Washington, D.C. (Aug. 30, 2019)—As Americans brace for Hurricane Dorian's landfall this weekend, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) reminds consumers of the importance of advanced planning to help alleviate financial concerns during a natural disaster or emergency.
“Natural disasters prompt people to take stock of what they have and what they have lost,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “Your local community bank can work with you on evaluating your financial preparedness prior to these unexpected, stressful events and help protect you and your loved ones from the long-term effects of lost, damaged or destroyed financial documents.”
Hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires can destroy property and wreak financial havoc on families and communities. During September, which is National Preparedness Month, ICBA is offering the following tips to help consumers prepare for and quickly recover from the unexpected—including a host of other potential crises, including cyber events or domestic terror activities.
- Prepare backup communications plans if both cellular and landline services fail. You may want to be fully informed ahead of time of your cellular and satellite communications options.
- Store digital and paper copies of critical documents in a safe deposit box. These include a driver’s license, passport or military ID, bank and investment account information, proof of occupancy, a mortgage deed, insurance policies and three years of tax returns. Consider placing these items in a waterproof bag.
- Make additional copies of personal documents—marriage license, birth certificates, adoption papers—for safekeeping and alert a relative, trustee or attorney of their location.
- Print out contact information for trustees, guardians and executors and store it in a safe deposit box or give a copy to a trusted family member or friend.
- Create an inventory of personal and household valuables and use photo or video documentation to help assess their value and determine replacement costs.
- Contact your insurance agent or visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website, www.fema.gov, to determine if you need a flood insurance policy. FEMA also offers a guide with checklists to help prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.
For more information on crisis preparedness visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org/news/crisis-preparedness.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.