Are you ready for what comes next?
2020 . . . A pandemic. Fires. Earthquakes. Floods. Hurricanes and tornadoes. Social unrest. Political acrimony. Economic peril. What else can possibly go wrong??
Everything. And anything.
As we enter September, we are only three-quarters of the way through this tumultuous year. And although the month was not originally named for so many wide-ranging and far-reaching crises, it is apropos that September is National Preparedness Month.
Initiated in 2004 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the one-month observance gained some real traction following 9/11 as part of a governmental effort to strengthen and encourage citizens and communities to be prepared for natural or manmade disasters. As we have seen, these disasters can come in a multitude of different forms. How to be prepared?
This list probably doesn’t cover everything, but certainly these are things you should be thinking about for your family’s safety.
- Fire escape plan
- Plan/supplies for extended power outages
- Evacuation plan
- A disaster kit
- Plans for pets
- Plans for seniors
- Household response (how to turn off the gas and/or electricity, use a fire extinguisher, apply first aid and CPR)
So many things to think about!
A few months ago, I wrote a blog for the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) discussing the importance of emergency preparedness (https://secure.aadmm.com/2020/05/14/are-you-prepared-for-an-emergency/). I talked about an aspect of being prepared that I fear may be often overlooked by folks: being financially prepared. This means having all your financial, medical, and other personal and vital information in one place, ready to go. As I described in that piece, there are products available that can help you become organized, and as a daily money manager I have helped many of my clients assemble and organize vital documents and information into a packet that is easily found and accessed, either by the clients themselves, or their family members when needed.
Recently, I was pleased to discover that information including a checklist for an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is included on FEMA’s Ready.gov website: https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness (While you’re on that website, take a look at all of the other great tools and tips for emergency preparedness.)
Having this information collected in advance will prove invaluable, saving much heartache, time, and money in the event of a disaster. You should update it regularly, especially any time there are changes to your financial, health, or insurance situation. The perfect time to create and update this kit is National Preparedness Month. After all, who knows what’s coming next?
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