Fortify your finances against natural disaster

Emergency preparedness experts recommend that you have a “go bag” and a “stay bin” for disasters: kits with supplies to help you survive a few days if you have to evacuate your home or shelter in place.

Preparing your finances for natural disasters is also smart. Having cash on hand, access to credit and the right insurance coverage can help you get through perilous times. Fortifying your home against disasters also can be a good investment.

Not everyone can make these preparations, of course. People with the fewest resources often suffer the brunt of disasters. But anything you can do to bolster your situation now could help you limit the toll.

This undated file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for the personal finance website.


Having cash on hand could help you pay for groceries, gas, shelter and other necessities if ATMs and payment systems aren’t functioning, which could happen if the power goes out or cyberattacks knock systems offline.

You may need more than you think, especially if you’re away from your home for more than a few days. Insurance consumer advocate Amy Bach recommends keeping at least $2,000 in a safe place somewhere in your home. After a widespread disaster, there is often “incredible competition” for rentals and other lodging, and a cash deposit could help you secure a place to stay, says Bach, executive director of the nonprofit United Policyholders.

Simonne Stigall

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