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MEDIA CENTER 

Are You Financially Prepared for a Disaster?

Severe weather season is fast approaching. Tornados have already touched down in many communities across the United States. Unfortunately, many people are finding themselves financially lost after tragedy strikes. The consequences of not having your information stored in a safe place prior to a disaster could cost you time and money. Jana Castanon, spokesperson for Apprisen, 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 proof 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 proof 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 is there to help. We can offer financial education and guidance to help identify strategies to recover from this financial disaster.

About Apprisen: 

Apprisen, a national nonprofit credit counseling agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt for over 55 years. Certified counselors provide money management and debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling, and financial education. Services are provided in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or via the Internet. The oldest nonprofit credit counseling organization in the country, Apprisen is known in its local communities as Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), CCCS is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (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 "like us" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Apprisen and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Apprisen.

      
     

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