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Disaster Recovery

The US just had a Franken Storm, or the Perfect Storm, or The Storm of The Century.  Here are the smartest comments on what you – as a person – need to do from Brian Greenburg, CPA.   www.greenbergcpa.com

Some people suffered financial catastrophe due to Hurricane Sandy. Gain financial

peace of mind by considering the following steps

1.  Stockpile cash. What happens if the bank is closed? Hold cash on hand.

2. Store key documents in secure online file cabinet- wills, insurance policies, credit cards, passports, bank account numbers. There are many websites that offer this service free, or for a minimal charge.

3. Protect your credit. Included in your online file cabinet is info on all of your creditors- mortgage, cars, utilities, and credit cards. If your dislocation will result in inability to pay your creditors- alerting them will help keep your credit intact as they work with you to suspend payments.

4. Review your insurance. Understand what exactly your property, flood, life, and disability insurance policies actually cover. For instance, does your property insurance cover temporary food and housing costs if you’ve had to evacuate but your home is undamaged? If you miss work for a week because you’ve had to evacuate, will your disability policy cover your lost income? Talk to your agent about covering any gaps in your policies, and make sure you know whom to contact and what documentation you’ll need to file a claim.

To this I would add some more basic stuff too the list such as canned food, meat, beans and lots of vegetables and fruit.  Get some old enclosed candle holders, with the glass all around for candles and store some fuel.  Cooking gas is OK, but it goes bad – don’t forget wood and a nice place away from the house to cook on a wood fire.

Also lots of water and ways to purify the water, such a boiling, or pumps or UV, or chorine etc… If you have a pool, it may not be the right water as pool water can become very hard over time as the water evaporates and leaves behind the salts.

One also needs to be very aware of looters and thieves that appear as the social fabric is stripped away.  You will need to establish physical and psychological barriers around your property and be ready to defend.  Fences, lights, trip wires that ring bells, caution tape, improved wire fences, etc… are all good. If these are breached you need to be prepared for the next step too.

May this also be information you will never need, though we know many for which the recommendations are all too current – and may peace be with those who lives have been so terrible altered by Sandy.

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