Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30. Stocking up on food and water is a given, but are you financially prepared? Many things in life are beyond our control; planning is not one of them. Get prepared now, and you'll have peace of mind whether a storm hits or (fingers crossed) not.

 

Maybe your regularly-watched meteorologist hasn’t been very accurate with the forecasts as of late. That doesn’t mean, however, you should stop paying attention to the weather. With hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 through November 30, already in progress, the threat and destructive power of Mother Nature is especially critical to keep in mind. Here are a few tips to ensure your family and finances are safe:

 

Start an emergency fund

During times of natural disaster unexpected costs or repairs can occur no matter how well you plan; you can’t predict what type of tragedy will accompany a hurricane. To mitigate some of that uncertainty, open a separate savings account and setup automatic payments to build up about three to six months of living expenses for your family.

 

Stash some cash

It’s also a good idea to keep some cash at home in a fireproof, waterproof, disaster-proof box to cover you in the event that banks and ATMs are closed or roads are blocked. Be sure this stash contains small bills in case stores are low on change. 

 

Go digital

Digital banking may be a nice-to-have ordinarily, but when the extraordinary happens, it can be a financial lifeline. If you don't already have it, register today. If you do have it, now's a good time to log in and ensure your contact information is current and familiarize yourself with any new features. Also make sure you have the latest version of the mobile app.

 

Secure your important documents and know where they are at all times

Records and proof of identity are all vital pieces of information that you don’t want to risk losing or getting damaged. Keep all your originals for documents such as passports, deeds, etc. in a safe deposit box. You won't need them often, and when you do need them you'll usually know ahead of time. Keep copies of paperwork in that disaster-proof box at home. Having access to the information may help you recover from the aftermath of a hurricane. Other important information to have readily available includes contact information for your financial institution(s), health and property insurance policies, and creditors. These items will help you file a claim and/or be able to discuss options you may have in regards to any late payments due to hardships. In addition to physical copies, creating electronic copies and storing them on a USB flash drive or password-protected online format is also a good idea.

 

You can never be too prepared

Last-minute scrambling after a hurricane warning is issued can cause you to forget something important and panic even more. Not to mention the state of emergency that others around you will be under, which will only add to the frenzy. Get financially prepared now, and you'll have peace of mind whether a storm hits or (fingers crossed) not.