Exploring ways to mitigate the financial impact that could result from a disaster should be a priority for every family.

Preparedness tips: Check your coverage, save for an emergency

The Sept. 14 Skywrighter reinforced the significance of learning life-saving and practical skills that could be essential in the event of an emergency or disaster. While survival remains paramount, the recovery period that follows a disaster can be emotionally and financially devastating. With this in mind, exploring ways to mitigate the financial impact that could result from a disaster should be a priority for every family.

As a first line of defense, you should consider documenting your property, understanding your options for coverage, and ensuring you have insurance for relevant hazards in your area. If a disaster strikes, adequate insurance is the best way to ensure you are financially able to rebuild, repair or replace your damaged property. However, it is estimated that less than half of all homeowners in the U.S. have adequate coverage to do so.

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Did you know that floods remain the most common and costly disaster in the United States, which costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damages to your home. Yet, most homeowner’s and renter’s policies do not provide coverage for floods or earthquakes.

As a general rule, if it rains in your area it can flood. To find out if you live in a flood-prone area and how insurance can lessen the financial impact, you can visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-4FLOODS. When reviewing your options for coverage, consider all other hazards as well.

As another line of defense, consider saving for an emergency. Disasters can come at a moment’s notice, so planning ahead and considering how you will pay your bills should be a priority.

According to the Federal Reserve, more than 40 percent of Americans do not have $400 in savings. Resources like the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit at http://www.Ready.gov/financial-preparedness are available to help you. As one of many tools out there, EFFAKs are designed to assist you and your family to collect and secure crucial documents you may need following a disaster.

For more information on preparedness, visit the Air Force’s Be Ready webpage at www.BeReady.af.mil. In addition, contact your local unit emergency management representative or the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Emergency Management Office.

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