Financial Preparedness from FEMA

A place to discuss special considerations involved prepping and reacting to a disaster with children, pets and other family concerns.

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MPMalloy
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Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:22 pm


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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Halfapint » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:55 pm

Raptor always brings this up when people are all about beans, bandaids, and bullets. What's the point of having all the preps in the world if you cant afford to get the family into a motel when a tornado, flood, earthquake, or whatever hits. Start with a 1 month, then 6, then 12, then 24.

It's something I'm really working on for myself. I've paid off any and all debts and am now working on NOT buying shit and just saying until I purchase a house. That way I can pad my account I use to pay the mortgage.
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by MPMalloy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:04 am

I need to do this myself. That's one reason why I posted the link. :wink:

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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:20 am

I see they have some apps on there. I regard Federally supported apps to be generally untrustworthy. The Federal Government is large target for hackers and does a poor job of securing data or ensuring data is secured.

When Hurricane Andrew rolled through it took down the data US SE clearance facility for ATM transactions. Banks went ahead and allowed allowed transactions anyway until they could get it back up and running. They did not make this public knowledge to the time for obvious reasons.

I would not count on that in the future.
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by woodsghost » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:55 am

Pretty freaked out about giving info to the Fed too. Downloaded the PDF to read and talk over with my wife.

One link on that page was for the PreparAthon. I don't like the name, but I can't think of a better one. It looks interesting.

http://community.fema.gov/

I like that FEMA is telling Americans to be prepared. One article is titled "You are the help until help arrives." It is a program, but I like that it puts individual responsibility on citizens.

http://community.fema.gov/story/first-i ... lang=en_US

Cool stuff. Thanks MP!
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by raptor » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:49 pm

This is a great link to check out. I agree about the security of .gov apps and actually any app for that matter. Nevertheless it is a good tool to help every one brain storm about the topic.

It may be more entertaining to plan for a zombie attack than say review your insurance coverage. However, reviewing your insurance coverage is more likely to pay dividends than planning for zombies.

Why mention insurance? Because many financial risks can be addressed with insurance. Keep that in mind when reviewing your risks.

The other thing to keep in mind if you do not have an emergency cash reserve yet. The odds are good that you can get a credit card. This is a good source of emergency funds. Yes credit card debt is bad but not having money for a hotel room after a fire, flood or whatever is worse.

Do not use it unless there is a bona fide emergency. If it is an insured event the insurance company will pay the bill. If it is not an insured event it gives you time to sort things out and regroup.

Obviously a cash reserve is better, but proper planning can only do do much. Sometimes you have to leverage your resources.

Saving up a cash reserve is really not difficult. It does require self discipline though. It also will require foregoing some things. However, in doing without these things you get the opportunity to discover if indeed they are valuable to you.

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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by taipan821 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:30 pm

I will add a few notes regarding cash on hand from experiences in disaster areas.

1. carry more small denominations than large. it allows you to get closer to the price. I was once buying from a small store without power (cash only) everyone was paying in $50 bills, the store simply ran out of change

2. carry coins for use in vending machines, phone booths and coin operated laundries

3. for god's sake hide your cash...need i say more?

Personally, My cash stockpile is slowly growing, I'm a uni student so its slow to grow
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Stercutus » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:32 am

I'd also say anyone planning on using a credit card and a hotel as part of a bail out plan (seen it done plenty of times) would benefit from a hotel based credit card. You can bank points that you can use to stay at hotel for really cheap. So long as you don't run any balance on the card you can save a fortune. I have not paid for a domestic hotel room in several years (I stay in hotels about 15-20 nights a year).

Also if you get a branded card they enroll you in their "club". This can mean (depending upon the club, the level, etc) that you can get a hotel room when there might not be any "available", anywhere.
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by raptor » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:52 am

Credit card points and reward points are a long and complex subject. However, I add an emphatic yes to concept of using credit cards as the primary payment method to every expense possible assuming that 1. You pay the balance without fail each month and 2. These are expenses incurred that are necessities.

For instance I pay power bills, telephone, cable service, auto insurance and professional dues by credit card. These are all items that I have to pay and as well cutting down on checks written I get points that can used later for other uses.

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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by flybynight » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:28 am

What a little gem of a thread this has become. Thanks to all. :clap:
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by 00dlez » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 am

raptor wrote:Credit card points and reward points are a long and complex subject. However, I add an emphatic yes to concept of using credit cards as the primary payment method to every expense possible assuming that 1. You pay the balance without fail each month and 2. These are expenses incurred that are necessities.

For instance I pay power bills, telephone, cable service, auto insurance and professional dues by credit card. These are all items that I have to pay and as well cutting down on checks written I get points that can used later for other uses.
Growing up I never had a credit card - cash/debit only. One needs to use one, though, to build a credit score and qualify for house/car/etc loans if needed. I got a card and only use it for gas - but its there if I need it
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Anianna » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:41 pm

Stercutus wrote:I'd also say anyone planning on using a credit card and a hotel as part of a bail out plan (seen it done plenty of times) would benefit from a hotel based credit card. You can bank points that you can use to stay at hotel for really cheap. So long as you don't run any balance on the card you can save a fortune. I have not paid for a domestic hotel room in several years (I stay in hotels about 15-20 nights a year).

Also if you get a branded card they enroll you in their "club". This can mean (depending upon the club, the level, etc) that you can get a hotel room when there might not be any "available", anywhere.
The problem with some of those is that the points expire. I find straight up cash back cards to be the better bet, at least for me and my family since we travel only sporadically. With the cards I have, I get 5% cash back from Amazon purchases (they sell gear *wink wink*), 5% cash back on gasoline, and 2% cash back on everything else. My rewards aren't limited to something I may or may not use, so I don't have to wait until they build up to use it or be limited to using my rewards for one thing.

I will reiterate, as you and raptor have said, this kind of thing only works if you pay off the cards in full every single month and are not late (many of these cards will charge the interest regardless of full payment if you are late with the payment, making the rewards essentially useless).
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Stercutus » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:12 pm

Yeah, I get 5% on Amazon too. Let's just say I have more than one card (all at zero balance at the end of the month) and leave it at that.

I used to get 10% on Amazon, Barclays used to have a card that gave 10% off on "book stores". Amazon is considered a bookstore. They got rid of it before it bankrupted the company. Gosh I miss that card.

It is pretty easy to get 2% on gas. There are a few cards that will go 5% on gas.

Cards companies will do just about anything to get business. Fidelity has card that makes automatic deposits to an IRA of 2% of your annual purchases for example. Disney has a card for purchases at Disney and Disney stores. However I have found travel cards tend to offer the best deals on free stuff. If you need to go somewhere in a hurry or need a quick hotel room without paying a dime they are a good option.

Back in 2011 when the tornadoes rolled through our area I had a friend who packed up her family and went to the beach for a week until the power came back on. Hell, if you are going to bail out somewhere Gulf Shores is a good an option as any and better than most.
From this day to the ending of the world,
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by Ellywick » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:42 am

Love that this is a thread. The link mentioned some things I think a lot of people overlook. A lot of times people think about disasters that would be world-altering, when the most common things we should prepare for are either time-limited and/or those where many resources (such as banks) would either still be available or only out of commission for a short time.

Although I am being a bit hypocritical (as this is one of the many items on my to do list I keep putting off) taking pictures of your property and valuables, making copies of important documents, and storing those in something like a safe deposit box is such a good idea. When I worked at a bank, I had a number of customers who were saved considerable distress and expense by doing so or would have been in a much better situation if they had. I especially saw this over and over again after the bad hail storms we had in MO several years back when lots of property was severely damaged.

Additionally, checking what your insurance covers is really important. My parents had a theft a few years ago and a number of items were taken, including all of my mother's jewelry. While nothing could replace the sentiment attached to said items, it would have been nice for them to recoup the loss. However, their house insurance had a clause only covering up to $1000 in jewelry and another clause that exempted the insurance company from covering the bill to replace the door the burglars kicked down. Might not have been worth it to get extra insurance to cover those items, but not knowing these holes in coverage caused a lot of distress for them.
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Re: Financial Preparedness from FEMA

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:40 am

I save my coins and cash them in a few times a year. That money goes into an emergency cash reserve.

Saving a meaningful amount of money by hording your coins is a lot harder to do than it used to be. I make a point of always having some cash in my wallet (which itself is a prep, I suppose) and try to use that for small bricks and mortar purchases. That allows me to still generate a source of loose change, just not nearly as much as in decades past. So for some time now I've also been tossing a dollar bill or two into the coin jar, pretty much on a daily basis. Now my periodic trips to the bank to cash in the coins are also to convert those dollar bills into twenties. That too goes into my cash reserve. I'm over a $1,000 at this point.

My point is that while it's preferable to have a meaningful prep in place ASAP, one can go about it incrementally. It's the same philosophy as picking up a couple extra cans of vegetables on every weekly shopping trip, or grabbing that extra box of .22lr if you happen to be in Walmart (now that it's actually possible to find .22lr in Walmart).

The coins/dollar bills are something that I don't really miss day-to-day. But it sure adds up.

Everyone should have a cash reserve, IMO. A couple of related thoughts:
1) The opportunity cost of keeping physical cash versus depositing it into a savings account is pretty low these days, with interest rates still near historic lows. There used to be a much stronger counter argument against keeping cash stuffed in the proverbial mattress.

2) Clichés about mattresses aside, give some serious thought about where you keep your cash reserve. You want it safe not only from possible theft, but also from physical hazards, like flooding/fire.

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