During an unpredictable storm season, the best way to achieve peace of mind is to prepare. Besides securing your property and stocking up on supplies, it’s important to put your financial house in order. Preparing your financials now can help ease the burden should a hurricane strike.
Review your insurance coverage.
Look over the insurance policies you hold for your home, car or the apartment you rent. Review what’s covered – and what’s not.
Make sure you understand your deductible. Some policies have a special deductible for named storms that is separate and different from your normal deductible. Even if fully insured, high deductibles can result in significant out-of-pocket expenses.
Consider a HELOC.
Should a worst-case scenario hit, the waiting game for insurance adjustors can add to your emotional toll. One way to access emergency funds quicker to ensure you and your family are back on your feet is through a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
Keep cash on hand.
If the electricity goes out, ATMs will not work and businesses will not be able to accept credit cards. You’ll want to have enough cash on hand to cover a full tank of gas, meals and a hotel stay for several days.
Start by pulling money from your emergency fund – that's what it’s there for.
Enroll in online banking.
With online or mobile banking, you can access your accounts even if you have to evacuate. If you are already enrolled in online banking, consider signing up for bill pay so you can schedule future transfers. Making a payment on time should be the least of your worries during a natural disaster or storm surge.
Safeguard important documents.
Make physical copies of your most important documents and store them in a waterproof and fireproof safe or container. You may also want to consider making digital copies of your files to store in a secure cloud service. That way, you will have everything you need should you have to leave.
Follow these online and mobile security tips to ensure your personal documents don’t end up in the hands of hackers.
Buy supplies over time.
Finally, if you need to stock up on bottled water, batteries or nonperishable food items, start now. Look for sales and buy over time to ease the strain on your wallet. Create a savings plan to help you budget.
Preparing yourself financially now, as best you can, for a hurricane can help ease the burden on your wallet if a hurricane strikes.
Reviewed August 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.