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Is Your Family Financially Prepared for Natural Disaster?

Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be financially ready. Starting early and having adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access to your important records and accounts will help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), a joint publication from Operation Hope and the FEMA Citizen Corps, can help you prepare now. Use the EFFAK to identify your important documents, medical records, and household contracts. When completing the kit, be sure to include pictures or a video of your home and your belongings and keep all of your documents in a safe space. Visit the EFFAK collection of resources to download useful tools including:

** The 2014 EFFAK in English, Spanish, and a reader enabled English version that can be filled out on-line;

** An EFFAK overview PowerPoint in English and Spanish;

** EFFAK checklists and forms in standard and reader enabled/fillable versions

Safeguarding your finances and important records is easy if you start now. And this is one of the 10 ways to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! Register your preparedness action at www.ready.gov/prepare.

In addition to using the EFFAK, these other steps can help you get started:

** Download phone applications that can help during emergencies, like the FEMA mobile APP to access information on preparedness, response and recovery resources as well as disaster assistance resources.

** Enroll in Go Direct to minimize disruptions to receiving any federal benefits you may receive.

** Plan ahead of time to recover: Our partners at USDA have created great resources to help get you started including Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit and the Disaster Recovery Log.

For Organizations:

Encourage people throughout your organization to be financially prepared. You can hold a brown bag meeting or make a presentation at an existing staff meeting to provide more information. Download the EFFAK Overview power point and the Safeguarding Your Valuables Facilitator Guide to support your discussion. Register your discussions at www.Ready.gov/prepare to be counted with millions of others around the country take steps to increase their preparedness.

And remember, being financially prepared means more than planning for disasters. Help ensure a strong financial future for you and your family by taking simple steps now to make your money work for you in the long run. Order a free packet of publications from USA.gov and you’ll get tips on retirement benefits, smart saving for college, avoiding financial setbacks and more. You’ll also get a copy of the Consumer Action Handbook, full of tips on how to avoid scams and fraud to protect your money and financial future. Share this free resource with your family and friends, so you can all be financially prepared this month.

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