Greater Texas Credit Union Offers Tips to Weather the Storm

Preparing Financially for a Disaster Can Help Through the Turmoil
By: Greater Texas Credit Union
AUSTIN, Texas - Nov. 15, 2023 - PRLog -- In preparation for natural disasters, Greater Texas Credit Union has several tips to help consumers prepare for the potential financial effects related to a disaster.

Being financially prepared helps people endure a natural disaster. It also delivers peace of mind that they have the resources to overcome the challenges.

In a natural disaster, there may only be minutes to react. Having key financial information and household records and contacts readily available makes it easier to begin the recovery process.

First step: make sure insurance and financial documents are in order and accurate to cover your family's needs.

"It's important to have a central record of your key household information, such as bank account numbers, credit card information, passwords, insurance documents, medical ID, and important phone numbers," said Mike Trapnell, Vice President of Real Estate and Development for Greater Texas Credit Union. "Don't rely solely on your cellphone for storing this information, which can be problematic if there are power outages or if your phone gets damaged.

Trapnell added, "You'll need to immediately contact your lenders and utilities to discuss deferral options. Unfortunately, even in a disaster you still have to deal with paying your bills."

Other helpful steps:

v  Keep a certain amount of cash for emergency situations in case of bank closures or inoperable ATMs

v  Create a list of valuables with pictures and/or video to expedite filing a claim with your insurance company or FEMA

v  Store hard copies in fireproof/waterproof containers or safes and electronic documents in password-protected formats on flash drives, external hard drives, or in the cloud

v  Keep copies of your passport, driver's license, Social Security card, marriage license, wills, deeds, financial statements, medical records, etc., in an offsite location such as a safety deposit box or with a trusted relative or friend

After a disaster, follow these steps to begin the recovery process and remain safe:

v  Take pictures/video of damage

v  File insurance claim

v  Keep all receipts for temporary lodging, meals, or rental cars for insurance reimbursement

v  Save receipts for materials/supplies purchased to make repairs and submit them to the insurance company

v  Consider suspending utilities if you can't live in the home

v  Reach out to disaster aid organizations such as the Austin Disaster Relief Network, the Red Cross, or your church

v  Be vigilant about suspicious contacts to avoid becoming a fraud victim

v  Vet contractors and don't pay until services are rendered

Trapnell with Greater Texas ( noted, "The best way to plan for the unexpected is having a financial safety net, by establishing a savings account and setting aside enough money to cover your expenses for three to six months."

Kristine Tanzillo, Dux Public Relations
Source:Greater Texas Credit Union
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Tags:Disaster Prep Tips
Location:Austin - Texas - United States
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