Preparedness Requires Action
by Ben Simiskey on Aug 26, 2020
At the time of this writing, Hurricane Laura is rapidly intensifying in the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the Texas-Louisiana border. For those of us who grew up on the Gulf Coast or those who have lived here for any length of time, hurricane season (June 1 to November 30 each year) is as real as any other season on our calendars.
And yet, I know many people who still don’t have a concrete hurricane preparedness plan. They end up panicking when the inevitable storm develops in the Gulf. Stores are full of panicking people. The roads are too. They’re everywhere.
Emergency preparedness doesn’t just mean having enough food or water or an evacuation plan. As those of us who survived Hurricane Harvey in 2017 know (and Hurricane Ike in 2008…and Hurricane Rita in 2005…and so many others), the financial impact of natural disasters can be staggering.
According to a study performed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the majority of Americans (61 percent) “believe they are likely to be personally impacted by a natural disaster in the next three to five years.” However, 37 percent “admit they do not have a good sense of how much recovering from a natural disaster would cost their family financially.”
While that’s a stark disconnect, it’s even more troubling that “only 15 percent have created a disaster plan to protect their finances” and that “a little more than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) have not taken any steps at all to prepare for a natural disaster.” (emphasis added)
Preparedness – whether for natural disasters or retirement or anything else – requires action. You can learn about being prepared and talk about being prepared. But until you take some action, you won’t be prepared.
If you’ve had trouble knowing what steps you need to take to be better prepared financially, or if you’ve had difficulty taking action to bring that preparedness to fruition, consider starting with these 5 key steps. Also consider asking a professional for help. But whatever you do, take some action today - even if it feels like a small step. You’ll be glad you did.