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How to financially prepare for natural disasters

While we get to enjoy beautiful beaches, warm weather and incredible coffee, there are also some downsides to Aussie life. That’s right, natural disasters. Unfortunately, weather events like bushfires, cyclones and flooding are an unavoidable part of living down under.

Although we can’t predict when or where these events will happen, we can make sure we’re as prepared as possible. When disaster strikes, you should be focussing on staying safe. Not stressing about money.

Stashing some emergency cash securely in your home will come in handy during a natural disaster.

General Information only.

*** Gedda Money is not a financial adviser. The information contained below is general in nature and is not personal financial advice. Therefore, you should consider seeking independent financial advice to determine if the information below is appropriate for your personal circumstances. ***

So yeah, a natural disaster could happen at any moment. But there’s no need to freak out. All you need to do is set aside one day to follow these 8 simple steps to financially prepare for a natural disaster.

1. Review your home and contents insurance

Paying for home and contents insurance can feel like throwing money down the drain. But one day, when you need it, you’ll be so glad that it’s there.

While home and contents or renters insurance can’t stop the damage from a natural disaster, it can give you some peace of mind.

However, insurance companies can be sneaky, so it’s extra important to read every letter of the fine print. Make sure everything you need to be covered is covered. If there are terms or concepts that you don’t understand or can’t tell if you’re covered for, ASK! You’re paying that insurance company good money. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to make sure you’re comfortable with your coverage.

2. Review your car insurance

Are you underinsured when it comes to car insurance? Most Aussies are! Once you hang up the phone with your home insurance provider, it’s time to dial up your car insurer. Make sure you’re insured for damages incurred by a natural disaster for the amount required to get back on the road. Also, when it comes to insurance, loyalty can be kind of useless. Do your research and shop around for the best deal. Ideally, the most coverage for the lowest price.

3. Check your personal insurance

Two insurances down, one(ish) to go. Personal insurance includes things like life insurance, health insurance and income insurance. While this isn’t something you’ll be thinking about during a natural disaster, it’ll be handy to have in the aftermath. Since you’re already sitting down, you may as well take this opportunity to read through all of your current policies. Or, if you don’t have any personal insurance, do some research and consider adding it.

4. Have an emergency fund

It’s financial literacy 101 to ensure you’re always putting money aside into an emergency account. This isn’t for the “I really need a weekend away” emergencies. It’s for the big stuff. Things like my house burned down and I need to find somewhere to stay, or, my place of work was flooded so I don’t have an income. This is where your emergency fund comes in. Ideally, it should be 3-6 months’ worth of expenses to reduce the financial pressure of a big emergency.

5. Make copies of important documents

Copies. Copies. Copies. You won’t realise how important those documents are until you need them. Keep copies of everything, everywhere. These important documents may include insurance, wills, prescriptions, bank account information, birth and marriage certificates, medical records, visa/passports and emergency contact details. Keep the hard copies in a secure container (fire & waterproof), have digital copies online, on a hard drive, as well as on a hard drive that you store at a trusted friend or family member’s residence.

6. Withdraw cash

Stashing some emergency cash securely in your home will come in handy during a natural disaster. Weather events often come with widespread power outages. If EFTPOS machines and ATMs are down, and you need fuel and food, having access to cash can help you evacuate with ease.

7.     Use direct deposits and automatic payments

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, your first thought most likely won’t be your loan repayments or mobile phone bill. By having automatic payments and direct deposits already set up, you won’t be hit with those nasty late fees. If you know you’ll fall short of paying a bill or repayments on a loan, often your credit provider will make allowances if you just pick up the phone and tell them what’s going on. Chances are they will be more than understanding, offering options and solutions to help you through the difficult period.

Unfortunately, natural disasters are a regular occurrence in Australia. While protecting lives is absolutely the priority, knowing how to set yourself up financially will help you get back on track as soon and as smoothly as possible. If you currently have a Gedda Money loan and experience a natural disaster, please get in contact with us as soon as possible. Our team will help you find a solution to ease the financial pressure.

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