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How to Financially Prepare for National Emergencies and Natural Disasters


Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and acts of god—are you prepared for a national emergency or natural disaster? Catastrophes occur every day, it seems, but the right financial tips can help you survive the worst. Even if you never have to face a major emergency, having a plan in place can help you enjoy some valuable peace of mind.

Here are some money tips to help you when acts of god occur:

File a claim with your insurance:

First and foremost, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Whether your home, vehicle or other property was damaged, you need to tap into the appropriate resources. For example, homeowners insurance will help you find another place to stay if your home was destroyed. Car insurance companies may give you a rental car to use until your vehicle is fixed.

Look for financial assistance programs:

When national emergencies and natural disasters strike, there are often financial assistance programs available to help. FEMA, the Red Cross and even veteran services associations often give money and supplies to victims of natural disasters.

Call your utility companies if you have to leave home:

If your home isn’t suitable for habitation, make sure you call your utility companies. They can either put a stop to your bills until the damage is repaired, or direct you to assistance and relief programs to help. Whatever the outcome, the last thing you need is to be on the hook for utilities you’re not using. If the emergency is big enough, chances are they’ll be familiar with the issue. That will help you get it solved more quickly.

Call your creditors:

Late payments can affect your credit score and even lead to foreclosure, if you’re paying off a mortgage. As soon as you’re safe and recovered from any injuries, call your creditors, mortgage lender, bank and more. Many financial lenders will waive late payment fees or make other options available.

Check your credit report:

After you’ve called all the necessary lenders, utility companies, insurance companies and relief programs, look at your credit report. If any of your payments were marked as late, you can add a statement to your report to explain the situation. That can help when future lenders are reviewing your credit score.

Talk to your credit union:

Finally, don’t forget to talk to the friendly team at OUR Credit Union. If you’ve experienced a natural disaster, our financial experts may be able to help you find financial assistance, defer payments and more. We can also help you better understand your financial situation and develop a plan to make ends meet.

While no one can predict who will be affected by catastrophes, there are plenty of resources available. Having a general plan and using the financial tips above will help you and your family move past the disaster.

For more information about our financial services, or to speak to one of our representatives, get in touch with OUR Credit Union or come see us today.

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