HOUSTON - You not only want to prepare for a coming storm with food and supplies, you want to make sure you're financially prepared.
You need to have access to important financial information, including your insurance policies and other documents, in case anything happens to your family or home.
He also suggests collecting copies of your insurance policies and other important papers. "Your will, medical directives, power of attorney, deed to your home, maybe a declaration page of your insurance policies.
You also might want to have a list of key contact phone numbers with insurance," said Gardner. Gardner suggests having a copy with you, putting a copy in a safe deposit box, and sending a copy to a family member in another city so you have multiple ways of accessing the information.
Also, grab recent utility bills in case you evacuate and need to show them to get back into your home. Take pictures of your family members and pets, should you become separated. And have notes on your family's medical needs and medications."If something happens to you, someone will know what medications you're on," said Gardner.
Be sure to have cash on hand, $100 per person per day. "What you might do is get ones and fives because if you go to someone, 'How much is that bag of ice? Well, ma'am, it's five dollars. Well, all I've got is a $20 or $50 bill. Well, I don't have change."And if your insurance premiums are coming due, Gardner suggests, "It might not hurt to go ahead and pay it early, so that policy does not lapse."
One more tip: Write down important phone numbers on cards and give one to each family member so that everyone has contact information if you become separated.