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En caso de catástrofes, tome precauciones financieras

In case of disaster, take financial precautions

It is important to assess your financial readiness for a natural disaster-no matter where you live.

The Red Cross is an emergency response organization that responds to disasters across the United States and world. It is not a government agency; therefore, it relies on support from donations. The Red Cross has given the suggestions below to help you prepare before disaster occurs.

Take a close look at your home

Make sure your property is structurally ready to withstand disasters that could affect you. For example, if you live in an earthquake-prone area, consider bolting bookcases and tall furniture to walls. In hurricane-prone areas, you might want to add hurricane shutters or even a safe shelter to your home. Local emergency management offices, which provide services to protect individuals and organizations from disasters, or a home inspector can evaluate which improvements you might need. Your Credit Union offer loans at a reasonable rate for the purchase of needed items used to protect from disasters.

Store records in a secure place

Keep original documents that would be difficult to replace in a safe deposit box at your credit union. This could include birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates, passports, visas, green cards, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Social Security cards, deeds, and titles. Store information such as health insurance cards, prescriptions, recent financial account statements, and home and safe deposit box inventories in a fireproof, waterproof box at home.

Stash some cash

During or after a disaster, power outages can affect ATMs and credit card processing machines, limiting your access to funds. As a precaution, store enough cash in your fireproof box at home to last your family about three days.

Build your emergency savings

Unexpected emergencies or expenses can arise in a disaster situation. If you aren't already, start setting money aside in an emergency savings fund at your credit union. Aim to save three to six months' worth of living expenses in this account. Visit your credit union to learn more about products and services that can help you build your savings.

Give your health insurance policy a check-up

In case of a disaster-related injury or illness, make sure you understand the details of what health care options are available. Javier from New York experienced minor injuries from the effects from a recent hurricane. Looking back he says, "I wish I would have explored what options I had in case of unexpected injuries. Health care can be really expensive, but being prepared could save a lot of money."

Experiencing a natural disaster is overwhelming; however, with proper preparation you can decrease the amount of financial stress. If you have any further questions talk to your local credit union or visit the Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/.

Por Kayla Sedbrook
Published  10-31-2011

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