The storms this season have more than proved themselves to be extremely dangerous causing loss of life and destruction of entire towns. USAA urges all wary consumers to take steps now to protect their families and their homes, as well as their finances.

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting a particularly harrowing hurricane season this year, with close to 18 named tropical storms that could develop into three to six major hurricanes, all necessary precautions must be taken to stay safe, but protecting your loved ones and possessions does not stop with the physical things around you.

Your personal and household finances will probably be the last thing on your mind during a natural disaster, so USAA advises anyone living in a region that could be struck by floods or hurricanes, especially those in the coastal areas, to take the necessary precautions now.

“Personal safety is priority one, so having an evacuation plan is critical, as is having plans for protecting your home and vehicles,” says Elizabeth Gulick, executive director of USAA’s national catastrophe and flood operations. “Hurricane readiness is more than boarding up windows. It means getting your financial house in order, too, to prevent a natural disaster from becoming a personal financial disaster.”

Protect your household finances

By following these simple household-finance steps, you will be more ready to return to normal in the event of a hurricane:

  • Take the time to check over all your current insurance policies before the storm season, especially flood and property insurance, to make sure you are adequately covered.
  • USAA, like most banks and financial institutions, stores important financial documents such as bank statements and insurance policy documents online. It would be prudent to utilize services like rackspace to securely store wills, tax records, and credit card receipts so they are always accessible via the internet, and safe.
  • Take advantage of automated online bill-paying solutions, offered by most banks and credit card companies, to avoid unexpected delays and annoying late fees in the likely event that the post is disrupted.
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