NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Do You Have a Financial Emergency Kit?

Do You Have a Financial Emergency Kit?



            Natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, tornados, ice storms, flooding, and wild fires often require that families evacuate in a hurry, leaving with no more than the clothes on their back. Those same sudden disasters may create dysfunction of entire communities, counties or regions for extended periods of time. During the disaster period, consumers may not have access to communications or financial assets which leads to the question – Do you have a financial emergency kit?

            Like other types of emergency kits- first aid, medical supplies – a financial emergency kit is ready to grab on a moment’s notice in the event of a disaster. Preplanning for such an emergency can save time, frustration, and money during disaster recovery.

            In addition to creating a family emergency evacuation plan where a pre-determined contact person or location is identified, make a plan for the financial records and other important information you may need to apply for disaster assistance. Gather and store these items in a portable, fireproof, waterproof box/bag that is complete and ready to go should a hurried escape be necessary.

            Items for your Financial Emergency Kit might include:

 Cash or traveler’s checks for several days/weeks living expenses

 Rolls of quarters

 Emergency phone numbers for: family/friends, workplace, schools, doctors, pharmacies, financial institutions and for pet owners –your pet’s veterinarian

 Insurance companies [both local agent and company headquarters]

 Credit card companies [write down credit card numbers]

            Next make copies of:

 Insurance policies/information [vehicle and homeowners]

 Prescriptions for medications and eyeglasses

 Health, dental and prescription insurance cards

 Children’s immunization records

 Bank account information; account numbers

 Photo copy front and back of all credit cards

 Birth certificates and passports

 Military service records

 Driver’s licenses for everyone in the household

 Back-up disc of computerized financial and other important records

 List of computer user names and passwords


            While it is important to keep copies of certain financial records, tax and other important documents in a safe deposit box, keep in mind you may not have access to banking services following the disaster to retrieve your information.


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