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Financial Planning For A Disaster

When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, be it a hurricane affecting an entire region or a gas leak affecting one house, it is only natural and appropriate to think first of the very basics of life: safety, shelter, food, and water. But it also makes sense, in the quiet of normal daily living, to make plans for money matters in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Keep the following items in a place that is easily accessible by you in an emergency, but not so apparent as to invite theft: forms of identification, such as driver's licenses, insurance cards, Social Security cards, passports, and birth certificates; enough checks and deposit slips to last a month, or at least a checking account number; ATM cards, debit cards, and credit cards; telephone numbers and account numbers for providers of financial services; the key to your safe deposit box; and some cash.
  • Make copies of your most important documents, ideally on disks, and keep the copies well outside of your home area.
  • Use a safe deposit box for items that you are not likely to need in a hurry, such as birth certificates and originals of contracts. Other items can go in a sturdy safe at home.
  • In the same waterproof, portable "evacuation bag" in which you can keep medications, first-aid kits, flashlights, and so forth, keep some of the up-to-date financial papers mentioned above. But secure it well, lest you inadvertently provide a treasure trove of your financial information to a thief.
  • Choose automated services over dependency on writing and mailing checks and trips to your bank. You can weather a storm financially more easily with direct deposit, automatic bill payments, and Internet banking services.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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