Hurricane preparation includes finances as well

Experts say there are several ways you can begin planning now

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hurricane season is now underway. You mostly gather nonperishable supplies such as can goods, bottled water and crackers. But it's equally important to make sure you are prepared financially in the event of a hurricane.

Karl Rogers, branch manager for 121 Financial Credit Union's Arlington branch says we have always been instructed to prepare for electrical outages and the need to have a supply of cash, food, and a full tank of gas in the car as a part of our hurricane plan.

"It is just as important to look at how and when you can access your financial information with your credit union or bank," Rogers says. "While you may have prepared hurricane kits with flashlights, food supplies, pet supplies, medicine, etc., it is important that you not forget about your financial matters and make plans for those."

Rogers says there are several ways to prepare.

"Almost all financial institutions now have online banking products that give the consumer the option of reviewing their accounts on the Internet," Rogers says. "This will provide them with instant information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

That access can be from any computer or cell phone that can access the Internet.

Rogers says you should also make sure your financial institution has your up to date address, telephone numbers.

"That includes a cell phone, and e-mail addresses will assist them in getting in contact with you when important communications are forthcoming," Rogers says.

Mobile banking is gaining wide acceptance among consumers, Rogers says. It gives them access in the hands for whenever they need it.

"Direct deposit is also a great choice," Rogers says. "By having your funds electronically deposited, there is no worry about how and when you will be receiving your check and when you will be able to deposit it into your account."
Other suggestions from Rogers include keeping a list of all of your financial accounts, credit cards, and contact phone numbers for them.

"A listing of websites is also beneficial to save time," Rogers says. "All of these could be put on a disk or thumb drive ahead of time for easy packing."

As further preparation, Rogersa suggests you start putting away extra cash now in a savings account as rainy day funds.

Rogers says, "While you hope you never need it, if you do encounter an emergency situation, you won't be making a stressful situation worse by not having the money to pay for unforeseen needs."

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