September is National Preparedness Month, and FEMA’s theme this year is Prepared, Not Scared. The agency is offering different advice each week during the month of September. This week the theme is Save Early for Disaster Costs. The agency tells us to be financially prepared for a disaster. According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in savings, and setting a small amount aside from each paycheck into an emergency account can be helpful. The agency says it’s a good idea to start talking with your children early about money and include them in discussions about saving for unexpected events.
Americans are also advised to keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available when the power goes out. Having insurance with the correct coverage in an adequate amount is also extremely important. On their Ready.gov page, FEMA explains that most homeowners and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Most flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect. Since most of us have a cell phone, snap photos of important documents, including those insurance policies, and your personal belongings to help you file an insurance claim.