Financially Preparing for Natural Disasters and Other Misfortunes

Local and personal disasters are unpredictable and if we had enough foresight to steer clear of them we certainly would, but this is not a perfect world and finding the best solution for surviving a life altering circumstance needs to be a rock-solid well thought out strategy. Preparing for the ill-fated unknown experience that can only be imagined in one’s head, aside from the understandably obvious provisions that you and your family have grown accustom to, seems like common sense but have you given much thought to the financial dismay you might encounter. The FDIC has considered just about everything from a financial standpoint and produced the subsequent resource topics that can give you a leg up in an awful situation by assisting in the organization of your funds and personal records in the event that you have to pick up and go with little to no time to waste.

  • Are You Financially Prepared for a Disaster or Misfortune? – Natural or manmade disasters typically occur without any warning at all and, in addition to the physical damage, have the capability of catching you financially off-guard if faced with a displacement from your primary residence or while in the process of obtaining essentials that are vital to us in an emergency situation such as food, water, shelter, and medical care. Learn about what you need to have ready (e.g. personal identification, checkbook, ATM cards, cash, phone numbers, and account numbers), where to keep what you need (e.g. important documents, storage location of valuables, and evacuation bag), and various other items to consider (e.g. direct deposit, automatic bill pay, internet banking, and insurance coverage) in the unfortunate event of a crisis.
  • Financial Scams Related to Disasters That You Should Be Cautious Of – Criminals tend to prey on fear, kindheartedness, and the desire to help others during hardships, find new ways to avoid being the next victim by taking extra precautions such as not using cash for donating in cash, protecting your personal financial information, giving only to reputable and vetted charities, donating online via trusted organizations, and researching unsolicited home repair offers.
  • Preparation for Disaster and Bank Requirements – Disaster recovery and a good business continuity plan are required of banks by the federal and state banking regulators, the testing by financial institutions for proper data recovery methods, assurances of consumer cash availability, guarantee of ongoing continuation of customer services, and the expectations of efficient personnel that need to be in place during the unpredictable stages of a calamity.
  • Tips on Services for Online Consumer Protection – Protecting consumers and their shopping habits, banking activities, and bill payment methods are a top priority of the FDIC that include safeguards such as monitoring for the most recent internet threats (e.g. credit card fraud deterrence, fraudulent websites, malware, and spyware computer infections) and issuing customer alerts and banker guidance notices that help with effectively supporting safe banking activities online.
  • How to Safeguard Against Identity Thieves and Internet Scams – With the leading consumer fear and quickest growing financial crime being identity fraud, also know as identity theft, the FDIC has created this advantageous and informative presentation on the different steps consumers should take in order to secure their assets and devices (e.g. computer and cell phone) with access to the internet against identity thieves via the FDIC YouTube Channel.
  • New Measures for Bank User Verification – Fraudulent email and websites can mislead you into revealing bank credentials in an effort to steal your money, but now federal regulators and the FDIC intend to help institutions differentiate actual customers from scammers with internet service analysis of potential fraud and high-risk services using more than passwords (e.g. tokens, smart cards, pre-arranged images, digital certificates, and customer recognition software).
  • Potential Upcoming Retirement Account Limit Consideration and College Savings Account Expansion – Discover more about a potential increase from $100,000 to $250,000 in the federal insurance limits regarding IRAs and other account types where you choose the FDIC insured bank and a new rule for people who place 529-plan college savings into bank deposits, which will allow insurance for each participant up to $100,000 and not $100,000 for all participants combined.
  • Rule for Checks Subject to Temporary "Hold" upon Deposit – One technique in defending against monetary loss was the creation of a new financial rule that allows institutions to place a "hold" on qualifying deposits, which most of the time would be a check written against an account with inadequate funds, for approximately eleven business days, depending on locality and amount, prior to the deposited funds becoming available for withdraw.

"Consumer News Winter 2005/2006." FDIC. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, . Web. .

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