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Are You Financially Prepared for a Disaster?

Store Information in a Safe Place to Save Valuable Time and Money

Columbus, Ohio - June 1, 2011 - Apprisen Financial Advocates/Consumer Financial Services Service is a national nonprofit consumer Financial Services agency that provides personal Financial Services and financial education. With severe weather occurring all across the United States, many people are finding themselves financially lost after tragedy strikes. “Unfortunately, the consequences of not having your information stored in a safe place prior to a disaster could cost you time and money,” states Jana Root, Community Outreach Coordinator.  Apprisen Financial Advocates offers the following advice to help you prepare if the unthinkable happens.

  • Be Able To Identify Yourself – Have copies of all of your family’s vital information: Driver’s License, Passport, Birth Certificates, Medical Records, Current Photos.
  • Record Your Financial Information - Create a log of all of your financial records. Bank accounts, investments, insurance, credit cards.  Include account numbers and contact information.
  • Inventory Your Home’s Valuables – Invest in hiring a reputable, independent home inventory service to photograph and record all valuables in your home to make sure you receive an accurate insurance settlement.
  • Have Cash on Hand – Place a small amount of money, in small denominations, in your fire box at home. This should be enough to provide you with some basic necessities.

This information should be stored in multiple locations and in multiple formats.  Redundancy is the key to ensure you can get to this information as quickly as possible whatever your circumstances are. In addition to paper copies, download this information on a flash drive or CD and then register it with an online data storage site which can be accessed immediately from the disaster site.  Place a copy in a fire box at home or in a deposit box at your financial institution, and give a copy to a trusted friend or relative that does not live in your area.  Having this information in multiple locations allows it to be accessed quickly and when you need it. 

While it is common practice for credit card companies to put alerts on credit card accounts for victims who live in disaster areas, identity theft is an unfortunate risk.  Far too often, personal information is compromised by being blown away or buried in rubble and credit card accounts are either used or opened fraudulently. Apprisen Financial Advocates is there to help. We can offer financial education and guidance to help identify strategies to recover from this financial disaster.

About Apprisen
Apprisen Financial Advocates, a national nonprofit Financial Services agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt for over 55 years. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. Services are provided in-person in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or the Internet. The oldest nonprofit Financial Services agency in the country, Apprisen Financial Advocates is known in its local communities as Consumer Financial Services Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Apprisen is a member of the National Foundation for Financial Services (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7. Call 800-355-2227 or visit the website, www.apprisen.com. You can also follow CCCS/Apprisen on Facebook and on Twitter.

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