Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or fires can happen at any time which is why it's important to be prepared before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips to help you prepare in case anything happens:
- Update your family's emergency plans: Updating your emergency plans can include knowing where to go, where all important documents and possessions are located, and what you need to be prepared for. Check up on the emergency plans for your home or business frequently because things can change.
- Create digital copies of important documents: Most financial organizations like banks and insurance companies provide digital copies of bank statements, tax returns, and insurance policies anyway, and having all these digital copies saved and organized is a good practice to get into. If you only have paper copies of important documents, scan them and save them to your computer in case you can't access them in an emergency.
- Document valuables: It's a good idea to document valuables to make it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a natural disaster. A disaster loss workbook will help you compile a list of belongings and photographs that can make this process even easier for both the IRS and your insurance provider.
The best time to prepare for an emergency is always when you don't need to, not after the fact. These tips will help you have everything you need ready in the case of a natural disaster or other emergencies.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tips adapted from IRS.gov September 23, 2020
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