Lake Mary, FL (PRWEB) June 22, 2012
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, spanning June to November, is expected to be near normal according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During the six-month season NOAA predicts nine to 15 named storms will occur, of which four to eight will strengthen into hurricanes. To help Central Floridians prepare CFE Federal Credit Union (CFE) offers these five tips to mitigate financial disaster:
1. Review insurance coverage annually. Review insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage for your home and property. Check hurricane deductibles and determine how you will pay for out-of-pocket costs in the event of loss or damage. Be aware that most homeowners’ policies do not include flood insurance, so purchase a separate policy if your home is located in a flood zone. If renting, obtain renters’ insurance.
2. Inventory possessions every two years. Document your property in writing and with video or photographs. Record model and serial numbers, and include an estimated value for each item in the event you must file a claim. Receipts and professional appraisals updated every two to three years provide the best proof of value. Maintain your inventory list and keep original receipts in a safe deposit box with copies in a portable disaster kit.
3. Safeguard financial information. Download CFE’s Financial Checklist to record important contact numbers for insurance providers, financial institutions, lenders, credit cards, and landlords as applicable. Keep your financial checklist, property inventory, emergency numbers, prescription copies, pet records, insurance policies, recent paystubs, warranties, mortgage/lease, digital backups, and safe deposit key in a kit that can be taken with you if you’re evacuated. Store original documents such as social security cards, titles, deeds, passports, birth, death, adoption, and marriage certificates in a safe deposit box.
4. Establish an emergency fund. Have enough cash to last three days since power outages may disable ATMs and financial institutions, and keep a supply of quarters for pay phones incase cellular service is unavailable. Additionally, employment may suffer after a disaster, so be prepared with three to six months of income in an emergency savings account. If you haven’t started saving, do it now.
5. Be diligent after the storm. File insurance claims quickly and take detailed notes when speaking with insurance adjusters. If you disagree with the settlement offer consider hiring an independent claims adjuster to build your case. Also, be leery of con artists who prey upon storm victims. Always obtain multiple estimates from licensed, bonded contractors and verify their references. All agreements should be in writing and outline the scope of work, materials, costs, and a payment schedule. Do not pay more than 30% up front, and the final payment should not be made until the job is done.
Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage, but it does not have to lead to financial devastation. CFE’s VP of Branch Operations, Shirley Shoemaker, explains, “CFE wants to help our members be financially prepared, so if a hurricane strikes they’ll recover more quickly with less financial stress.” For more tips on how to be prepared for hurricane season, check out CFE’s hurricane preparedness toolkit at mycfe.com/be-prepared.
CFE Federal Credit Union was founded in 1937 and currently serves 121,000 members. As of April 30, 2012, CFE had total assets of over $1.347 billion and deposits of over $1.125 billion. Membership eligibility includes anyone who lives, works, attends school, volunteers, or worships in the Orange, Osceola, Lake or Seminole Counties of Florida.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/HurricanePreparedness/Tips/prweb9621192.htm