Avoid financial trouble when natural disasters strike

Secure important documents and insurance coverage

InvestigateTV - We never know when disaster will strike, from flooding to hurricanes and tornados. Taking a few simple steps could help you in the event of an emergency.

Nate Johnson, a wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch, said the first thing you should do is make sure all of your essential documents are safe from the elements. Secure these important documents in a fireproof safe:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Deeds
  • Account statements
  • Insurance information
  • Model and serial numbers of big-ticket items

Johnson said home prices are up 20% around the country, so check in with your homeowner’s insurance and make sure your coverage is still in line with the current value of your property.

“If you’ve done a renovation of any sort, it’s a really good chance that the cost of replacement is now higher than the policy was originally written.”

Make sure you have access to cash either through a home equity line of credit or an emergency fund, Johnson added, because after an emergency it will likely take some time for homeowners’ insurance to kick in.

For more information about disaster preparedness, Ready.gov is a free resource that can help you make a plan specifically for you and your family’s needs.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.