Disaster Insurance

Follow this step-by-step list to be as prepared as possible if an emergency strikes.

Disaster insurance table

Follow this step-by-step list to be as prepared as possible if an emergency strikes
  • Insurance
  • Review your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy to see what's covered. Talk to your agent about flood or earthquake insurance if either is a concern for your area and about whether you need umbrella insurance.
  • Inventory
  • Keep an updated video inventory of valuable household items in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box, with an out-of-town relative, or in outside digital storage. Make sure to include any professional appraisals and replacement value estimates.
  • Documents
  • Keep copies of birth certificates, passports, wills, trust documents, records of home improvements, and insurance policies in a fireproof, waterproof "evacuation box" that you can grab in a hurry. 
  • Backup
  • Consider scanning your important documents and storing them, along with a backup of your personal computer files, online or on a CD or a Zip drive that's kept in a safe place away from your home. 
  • Cash
  • Keep petty cash on hand for emergencies. Local ATMs might be out of commission in the event of an emergency, so having enough cash on hand to get by for a few days is a good idea. 
  • Providers
  • Check that others are prepared. Ask your financial providers what plans they have to cope with a natural disaster. For example, does your accountant keep important documents and records backed up and stored in a safe location?