While the recent hurricane was not a direct threat to our area, now is still great to plan and prepare.
How should one plan out his or her evacuation trip?
This is a good time to consider what your evacuation plans if a hurricane threatens our area. Individuals should:
Consider speaking to loved ones now who may reside in other areas and have a conversation whether you would be able to reside there in case of an evacuation for a long period of time;
Make plans with other family members to share and reduce travel costs; and
If traveling by car to a destination, determine which vehicle would be best to use, considering the vehicle’s gas mileage.
What ways should one save for an evacuation trip?
I often like to say “It’s not if you will be faced with an emergency but when you will be faced with an emergency.” Katrina has taught many of us in this area that we have to ready when the time comes. Consider stashing cash away each month just in case. It does not have to be much. Think about it, you put aside at least $25 every two weeks, you will have $600 after a year. If you think about doubling this amount, you will have $1,200 saved at the end of the year. The money saved can really help in the event of an evacuation. But the key is starting somewhere.
How should one budget for an evacuation plan?
Do your homework now. Get an understanding of what it would take to evacuate for at least a week. If you are planning to travel, get an idea of all costs associated with your trip. Consider your lodging, meals, prescriptions, cash on hand, gasoline, pet care and other costs. Here is a great checklist to use for your evacuation budget.
4. What steps should you take today?
Lastly, get organized now. Put your ducks in a row. This may look different for everyone. There is a great website that provides resources to help you to prepare for hurricane season – ready.gov. In addition, consider the following as well:
Ensure your car is maintained if case you need to travel a long distance;
Have copies of important financial documents that you may need while traveling; and
Give yourself a financial checkup to reduce expenses so that you may have a cushion in your budget.
Remember your choice, your future!
Kemberley Washington is a CPA and owner of Washington CPA Services. Connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.