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Is It Time To “Weather Proof” Your Finances?


Everything You Need to Know About NIST Compliance

September 17, 2023

Natural disasters can strike unexpectedly, wreaking havoc on homes, communities, and finances. We have all read or seen the recent coverage of the devastating fires on Maui and the wind and flooding from Hurricanes Idalia and Hilary. And while you can't predict when or where these events will occur, you can take proactive steps to prepare your family and finances for the unexpected. With September 10th being the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season and fires continuing to rage in the West, it would be wise to make sure you are prepared now before disaster strikes.

Insurance Coverage

One of the first steps to disaster preparedness is ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage. Review your homeowner's, renters, and auto insurance policies to understand the extent of your coverage for natural disasters. Consider additional coverage if you live in an area prone to specific hazards like floods, earthquakes, or wildfires. It's crucial to understand your policy deductibles, coverage limits, and any exclusions. It would also be wise to review your life and disability insurance in the event you were unable to evacuate and become injured, or worse.

Emergency Cash

Maintaining an emergency fund is one of the most important, yet often neglected steps in building a financial plan. Set aside three to six months' worth of living expenses in a readily accessible account. This reserve can help you cover immediate needs such as temporary housing, food, and transportation in the aftermath of a disaster without tapping into your investments or retirement savings. You might also consider keeping some cash handy in a safe at home in the event the power is out, and you are unable to use your debit card.

Digital Copies and Safe Storage

Scan and save a digital copy of any important documents including insurance policies, ID, financial account information, wills, deeds, and titles. Store digital copies in a secure, cloud-based service like the eMoney Vault and keep any physical copies in a waterproof, fireproof container. This ensures that vital information is accessible even if your physical documents are damaged in a disaster and could save you weeks of headaches as you begin to rebuild your life. Consider taking pictures of your major household appliances such as TV's, computers, and furniture, or take a walk-through video of your home. You want as much proof as possible of the expensive items you owned when filing a claim with the insurance company.

Communication Plan

Most importantly, establish a communication and evacuation plan with family members and close friends or neighbors. It's possible to rebuild homes and replace things, but we cannot replace the people and loved ones in our lives. Ensure everyone knows where to go for safety and how to contact each other in the event of a disaster. Keep in mind that you may not be able to use a cell phone in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, so you may want to establish a meeting place like a nearby friend's house where you can go to reunite with loved ones. Keep your plan simple and easy to remember as the aftermath of a disaster can often be chaotic and confusing.

While no one likes to think that disaster will strike them, the truth is that anyone can be a victim of unexpected and devastating natural disasters. Whether you live in "tornado alley" or "hurricane country", you are exposed to crippling ice storms or fast-moving wildfires, no one can truly be "weather proofed." However, if you follow the simple tips and advice above then you can be assured that your finances will be secure and the road to recovery will be a short one.

If you would like to receive more information on making smart money moves for your future, be sure to contact us today!


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About the author

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Billy Daniels

Vice President, Private CFO®

A native of Mobile, AL, Billy moved to Atlanta shortly after graduating from The University of Alabama in 2013. Billy joined the oXYGen Financial team as a Vice President in 2019 with 4 years of previous experience in the financial services industry. In his spare time, Billy is an avid golfer, watches as many Braves games as he can, and pulls for his Crimson Tide on Saturdays in the Fall. Billy currently lives in Peachtree Corners, GA with his wife Molly, daughters Margot and Charlotte, and their dog Beau.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. Investor Disclosures: https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. https://Bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

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