How to Prepare Financially for a Natural Disaster
As this past year has made vividly clear, natural disasters are becoming an increasingly common part of life. In fact, a recent survey from Wells Fargo found that four in five Americans (84 percent) now live in areas that have experienced some form of natural disaster in the past three years.
What's more, the number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over the past 50 years, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which found that disasters linked to either weather, climate, or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past half-century. The report, which has been called the most comprehensive review of mortality and economic losses from weather, water, and climate extremes to date, shows that between 1970 to 2019, weather, climate, and water disasters accounted for 50 percent of all disasters, 45 percent of all reported deaths, and 74 percent of all reported economic losses.
Despite these sorts of startling facts, most people who responded to the Wells Fargo survey (71 percent) admit that they do not have an emergency plan in place to cope with a natural disaster. Such a plan would not only address immediate needs like having a go-bag packed with essentials should you be required to evacuate immediately (or a garage filled with necessary essentials to see you through an emergency), but also being prepared in advance financially for the various realities that natural disasters bring about.
Here's a closer look at how to ready your finances for a world where natural disasters are increasingly commonplace.