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4 Important Tips to Prepare for Hurricane Harvey

Posted on: 25 August 2017

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We here at Fig hope that you’re all safe and prepared for this weekend’s hurricane. Hurricane season is already really stressful - wind, rain, and the potential for flooding are bad enough - but finding yourself financially unprepared for a hurricane can also be devastating.

1. Have some cash on hand

If a hurricane is bad and the power is out, so are ATMs, and not everyone will have the ability to take debit cards. This weekend as you’re preparing for Hurricane Harvey, remember to take some time visit an ATM while you can. Keeping cash on hand during a hurricane will let you buy what you need even if the power is out. And if, God forbid, you have to be evacuated, having cash will help you and your family while you’re away from home.

2. Protect Important Documents

Hurricanes cause all kinds of damage, but one you might not have thought of is how important documents can be lost. Birth certificates, social security cards, home and car titles, passports and health insurance cards are easy to lose, but expensive to replace. And if the idea of sitting at the DMV and paying all kinds of fees wasn’t bad enough, we need these documents most often when we’re trying to make insurance claims, take out loans or otherwise just try to recover from a disaster. Be smart, be safe, and make sure you protect your documents.

3. Take Inventory of Your Property

Speaking of insurance, if you own your home, you will almost certainly have homeowners insurance, and if you live in a flood-prone area you may have flood and windstorm damage insurance. But having insurance isn’t a guarantee that you will be compensated for what you lose during a hurricane. You first have to file a claim to prove what you’ve lost, and be able to defend it against the insurance adjusters whose job it is to make sure they pay out as little as they can.

That’s why one of the best things you can do if you have insurance is to spend some time inventorying your stuff. This means that you should make a list of your property, especially expensive items like TVs and other electronics, phones, furniture, appliances, jewelry, and their estimated value.

Inventories that include as much detail on your stuff as possible make getting a payout from insurance much easier. Taking down the serial number on electronics, including pictures (even ones you snap with your phone), and any receipts you have are all examples of things you can do.

4. Keep Spare Gas on Hand

One of the worst ways that hurricanes can disrupt our lives is that they can stop refineries from working and stop gas deliveries from getting to stations. But people’s lives don’t stop after a hurricane, and you will still need to get around. If you’re stuck after a hurricane without enough gas, you might be forced to wait hours in a line, get ripped off by price gougers, or even be unable to drive at all. Even if you don’t need to go to work, a medical emergency or dangerous conditions might make you need to get somewhere quick.

That’s why you should buy gas before a hurricane. Keep at least a three-quarter tank in your car and buy a can of gas so that you can fill up if you need to. It will save you money and give you peace of mind.

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