No matter where you live it is important to prepare for natural disasters. Fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters may be unstoppable, but you can avoid the legal disasters that they often cause by preparing in advance. If you have questions or need assistance in the aftermath of a disaster call your LegalShield provider law firm.
1. Every adult needs an up-to-date estate plan and Will. A Will ensures that your assets go to whom you intend them to go to and may determine guardianship of your children. Make sure your will is signed, executed and stored in a safe location.
2. Be sure your family and physicians know how you want to be cared for if you are critically and permanently injured – have an advance medical directive (AMD). Also known as a “Living Will”, your AMD helps ensure healthcare providers carry out your wishes should you become incapacitated.
3. Review your assets now and make sure you have the best insurance coverage that you can afford. If you rent a home or apartment, make sure you have renter’s insurance. Your landlord’s insurance will not cover damage to your personal property. It is always helpful to understand the exclusions and potential limitations of an insurance policy before you need to use it. You should also have your LegalShield provider law firm review any new policies before you sign them.
4. Develop an emergency contact list. Create a list of important contact information and tell your family the location. If possible, keep a hard copy of the list in another location where it can be retrieved if your home is inaccessible. Your list should include family doctors, utility companies, insurance carriers and your LegalShield provider law firm.
5. Keep your most critical documents, including your will, insurance policies, military discharge and other important papers, in a safe deposit box or secure place where they can be found in the event they are needed. It may also be helpful to keep copies of these documents in an alternate location in the event the bank is inaccessible in the aftermath of a disaster.
6. File for disaster relief as soon as possible and retain all documents, including receipts that pertain to your recovery. There are many government and non-government programs designed to assist families with disaster recovery. The process of applying for disaster relief can sometimes be confusing. If you need any assistance reviewing documents or understanding the process, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.
7. Watch out for scam contractors and charities. Con artists sometimes use the confusion and devastation in the aftermath of a natural disaster to steal from homeowners. Make sure any contractor you hire is licensed and insured. You should also have any contract reviewed by your LegalShield provider law firm before signing. Also, research any charity you intend to support before making a donation.
LegalShield provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield Members through member-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. See a plan contract for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts, and conditions. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice or assistance.