Create a Disaster-Preparedness Plan for your Finances

March 1, 2007

Do you have a disaster-preparedness plan for your finances? This six-step plan will help keep your finances in order in case of a disaster.

1. Make a copy of everything in your wallet. Store the copies on a memory stick in a vault or with a trusted family member in another location.

2. Sign up for electronic payment of critical bills, such as your health insurance and mortgage. Talk with your broker or office manager about direct deposit of your pay.

3. Sign up for online banking and online access to your investment accounts, including IRAs, mutual funds, and CDs.

4. Make sure more than one family member has access to all investment accounts and insurance policies.

5. Prepare a fireproof, waterproof to go box that you can grab quickly in case of an emergency. The box should contain family and friend contact information, recent account statements, a financial service providers contact list, mortgage and insurance statements, and a small supply of cash.

6. Get an ATM card, even if you don’t use it, so that you can access funds if you’re displaced to another city.

Source: NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association (, Herndon, Va.