As a Floridian, it’s vitally important that you begin preparing for the next hurricane by having a plan in place and supplies on hand, whether you’re new to the area or you’ve lived here your whole life.
Before gathering supplies, reference a hurricane preparedness guide like the one provided by the Department of Homeland Security. It’ll help you make a plan, create a supply checklist and provide information on what to expect. Just don’t forget about your finances while stocking up on batteries, water and non-perishables. This is a crucial element that, if overlooked, could impact your ability to effectively weather the storm and its aftermath.
To help your family prepare financially for the next hurricane, add these five steps to your readiness checklist so you can be ready for whatever comes our way.1. Establish an emergency fund.
Hurricanes can be expensive. Be ready by having funds available in an emergency savings account. This will help you cover the costs of an evacuation, last-minute supplies, repairs and extended power outages.2. Keep hard copies of important documents readily available.
Store paper copies of your important financial, insurance and identifiable information in a waterproof container, rather than relying on electronic records. Keep these documents with your hurricane supplies that can be accessed quickly and easily.3. Automate your finances.
- Enroll in direct deposit. Avoid wasting precious time standing in line at a branch waiting to deposit checks. Direct deposit is the simplest way to get payroll and other regularly issued checks deposited into your account.
- Download our app. With FAIRWINDS Mobile Banking, you can deposit checks remotely, transfer funds, pay bills, check your account balance and more.
- Set up bill payer. By using Bill Payer to manage your bills, you can schedule payments to be sent automatically — giving you one less thing to think about during and after the storm.
If the power goes out for a long period of time, you may not be able to withdraw cash from an ATM and vendors may not be able to accept credit or debit card payments. You should have enough smaller bills (avoid $50s and $100s) in your wallet to sustain your family for at least 72 hours. Also, be sure do it sooner rather than later to avoid long lines.
As you begin your hurricane preparations, locate the branches and ATMs near you — including any Publix Presto! ATM — and then check out our convenient services, so you can remain in control of your finances whenever there’s a storm tracking our way and every day.5. Check your insurance coverage.
Give your insurance agent a ring and ask them to review your policy with you to ensure that you have sufficient coverage. This is one step you’ll want to take care of at the start of hurricane season because, in some cases, insurance policy changes can take 30 days to activate.