Prepare Kansas

Category: Prepare Kansas challenge

#PrepareKansas – Week 3, Creating a Financial Grab-and-Go Kit

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Elizabeth Kiss, Family Resource Management Specialist.

If you had a few precious minutes to leave your home or office, what would you take? This week’s challenge is to create a financial grab-and-go kit.

Why is this important? If you have your most important documents and information at hand in a grab-and-go kit, it can help to get you back on firm financial footing more quickly.

Your kit should be a waterproof, fireproof container that can be taken with you at a moment’s notice. Be sure to keep it in a secure place in your home.

What should you include in your kit? At a minimum you’ll want to have some cash and the financial information and personal identification needed to conduct your day-to-day financial life.

Other information to include in your grab-and-go kit:

  • Personal information such as copies of driver’s licenses, passport, and social security cards and key documents that may be needed to restore your financial records
  • Account information such as financial account numbers; copies of ATM, debit, and credit cards; insurance cards, policies, or other proof of insurance coverage; and contact information for all financial service and insurance providers
  • Household inventory
  • Safe deposit key
  • Information about prescription medication
  • Contact information (phone, email, or web site) for family members, doctors, veterinarians
  • Pocket notebook and pen or pencil

Family records, such as birth, marriage, or death certificates may be kept in a safe deposit box. If they are, consider making copies for your grab-and-go box. Other items that may be in safe deposit box include wills, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bond as well as titles to vehicles. Again, if the original is in a safe deposit box, you still may want to make copies for your grab-and-go box.

Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf

Today is National Preparedness Day!

Friday, September 15 is National Preparedness Day. Take part by continuing to work on the #PrepareKansas challenges!

  • Our challenge for Week 1 was to prepare, our update, your household inventory. Don’t forget to include the attic, basement, garage, and storage areas.
  • Our challenge for Week 2 is to review your homeowner’s/renter’s and auto insurance coverage. Things to review are what’s covered, your deductibles, and policy limits.

Not sure how to get started on these challenges? Jamie Rathbun, family and consumer sciences agent, K-State Research and Extension Midway District goes Live each Thursday in September to show you how.

Missed one of the Live events? Access the Week 1 recording at http://fb.me/41Y5Dvd8g  and the Week 2 recording at http://fb.me/1k1mj5v84 

Have a great weekend and check back on Monday for the Week 3 challenge!

#PrepareKansas — Week 2 Challenge, Reviewing Insurance Coverage

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Elizabeth Kiss, Family Resource Management Specialist.

Things change. Circumstances change. This week’s challenge is to review your insurance coverage. Why does this matter?

The purpose of insurance is to cover major losses, such as can occur with storms and other weather-related disasters. It is important to have adequate coverage on your home, vehicles, and possessions so that they can be repaired or replaced if damaged. It is recommended to review your insurance coverage at least annually. Every few years you may want to schedule a face-to-face review with your insurance agent.

Last week’s challenge was to create, or update, a home inventory. With that information you now have an accurate picture of your home and its contents in the event of damage or loss.

Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to be sure you have adequate coverage and understand the terms of the policy.

  • Policy limits. If your home and contents are not coverage for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost, rather than actual cash value, it is likely that the full cost of rebuilding after an insured loss is not covered.
  • Coverage. It is important to be clear about what disasters (perils) are covered. For example, not all policies cover damages caused by earth movement, flood, or sewer back-up. Some policies exclude certain types of property.
  • Deductibles. Insurance policies typically require that the policy holder pay a specific amount of money before the insurance company will pay a claim. This is the deductible. If possible, set aside emergency funds equal to the amount of the deductible. This can speed up the recovery process.

Review your auto insurance too. Vehicles depreciate and there is no reason to cover the car for more than it is currently worth. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto resulting from events other than collision such as windstorm, hail, or fire. Collision coverage is limited to damaged caused to your car from a collision.

Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf

Another informative resource is this new guide: Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness and Recovery. The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) partnered with the American Red Cross and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to produce the guide. Chapter 2, Protecting Your Property, is a good place to start.

Advisory, Watch, Warning? Understand these important terms!

September is National Preparedness Month. It is also our annual Prepare Kansas online challenge. Prepare Kansas 2017 will provide tips on getting financially prepared ahead of disasters and emergencies. This year’s program will be conducted through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook page. No registration is required, so Kansans and anyone interested in planning ahead for emergencies can follow on Facebook and this blog at any time during September, pick up handy information and interact with K-State extension specialists and agents. Today’s post is written by Mary Knapp, Climatologist and Associate Specialist Weather Data Library.

When we think of severe weather, it is important to understand the terms used.  The National Weather Service uses three specific terms to indicate the severity of the event.  Advisory means that hazardous weather is expected and likely to be an inconvenience, but not life threating if normal precautions are taken.  It is often used with heat events, floods or winter weather.  Watch means to WATCH for changing conditions.  The National Weather Service may indicate that they are expecting to issue watches several days before the storm’s arrival allowing more time for preparations. Warning means that the severe event is actually occurring.  Take action NOW.

In addition to the severity of the weather expected, the type of weather is also indicated.  These include heat waves, dust, high winds, thunderstorms, floods, winter weather, blizzards, ice storms, and, of course tornadoes.

What is meant by some severe weather events is usually self-explanatory.  Here are some of the definitions for less easily understood events.  A heat wave is defined as” A period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather.”  Typically, a heat wave lasts two or more days.  Thresholds temperatures for a heatwave vary by location and season.  A severe thunderstorm, rather than a regular thunderstorm, is one that can produce a tornado, winds of at least 58 miles per hour and/or hail at least 1″ in diameter.

A blizzard is a winter storm where the following severe conditions are expected to last 3 hours or longer: more sustained wind or frequent guest of at least 35 miles per hour, falling or blowing snow that reduces visibility to ¼ mile or less.  Ice storm is used to describe times when damaging accumulations of ice are expected during freezing rain situations. Significant accumulations of ice pull down trees and utility lines resulting in loss of power and communication. These accumulations of ice make walking and driving extremely dangerous. Significant ice accumulations are usually accumulations of a quarter of an inch or greater.

Whatever the weather expected, preparation can reduce the risk to you and your family.  Have an emergency plan and emergency kit available.  Review that plan and refresh the kit on a regular basis.  Monitor conditions more frequently if severe weather is in the forecast.  And, take action when necessary.