Severe weather comes in many forms and can happen anywhere. It’s one thing to prepare your home and family for natural disasters, but it’s another thing to feel financially prepared. Do you know how to organize your finances ahead of time and avoid disaster-related scams during the recovery process? Follow these tips to be financially prepared in case of a weather emergency:

Get Organized Before a Weather Emergency Strikes

  • Create a “rainy day” fund: Set aside at least two to three months’ worth of expenses in an emergency bank account. Keep some cash in a safe place at home as well, because credit cards and ATMs don’t always work during emergencies.
  • Review your homeowner’s insurance coverage: Check what disasters are covered and the types of benefits are available. Consider adding flood insurance if you don’t already have it.
  • Inventory your belongings: Make a list and take photos of your possessions to help you prove your losses when filing an insurance claim.
  • Keep documents safe: Store physical copies in a lockable, fireproof cabinet, or rent a safe deposit box at a local bank. Also, back up all important documents

Stay Alert of Disaster-Related Scams

  • Avoid imposters: Before hiring a restoration company, ask for license numbers, proof of insurance, and references. Read your contract carefully, and never pay until the work is done. If someone approaches you claiming to be a government official, safety inspector, or utility worker, ask for IDs and don’t give out your bank account, credit card information, or social security number.
  • Beware of rental listing scams: If you need a new or temporary place to live, steer clear of anyone who asks for a security deposit before you’ve signed a lease.
  • Know how to spot charity scams: Don’t support a relief effort until you research the organization asking for donations.

Get Back on Your Feet Financially After a Disaster

  • Contact insurance and benefits providers: Ask how to start the claims process and whether you qualify for unemployment benefits or other assistance.
  • Contact your employer: If your work is closed or you can’t get to work, ask how long you can continue receiving a paycheck and health insurance coverage.
  • Contact your bank, lenders, landlord, and utilities: First, report any lost or stolen credit cards as soon as you notice they’re missing. Then, ask if these organizations would be willing to defer your payments, extend your repayment plan, waive late fees, or postpone repossession and foreclosure.
  • Replace damaged or lost documents: If important legal documents go missing, contact the affiliated company or government office to see about having them replaced.

If you need help recovering from a weather emergency, DKI is here to assist you. We are a reputable storm damage repair service with over 500 locations across North America. We respond to emergencies, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, blizzards, and much more. For more information about us, or to schedule property damage cleanup in your area, please contact us at 844-354-2255.