Create a Financial Plan for Natural Disasters

If a hurricane, flood or other disaster strikes, do you have your important financial documents safeguarded in case you need to leave your home in a hurry? Here’s what you’ll need.

photo of person sitting at desk photographing documents
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hurricane Idalia's trail of destruction through Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas provides a painful lesson on the importance of mitigating risks of natural disasters. Homeowners should heed this reminder to prepare, whether by buying adequate insurance, adding storm shutters, building a safe room in the basement or even cutting brush around their property.

But there is another way you can prepare yourself against catastrophe, and no physical labor is required: getting your documents in order. There’s no worse time to lose access to the documents necessary to rebuild than in the aftermath of a storm. You should have a plan in place before disaster hits because you may not be home when the evacuation alarm sounds.

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Rivan V. Stinson
Ex-staff writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher. She is currently assistant editor, personal finance at The Washington Post.