speed up the repair process.
- While youâ€™re recovering, use online banking, mobile banking, bill pay, and account alerts to help stay on top of your accounts.
- During the repair process, work with reputable contractors who are properly bonded and licensed. Make a list of damaged property and take pictures. Keep this documentation for possible tax deductions as a casualty loss.
- After the disaster relief period, you may find that you need more time to recover, contact your lender to talk about your specific financial needs.