Make Sure You’re Protected Financially During Preparedness Month

FULTON – The Oswego County Emergency Management Office advises residents to protect their finances as part of their emergency preparations.

“National Preparedness Month is a good time to check your insurance coverage and make sure you have enough emergency funds in the event of a large-scale emergency or disaster,” said Dale A. Currier, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office.

This year’s campaign for National Preparedness Month during September urges people to “check your coverage” and “save for an emergency.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages people to think beyond putting together a disaster supplies kit and being informed.

“According to FEMA, more than half of all homeowners in the United States do not carry adequate homeowner’s insurance to replace their home and its contents if a catastrophic loss occurs,” Currier said. “Even if a Presidential Disaster Declaration makes funding available for individual homeowners, which is very unlikely, there may not be enough money to return your home to pre-disaster condition. Insurance is your first line of defense.”

Currier urged homeowners to check their insurance coverage and review their policy with their insurance agents.

“If your home is in an area that may flood, check with your agent about purchasing flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Document your property with photographs and videos, and write down descriptions including year, make and model numbers,” Currier continued. “Store your inventory somewhere it can be easily accessed after a disaster or put it into your disaster supplies kit.”

People should also consider saving money in an emergency savings account, Currier added.

“After a disaster, people at all income levels can face challenges rebuilding their lives. Having an emergency fund will help you meet the unexpected financial impact,” he said.

Making a list of personal financial, insurance, medical and other records now will help start the recovery process as soon as possible.

“You may need to have these documents at a moment’s notice while facing the immediate aftermath of a disaster,” Currier said. “Having a list in your kit will ease the stress of looking for them in the rubble of your home. By taking a few steps now to plan for the unexpected, you can help yourself recover from a disaster more quickly. As FEMA says, ‘Disasters happen. Prepare now. Learn how.’”

More information on planning for emergencies is available from the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, (315) 591-9150, and on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/emo, or at www.ready.gov.