Managing Finances in Times of Disaster
As the process of healing and rebuilding continues ever so slowly in areas ravaged by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, many of us are taking a closer look at our own lives. While most of us don’t live in hurricane-prone areas, we are all reminded of the possibility of disaster knocking at our door. Mother Nature may provide the most striking examples with hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, but a house fire, car accident, serious …
The Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide developed by Operation Hope, will allow you to advise family members of your recovery process and to reassure them if you are not affected by an event in your city. The ability to contact family members and locate injured relatives is the first step to recovery. We advise that families and individuals keep one copy safe at home and one at the workplace, or another safe place. If you’re not really sure about a …
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters that could require evacuation, consider creating a grab-and-go box. Use a durable, sealed waterproof box or backpack. Put in copies of everything that is in your emergency file, and add other important papers:
- Medical prescriptions, including eyeglasses
- Copies of children’s immunization records
- Copies of all insurance cards and policies
- Copies of the back and front of your credit cards
- Cash or traveler’s checks for several days of living expenses
This interactive lesson can help you become more organized and prepare a household inventory. The Household Inventory Interactive Form allows you to keep an inventory online, as well as back up copies in a safe place. Annually update the inventory by making needed changes and deleting discarded items.
Life’s emergency situations require advance preparation and planning. The first step is organizing your financial information. Do you have an appropriate place for filing each document? Have you told anyone else where you keep your vital information? Have you shared your wishes in the event of your death? Are your documents available to “grab and go” in case of evacuation? Many situations require that you take action now to avoid financial problems later.
Debt management involves developing one or more strategies to help a debtor get that debt under control.
Should you shop for a lower interest rate on your debt?
• This can be a good option, if it substantially reduces your monthly payments and the refinancing is not too costly. Inquire whether other higher cost debts can be rolled into the lower cost loan.
What if you can’t pay your bills
• Prioritize your debt. Keeping a roof over your head …
Sources of Stress
- Prices rise but your income stays the same
- Cut‐backs, layoffs, or other restructuring creates job instability
- You feel frustration with family members’ spending or debt
- You have medical, automobile or household expenses that pile up
- An unexpected event or crisis creates money problems for the family (illness, death, divorce, etc.)
Take Care of Your Body
Try to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Take time for an enjoyable physical activity to relieve stress.
Get enough sleep. We …