Emergencies become disasters without preparation.
In life, the unexpected happens.
Sometimes this is good.
Other times it is bad.
Quite often, this involves incapacity or death.
These tragedies are made worse if you and your family are caught completely off guard.
How can you protect yourself from this?
According to a recent The Dalles Chronicle article titled “Prepare now for emergencies,” you should plan for the worst-case scenarios.
Sign your health care directives and powers of attorney.
These allow you to give authority to a trusted individual to make medical decisions and act financially on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Next, you should be sure to draft a will and possibly a trust, depending on your circumstances.
Do you have a family member with special needs?
If yes, you should create a special needs trust to help protect his or her inheritance and any government benefits.
Next, you will want to protect important items and documents from destruction in the event of flood, fire, or tornado.
Perhaps this is in a safe deposit box or a fireproof house safe.
What else should you keep here?
First, you should have your estate planning documents.
Next, you will want to compile a list of your attorneys, dentist, doctors, financial advisor, and insurance agent so your family knows who to contact when needed.
List our your passwords, as you and your back-up decision makers will need these, too.
Having some cash stored away will be important if an ATM is unavailable to facilitate essential purchases.
Keep a digital and hard copy record of your official documents and identification.
These include your birth certificate, divorce papers, health insurance cards, marriage license, passport, military discharge DD 214, and Social Security card.
Remember to include your insurance policies for auto, home, long-term care, and life.
Keep recent financial statements for credit cards, bank accounts, investment account, loans, and or mortgages.
You should also have the last three years of tax-returns on file.
Check to see whether you CPA has copies as well.
Any legal document for your estate plan or even your deeds to your home and care should be kept safe.
Keeping important documents assembled in a memory stick, notebook, and safe location and letting your loved ones know how to access them is key.
Digital photos and videos are strong evidence of the valuables you own.
And they are date stamped.
Email these to a friend or family member as well.
Once you have these compiled, organize them and make sure you can get them on your way out in an emergency.
Having your computer and charger ready to go as well will be helpful in an emergencies as so much of your life is managed online.
The hope is you will never face an emergency situation.
Still, you will have peace of mind if you are prepared for anything.
Reference: The Dalles Chronicle (July 16, 2019) “Prepare now for emergencies”