Financial Tips in Case of Disaster

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We never want to assume the worst, but we're always thankful when we know that we can handle whatever life dishes out. It's a serious topic, and one we don't take lightly. That's why we think it's important that you review some information that could help you in time of distress.

The American Red Cross provides a free publication to help you through all of the stages of disaster recovery. That publication offers guidance on financial matters in a section called RECOVERING FINANCIALLY. It helps you identify the steps you may have to take to regain your financial soundness following a disaster or tragedy.

We've published the information here in hopes that you might find it useful:

  • Contact your insurance agent, broker or insurance company as soon as you can to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Provide a general description of the damage.
  • Prepare a list of damaged or lost items and provide receipts if possible. Consider photographing or videotaping the damage where it occurred for further documentation to support your claim.
  • If possible, keep damaged items or portions of those items until the claims adjuster has visited your home. Do not throw away anything you plan to claim without discussing it with your adjuster first.
  • Keep receipts for all additional expenses that you may incur such as lodging, repairs or other supplies.
  • Make copies of all documents and pictures given to your claims adjuster or insurance company.
  • Besides insurance, there are many questions related to taxes, expenses and determining just how you will recover from a personal financial point of view.
  • Please see Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues (A5076), a helpful publication found at
  • The Red Cross’ “Safe & Well” database lets you notify family and friends of your status in an emergency.