Weatherproof Finances for Natural Disasters
As Houstonians, we know all too well that hurricanes can destroy property and wreak financial havoc on families and communities. During September, which is National Preparedness Month, Allegiance Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) remind consumers that they can help alleviate financial concerns by planning in advance of a natural disaster or emergency.
Community banks are a cornerstone of economic recovery for our communities; at Allegiance Bank, we consider it our civic duty to be prepared and resilient in the face of the unknown. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our communities in their time of need to help them recover and rebuild once the water recedes and the winds subside.
ICBA and Allegiance Bank offer the following tips to help consumers prepare for the unexpected and reclaim their financial wherewithal following a natural disaster.
- Prepare backup communications plans if both cellular and landline service fail.
- Store digital and paper copies of critical documents in a safe deposit box. These include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, bank and investment account information, proof of occupancy, a mortgage deed, insurance policies, and three years of tax returns.
- Make additional copies of personal documents—marriage license, birth certificates, adoption papers—for safekeeping and alert a relative, trustee, or attorney of their location.
- Print out contact information for trustees, guardians, and executors and pack them away for safe keeping and share a copy with a trusted family member or friend.
- Create an inventory of personal and household valuables and use photo or video documentation to help assess their value and determine replacement costs.
- Contact your insurance agent or visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website, www.fema.gov, to determine if you need a flood insurance policy. FEMA also offers a guide with checklists to help prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.
“Community bankers are not fair-weather lenders,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “As your trusted financial lenders, your community bank can help evaluate financial preparedness before these unexpected, stressful events occur to help protect you and your loved ones from the long-term effects of lost, damaged, or destroyed financial documents.”
For more information on crisis preparedness visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org/news/crisis-preparedness.