Getting financially ready for disaster

- Texas is under water with water still rising.  A look at the pictures makes it clear the economic impact there will be devastating. But it's also a  good reminder for the rest of us: It's time to double check to make sure you are disaster ready.

Texans have lost wages. Maybe their jobs. And after the water recedes, they need to rebuild homes and to get new cars.

Not to mention there will be a possible increase in living expenses. Half of the nation's oil refinery operations sit off that coast. Gas prices could rise about 25 cents a gallon. Crops like soybean, cotton and corn are under water. And corn is in everything from dog food, to animal feed, to most pre-packaged foods. So food prices could inch up a bit.   If you're tightly budget, you'll notice these things.

And it's times like these that not enough of us economically plan for.

So let's use this time to reflect on whether we're disaster ready.  Let's start with FLOOD INSURANCE  Do you need it? And if you do, how much? Well, I called the Georgia Insurance Commissioner's office and got a great site that has tons of info.  It's www.floodsmart.gov. It's through FEMA.

Now know that you can't get flood insurance last minute. You have to have the insurance lined up and paid for 30 days prior to the flooding event.

Also, this is when you would need to dip into your EMERGENCY SAVINGS. You need to sock away three months' worth. At at least.  Does it cost you $3,000 a month to live - pay rent, car note, groceries, gas, all of it - then you need tl have $9000 saved.

What's the state of your CREDIT CARDS? This is when you might need to use them. But, if they're full, you're in trouble.

Sit down. Make a plan. You don't need more stress when disaster hits.

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