Emergency Money Management


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Documentation a Key to Financial Recovery after a Disaster

I talked with a colleague yesterday and heard of her family’s ongoing recovery from flooding in their home. She commented, “I am amazed at all the decisions, forms, agencies and people we need to work with through this recovery. Every day I am calling someone or they are calling me for more information. It seems never ending.” I asked her if she was documenting all that she is doing. She told me she tries but sometimes forgets or just doesn’t have time.

Documentation is a key to recovery. You may think you will remember important conversations and details, but chances are you won’t be able to remember all of them. Families who have had a home flooded are under a great deal of stress and remembering all the many details is tough. 

Here are some tips for documenting during your recovery

  •  A notebook and calendar are helpful tools.
  •  Record the date of each entry and the crucial details of the conversation, appointments or meeting
  •  Include actions to be taken or next steps and who will do them.
  •  Record the complete name and contact information of the person and agency you are dealing with. 

Here’s an example:

 August 27

3:30 p.m.: Contacted Peoples Natural Gas Co. (phone number), requested gas shut off as soon as possible. Spoke with Tony Hernandez in Customer Service-Ext 3. They expect to do within 24-48 hours. Call back Customer Service to confirm before going into home. Billing authorized to stop on June 18. 


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