Preparing for disaster

June 25, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Experts agree that homeowners and renters should have a preparedness plan. Joan Jensen, president and CEO of Central Credit Union of Illinois was in our ABC7 studio to offer strategies and precautions.

    1. Create an Important Numbers List
  • Maintain a thorough record of important account numbers and company contacts.
    - Checking and Savings
    - Mortgage and Insurance
    - Titles and Wills
    - Pension
    - Medical History and Prescriptions
    - Auto and Student Loans
    - Credit Cards
  • Include phone numbers for branches that lie outside your immediate geographic area.
  • Keep back up paper copy off site.

    2. Document Belongings
  • Create a comprehensive visual record of your family's personal belongings.
  • Itemize possessions with serial numbers and purchase information. Record with pictures and video.
  • Update the list annually or as you purchase new items. Keep a back-up paper copy off site.

    3. Determine Values
  • Research current replacement costs for all your property and belongings.
  • Check to see that you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Maintain updated professional appraisals for jewelry and other heirlooms.

    4. Plan the Who When Where
  • List important contact information (family, friends, doctors, attorneys, insurance representatives, financial institutions, businesses providing services to your household, FEMA and other disaster relief numbers).
  • Establish a prearranged meeting spot and communication plan for reuniting your family.
  • Keep an emergency fund (cash, liquid assets, line of credit, credit cards).
  • Research possible temporary housing locations.
  • Keep master copies of important information in a central location at home and another copy off site some distance from your home.

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