Natural Disasters: Be Prepared, Not Afraid
Washington State has not experienced the same severity of storms affecting the Gulf and East Coast states, but that doesn’t mean residents shouldn’t prepare just in case. The Washington State Emergency Management Division advises residents to ready themselves for up to two weeks of possible interruption. Since the duration and extent of damage caused by a natural disaster can’t be known in advance, planning is a great way to reduce your anxiety before and after a disaster.
At LNWM, the financial plans we create for clients lay the groundwork for preparedness — adequate insurance coverage, easily accessible funding for at least several months, and secure storage of documents that must be in the original, including wills, marriage and birth certificates.
In general, financial preparedness entails:
- Keeping personal, legal, health and financial records in a disaster-proof box. If you already have one, make sure the information is updated. Read FEMA Financial First Aid Kit guide here for a detailed checklist.
- Keeping enough cash in your disaster-proof box to cover 1-2 weeks of living expenses like hotel, transportation, and food. Having too much cash at home can invite theft or property damage.
- Setting aside an additional amount of cash in a savings account. The suggestion is to have at least one month’s living expenses accessible.
- Ensure that you have adequate property and health insurance coverage.
For all the ways to be prepared —from supplies to communication plans—visit the State of Washington Emergency Management website.
LNWM has in place an extensive business continuity plan that allows us to continue serving clients with little or no downtime, during a natural disaster or other disruption. LNWM’s plan includes provisions for a secure website hosted outside of Seattle, where key operational and client information can be securely uploaded; externally hosted e-mail service; backup phone lines located outside of Seattle and which do not rely on the Seattle area phone system; and a contract for alternate office locations.