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Are You Financially Prepared for a Hurricane Emergency?

Aug. 1, 2017 at midnight

Living in a coastal region has its benefits, but the rare strong hurricane can put a serious crimp into your finances. Prudence dictates putting by funds for a rainy day that pummels your home or other property with destructive winds. Such a savings effort works best when begun far in advance of a potential natural disaster.

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Hurricane Preparedness

While concrete-block construction and special roofing techniques appear to offer significant protection from the sort of extreme weather damage that can accompany a major hurricane, many homeowners are stuck with what they've got. In any case, widespread flooding can inflict considerable damage on even an otherwise hardened residence or business. Falling trees commonly crush cars and damage roofs. Walls collapse, and entire roofs fly away like kites.

Needless to say, all of this is expensive to fix.

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Double-Check Your Insurance Coverage

By far the best way to save money against the possibility of a strong tropical storm affecting you directly is to avoid having to dig deep into your own pocket for home and automotive repairs, extended hotel-room rentals, and other large expenses. A surprising number of people neglect to ensure that they have adequate insurance coverage or even any insurance at all for hurricane damage. Carefully reviewing your current homeowner's policy could reveal opportunities to add specialized coverage riders at reasonable cost, potentially saving you tens of thousands of dollars if your luck runs out during stormy weather.

Keep a Cash Stash on Hand

In a true emergency, having a substantial amount of cash on hand could be vital. Fortunately, it's not hard to begin a habit of passing up unneeded or marginal purchases like decorative trinkets and expensive electronic toys in favor of a quick deposit into a classic cash jar. Your savings can accumulate into a tidy sum over an entire year. Cutting a piggy-bank-like slit into the lid for coin and currency deposits and then sealing the lid with superglue will help reinforce your willpower. Naturally, you should protect the jar's contents from potential flooding and light-fingered guests by storing the jar in a safe place such as a locked high shelf.

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Consider Waterproofed Basic Supplies

A widespread natural disaster often brings severe shortages of food, drinking water, and medical supplies. Price gouging and empty stores are common. Keeping a week or two's worth of canned food, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines, and personal items like toothbrushes and freshly laundered underwear could save you anguish and unnecessary expense after a devastating hurricane hits your entire region. The federal government maintains a website with tips on useful supplies.

Storing your items in individually sealed freezer bags that are in turn stored inside large, durable plastic totes with locking lids will help protect your investment from flooding. Large totes with handles also make it easier to quickly transport your basic supplies from a damaged residence to a hotel room or emergency shelter. Even if empty, a water transport jug can be rapidly filled from the tap after a news alert about an impending hurricane emergency in your area. Having a capacious water jug on hand could save you a fortune in bottled-water costs.


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