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How can I be better prepared for a financial disaster?

Take inventory.

You’ll need good records of your belongings, either for insurance claims or to prove losses on your tax return. List every item in your house and attach appraisals, receipts and model or serial numbers for big ticket items. Photograph or videotape every room and the contents of drawers and closets for backup. Update annually and keep a copy of everything somewhere outside your home in case of fire or flood damage.


Stash some emergency funds.

In the event of a disaster, you may not have immediate access to your bank account. Keep a small amount of cash or travelers checks on hand.

Review your insurance coverage periodically.

Make sure you are covered for replacement costs to your house and its contents, including improvements.

Make copies of important documents.
Store copies of insurance policies, wills, prescriptions for medication and eyeglasses, immunizations records, bank account numbers and driver’s licenses in watertight plastic bags stored in a portable fireproof box.


Rent a safe deposit box.
Keep originals of important documents, deeds, titles, birth certificates, passports and jewelry appraisals in it.


Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, M.S., Family Financial Education Specialist, Franklin County, University of Missouri Extension & Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Family Financial Education Specialist & CPD, Saline County, University of Missouri Extension





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Last update: Tuesday, February 17, 2009


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