Prepare To Protect Your Finances If Disaster Strikes
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – In recent days, Staten Island and the surrounding region have experienced an earthquake, a damaging storm and flooding.
Disasters rarely give advance warning and can happen anytime.
Whether a natural catastrophe strikes an entire community or a fire destroys a single home, the consequences for the survivors can be traumatic, including severe financial losses from uninsured property, the destruction of vital documents and temporary disruptions in the ability to work or conduct essential transactions.
Victory State Bank suggests consumers follow this advice from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (http://www.fdic.gov):
Anticipate What Could Go Wrong
Think about the most likely hazards and plan accordingly. "For example, some communities are more likely to be affected by a flood or an earthquake, and preparing for each situation would be different," said Jo Ann Wilkerson, a Senior Community Affairs Specialist at FDIC.
Your state or local office of emergency management may be especially helpful.
Find out if your city or county offers a service that will send you a text message or an e-mail warning at the first sign of an imminent storm or other hazard that might require you to evacuate. Also see what tips and recommendations they may have on preparing for a disaster.
Periodically Review All Your Insurance Coverage
"That includes homeowner's or renter's insurance and car insurance," said Ms. Wilkerson. "Find out what is and is not covered by your policies."
For example, the typical homeowner's insurance policy does not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes, and it may be prudent to purchase extra coverage for hazards such as these, even if not required by your lender.
The idea is to have enough coverage to take care of damage to your house, cars and other valuable property and provide for temporary lodging.
Keep Records Of Your Personal Property And The Estimated Value
Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. Consider taking a video or photos of your property. This documentation will come in handy if you need to file a claim.
For additional guidance on how to create a home inventory, see suggestions from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_page.
Take Advantage Of Direct Deposit
Having your paycheck or other payments automatically sent to your account will ensure that you can access the funds quickly, without the risk of having a check lost, delayed or stolen.
Build Or Maintain An Emergency Savings Fund
Because a disaster may affect your ability to earn income, savings can help you through any difficult financial period without taking out a loan or borrowing from retirement savings.
Experts say emergency savings should equal at least three to six months of living expenses.
About Victory State Bank:
VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com .
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