Review Your Financial Emergency Plan

Goal: Set up your financial emergency plan by creating a critical emergency action list and a financial first aid kit.

Disasters can happen quickly and come in many forms such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes.  When a disaster hits, you may have to leave your home temporarily or permanently and you will have limited time to gather what’s important to you.

You’ll need to make choices about what’s important and what is critical.  While your family photos may be important, having a copy of your financial records is critical.

What can you do to prepare for a disaster? 

Knowing what steps you need to take in the event of an evacuation, is important so that you can maximize your efforts. For example, are you going to remember all of the tasks that should be accomplished such as turning off your gas? And do you know how to turn off your gas and have the right tool to do so? These questions should be prepared for ahead of time. 

Create and maintain your financial first aid kit.  Your financial first kit can be a combination of paper documents and digital documents, whichever works best for you. You can use the Get Ready system to organize your documents whether they are physical, digital or a combination. Learn how to Organize Your Financial Documents (here). 

What steps do I need to take in an emergency? 

Create a critical emergency action list of what needs to done including important steps. Each of us leads a unique life and has our own specific considerations.  Take the time to carefully consider what steps are essential for you and your family.  An important starting point is if someone in your family has a significant medical issue. For example, my son has type 1 diabetes and it is critical for us to have all of his medical supplies including his insulin which he cannot live without along with ways to deliver the insulin.  

Keep a copy of the critical emergency action list in your emergency kit. Consider giving a copy (or partial copy) to a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor. Communicate with your family about the list to be sure they are familiar with it and so they can add their valuable input.

What documents do I need in an emergency? 

The documents that you will need in an emergency include those that can help you manage your financial life. These may include driver’s license (or other identification), passports, medical information including medication details, insurance policy summaries (company name & policy number). Optimally, you should have either your physical Get Ready Planner and Binder or a digital equivalent.  

Next steps: 

Access the Get Ready Toolkit and download the Critical Emergency Action List and the all of the Get Ready worksheets (here).

The Get Ready Toolkit also includes a subscription to the Get Ready Newsletter which follows the Get Ready Financial Calendar to help you stay financially prepared.

Pick up a copy of Get Ready: A Step-By-Step Planner for Maintaining Your Financial First Aid kit to guide you through organizing your financial documents and creating your cash flow statement and net worth statement. Pick up a copy on Amazon (here), purchase a digital copy (here) or learn more (here).