Capital City Bank Offers Tips for Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricane season lasts June 1 through November 30, and being prepared to weather the storm involves many important areas – not the least of which is your personal finances. While you’re stocking up on emergency supplies and mapping out your evacuation route, remember to account for your financial situation.
Capital City Bank takes every step possible to ensure its clients have uninterrupted access to accounts and services and their deposits remain protected during a natural disaster. To make sure your household is equally protected, Capital City Bank offers the following tips:
- Know your risk. FEMA’s map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding.
- Assemble an emergency kit. The emergency kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, at least three days of non-perishable foods and water, towels and a supply of any necessary medications. Stay informed of the storm’s path and progress by monitoring Wireless Emergency Alerts via text message and having a battery-powered radio or TV available.
- Develop a family communications plan. Know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together, if separated; and what you will do in different situations. Having a plan can eliminate some of the stress and confusion.
- Establish an evacuation route. Prior to a storm, contact your local American Red Cross to locate the shelter nearest you or download their Shelter Finder App. Identify the safest route to get there, and be sure to check if family pets are allowed.
- Secure your home. Outdoor furniture and other objects can pose a potential hazard. Turn off propane tanks and other utilities if instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
- Protect financial documents. In the event of a disaster, you will need identification and financial documents to begin the recovery process. Safeguard important documents in a bank safety deposit box, computer storage devices (USB drive, CD/DVD), and/or waterproof storage containers, including:
- Personal identification (driver’s licenses, birth certificates, military IDs, passports, etc.)
- Financial account information (checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts, credit/debit cards).
- Insurance policies on all personal property, including appraisals, and lists and photos of valuable items.
- Ownership or leasing documentation for homes and vehicles (deeds, titles, registrations, rental agreements, etc.)
- All health and medical insurance documentation.
- Know the details of your insurance policy. Talk with your agent to determine if you have adequate coverage or if you need to reassess your plan. This is especially important if your property’s flood map has changed.
Of course, it is our hope that our clients never have to put their emergency plans into action, but in the event a storm approaches, following are a few simple steps you can take to ensure the necessary financial items are on hand and at the ready when you need them:
- Withdraw a small amount of cash to have on hand.
- Pack checks, safety deposit box keys, phone numbers and other important documents in a waterproof bag where they can be easily accessed.
- Enroll in online and mobile banking so you will have access to your accounts anywhere you have an internet connection. Services like electronic bill payments, funds transfers, direct deposit and account alerts can help you stay on top of your finances and ahead of late fees no matter where you are.
For more detailed information on hurricane preparedness, visit the FEMA website at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes. FEMA also offers a free app that is available for download through your smart phone.