The views expressed in Economy Matters are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.

Editor's note: Throughout Economy Matters, "Southeast" refers to the six states that, in whole or in part, make up the Sixth Federal Reserve District: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Financial Tips from the Atlanta Fed: National Preparedness Month

September 1, 2020

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National Preparedness Month occurs every September to promote disaster planning. This year, millions of households are coping with serious financial challenges related to the economic impact of the pandemic, while the threat of natural disasters is ever present. Taking the time to create an emergency plan can help ensure your safety, minimize your losses, and facilitate a faster recovery. Use these tips as a guide as you create or update your emergency plan.

  • Know what type of disasters and hazards could affect your area and how to receive emergency alerts. Ready.gov provides a list of disasters and emergencies ranging from an active shooter situation to a wildfire and describes what to do in each case.
  • Make a plan with your family members and neighbors. Consider specific needs in your household and get updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Share this plan with relatives and/or friends.
  • Create a checklist to develop your emergency kit. Emergency kits should be checked and restocked every year to include new or updated items such as masks and disinfectants.
  • Learn about basic hazard insurance. Contact your insurance agent to see if you have adequate coverage for an emergency. Also, every state has an insurance commissioner whose office provides information about the state’s insurance system to consumers.
  • Get prepared to help weather an unanticipated crisis. Ensure you have access to your personal records to start the recovery process as soon as possible. Keep your important documents in an easily accessible waterproof container or bag in case you need to evacuate.
  • Create an emergency fund to help cover unexpected expenses during an emergency.
  • Update your home insurance inventory. A home insurance inventory is a record of your personal belongings inside your home. Use this to help claim your losses faster and more efficiently.

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