Washington, D.C. (Aug. 29, 2023) — In light of Hurricane Idalia and in observance of National Preparedness Month in September, ICBA and the nation's community banks are reminding consumers to take prudent measures that can help speed up their financial recovery following a natural or man-made disaster.

"Disasters can strike at any time, so it's essential that individuals and communities are equipped to respond quickly and effectively to help manage these unsettling life events," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. "While natural disasters are an unfortunate reality with far-reaching and often devastating consequences, through the power of community and advanced preparation the goal is always to minimize financial repercussions while shoring up financial resiliency."

ICBA is encouraging individuals to take the following steps to prepare for emergencies:

  • Create a disaster kit (a collection of basic items) and an emergency plan with evacuation instructions.

  • Prepare a family emergency communications plan to contact loved ones.

  • Create an emergency savings account. Keep a small amount of cash on hand to purchase food and incidentals in case electronic funds are not immediately available.

  • Store important documents such as proof of identity, property ownership, insurance policies, bank and investment account information, and three years of tax returns in a bank safe-deposit box.

  • Inventory personal and household valuables to help evaluate replacement costs.

  • Contact your insurance agent or visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website, to determine if you need a flood insurance policy. For more helpful financial preparedness tips, download FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.

In addition to individuals and families, ICBA is also encouraging businesses and organizations to develop continuity plans to ensure that they can continue to operate even in the event of an emergency. By having a continuity plan, a business can minimize the impact of an emergency on its operations, employees, and customers.

ICBA offers a guide to help community banks with natural disaster planning and preparedness and has established the ICBA Foundation Disaster Relief Program to support community banks and their employees in presidentially declared or state governor-declared disaster areas.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding $5.8 trillion in assets, $4.8 trillion in deposits, and $3.8 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.