We look forward to spring as the time for new beginnings, but snow melting and rain can cause flooding which we may not anticipate. Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 damage in your home. What can you do to prepare to avoid this problem? There are a number of strategies that you can use to ease the problems associated with floods or other disasters.
Be financially prepared for a disaster.
Have an emergency fund to help with unexpected expenses that could occur with floods.
Create and use a spending plan that includes income, expenses, and plans for periodic larger expenses.
Try to have some cash on hand in case you don’t have the ability to access money in savings and checking accounts.
Know what you own and what is covered.
Review your insurance and know what is covered. Talk with your insurance agent about coverage that you might want to add, as well as understanding deductibles that you might have to pay based on your policy.
Develop a home inventory to detail the items in your home in case you need to file an insurance claim and replace items. This can be as simple as taking pictures or videos on your phone and keeping a copy in cloud storage.
Know where your important documents are located. Keep important documents in a waterproof and fireproof location. This might mean that they are in a plastic zipper bag in a fireproof box. Also, make sure that you have the documents and necessary items ready to go if you need to leave your home in an emergency.
If these steps all sound overwhelming, start with looking at your spending plan and see if you can begin to set some money aside in case of an emergency. Start small and take just one action at a time to begin to prepare yourself for a disaster. Learn more about managing your personal finances and making a spending plan.
Extension has further resources for how to prepare for a disaster, including forms that can be used for a household inventory, how to review your insurance, and how to make a family plan in case of emergency.