Every year, thousands of households are victims of natural disasters, such as severe snowstorms, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Thousands more are devastated by fires or floods; often resulting in the accumulation of massive unplanned credit card debt. The danger level may vary depending on where you live, but as we have seen in recent years, these critical, life-altering events can happen almost any place at any time.
Many people prepare as best they can for natural disasters, storing products for minimal living support, such as canned food, water, fuel, and batteries. Unfortunately, often neglected are household bills and important documents, which may be exposed to and damaged or destroyed by the harsh elements. The result could affect you in ways you never envisioned.
It is extremely important to keep control of your budget and maintain all your regular payments such as credit cards and auto loans. Otherwise your newly distressed financial picture could cause you more harm long after mother nature has done her worst.
Fortunately, a simple, user-friendly solution is right at your fingertips. SettleiTsoft® helps keep you in control of your expenditures by organizing and storing your bills, allowing timely payment remittance, and providing cloud storage for the safekeeping of and 24/7 access to copies of your crucial documents.
In many cases, severe devastation results from extreme weather conditions which can then negatively impact your life and livelihood in several critical areas:
- Deterioration of your basic living conditions.
- May negatively impact your credit rating if you forget (or are unable) to pay your bills on time because of the crisis.
- The condition of your workplace may prevent employment and disrupt your income.
- You are forced to expend money for specialized products that will help you protect your life and property, such as a generator or plywood, as well as non-perishable food and bottled water.
- Critical documents are destroyed.
Therefore, for your personal and financial survival, it is imperative that you properly prepare before most of Snowstorms strikes.
- Start by preparing a list and then securing the things you will need most including canned food, water, flashlights, batteries, candles and so on.
- Prepare an Emergency Budget for use during and after a natural catastrophe and a savings plan to fund it. Don’t forget to include additional food and bottled water, generator fuel and possible extra expenses such as hotels and transportation.
- Plan to keep cash safely at hand because ATM machines and banks may not be working.
- Determine the most secure and safe place where you and your loved ones can be sheltered if you are forced to leave your home.
- Keep your vehicle full of gas in case you need to evacuate.
- Make sure all your insurance policies – Home, Flood, and Auto for example– are current. You do not want to face a disaster without adequate insurance protection.
Now that you know how to prepare Before the Storm, here are things you may need to do After the Storm to help protect your credit and where assistance may be found.
- Call your mortgage and credit card companies and explain your situation. Most should have grace period policies in place to help customers in this type of distress.
- Take advantage of these grace periods while you are rebuilding your financial life.
- To help expedite your insurance claim, take pictures of all the damage caused to structures and other property by the disaster.
- Contact government agencies such as FEMA to determine what types of financial aid and other assistance to which you may be entitled.
- File for unemployment if you are not allowed or are unable to return to your job.
- If after the disaster you are still living in your house, make sure that qualified professionals can attest there are no structural damages, electrical hazards or escaping natural gas that could harm you and your family.
Keep in mind, most accidents that happen after most of Snowstorms are due to a lack of precautionary measures.
Sadly, there are people who look to take advantage of the problems caused by a disaster. Therefore, do not pay upfront money for any home repair unless you are completely sure that your contractor is licensed, insured, bonded, and has a solid local reputation.
More information about Snowstorms, Natural Disasters and Your Financial Well-Being as well as other financial tips may be viewed in the Knowledge Base of www.settleiTsoft.com .