natural disaster http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13568/all en-US 8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487795974.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone eventually faces an emergency, whether it's related to finances, health, the weather, or something else entirely. The more prepared we are, however, the easier it is to roll with the punches when life throws them our way. Are you ready? Here are eight signs you aren't prepared for an emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Haven't Saved a Single Cent</h2> <p>While emergencies come in various forms, many of us will face a financial crisis at some point &mdash; and it may be hard to keep your head above water when it strikes.</p> <p>Financial experts constantly preach the importance of an emergency fund. Yet some people don't take steps to ensure they have enough in reserves for unexpected surprises. If you have little to no money reserved for a financial emergency, you likely won't come out of it on top.</p> <p>Say you lose your job and primary source of income. Even if you're eligible for unemployment compensation, what you receive on a monthly basis may be significantly less than your regular salary. Your finances can also take a hit if a medical emergency triggers high monthly payments to a hospital or doctor's office. If you can't afford your health insurance deductible, which can run thousands of dollars, this can result in delaying needed medical treatment.</p> <p>Similarly, lack of a savings account causes problems when you deal with a car repair or a home repair. Some people rely on a credit card when they don't have money in the bank. This puts them in debt and makes it even harder to save over a long period of time.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Have an Emergency Kit</h2> <p>If you've never lived through a natural disaster (count your blessings), you may not worry much about one impacting your life. But anything is possible, and it's important to have emergency supplies on hand just in case. For instance, if you were to lose power after a major storm and couldn't stay at a relative or friend's house, it'll be difficult to prepare food, and the food in your refrigerator would begin to spoil as the temperature inside the fridge rises. Sometimes we don't realize how much we need electricity for meal preparation until we don't have it.</p> <p>Be prepared and always maintain a supply of nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person per day &mdash; for at least three days. Personally, I have about nine gallons of water stored in my basement for this purpose. Also consider purchasing a go bag &mdash; available at most outdoor or sporting goods stores &mdash; which is prepacked with essentials in the event of an emergency. Mine has food rations, survival and self-defense tools, first-aid materials, and more. You can add items to the bag as needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealaso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have a Backup Generator</h2> <p>Power outages caused by wind and ice storms and other natural disasters can last for hours, or even days. When you don't have power, any appliance that requires electricity becomes useless, including your stove, fridge, deep freezer, and HVAC unit.</p> <p>To prepare for long-term outages, consider a permanent or portable emergency generator. These machines can restore power to your home in a jiff. Permanent generators sit outside the home and run on propane or natural gas, just like your outdoor grill. A portable generator &mdash; which is a cheaper alternative (and probably all you need if you're not in a frequent disaster zone) &mdash; can operate on gas or diesel fuel. You can store it in the garage, but you should never run the generator inside the home. Using a generator indoors can cause buildup of carbon monoxide, and that can kill you.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know the Location of Important Documents</h2> <p>In the event of an emergency, you'll also need to grab important documents before you head out the door, and unfortunately, if you're unorganized and have your documents stored in different locations, it'll be difficult to quickly locate them in an emergency. Get organized and keep important paperwork clearly labeled in a fireproof locked cabinet, preferably inside a sealed plastic bag; both measures protect the paper from fire and water. Important documents include Social Security cards, passports, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, medical insurance cards, and the like.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Have Extra Insurances</h2> <p>If you have health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, and life insurance, you probably think you've covered your bases. But these aren't the only insurances to think about. Life can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds, so prepare for the &quot;what ifs&quot; with additional insurance and protect your assets.</p> <p>If you haven't already, compare costs for a short-term disability policy which pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled and can't work. There are also legal insurance plans that provide affordable legal representation in the event that someone takes legal action against you. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, a flood insurance plan is worth consideration. This is because a standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Also, most insurance policies have a hurricane deductible, which is higher than the policy's standard deductible for theft, fire, and other perils.</p> <p>If you have a hurricane deductible and your home is damaged by a hurricane, this deductible is a percentage of your home's assessed value, which can be as much as 5%. If a hurricane causes a tree to fall on your house, or if hurricane-force winds break your windows and rain water floods your property, you have to pay the hurricane deductible before your insurance company pays for any damage. On the other hand, if you purchase flood insurance, the policy covers flood and/or rain damage caused by the hurricane.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Keep a Stock of Batteries or Candles</h2> <p>Nowadays, cellphones do more than make and receive phone calls. You can use your phone's Internet to check the weather or news, and some smartphones even have a built-in flashlight. With so much technology in the palm of your hands, it's easy to downplay the importance of an old-fashioned flashlight, batteries, and candles during an emergency.</p> <p>However, no matter what type of phone you have, the battery will eventually die. And if you lose power and don't have a backup generator, you can't power your electronic devices. To make sure you're never stuck in the dark and cut off from the outside world, keep a supply of batteries and candles on hand.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Have Extra Gasoline for Your Car</h2> <p>When a natural disaster causes widespread power outages, gas stations without backup electricity will not have working pumps, which can trigger a local gas shortage. If you don't have fuel in your car, you can't drive or evacuate the area, if necessary. That, in itself, should be a top priority when you're expecting a major weather event. You must be able to evacuate if needed. Also, lack of gasoline means you can't power a portable generator.</p> <p>Ideally, you should fill up your car before disaster strikes. But of course, impending danger doesn't always come with a heads up. To prepare yourself, consider stockpiling several gallons of gasoline in an approved airtight container. Many containers can hold between five and 25 gallons. Store your gasoline supply in a cool location outside of your home, such as a shed or garage.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Have an Outdoor Grill</h2> <p>Regardless of whether you prefer cooking on the grill or stove, a charcoal or gas grill comes in handy during an emergency. If you can't use your stove due to lack of electricity, outdoor grilling lets you enjoy a hot meal until your utility company restores power. Grill veggies, hot dogs, hamburgers, and any other meat you have on ice in a cooler (because otherwise it's probably going to spoil if the power is out for too long). Plan ahead and make sure you have enough charcoal, lighter fluid, or gas to get you through at least a week without power.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home disaster emergency fund emergency kit emergency preparedness insurance natural disaster saving money Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1909970 at http://www.wisebread.com Preparing Financially for a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/189077961_85e977af0a_z.jpg" alt="flooded house" title="flooded house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, but the damage left in her wake will last for the foreseeable future. At a time of a great natural disaster, the last thing that you and your family want to be thinking about is your finances. While at least one bank was kind enough to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-storm-sandy-banks-fees-idUSBRE8A01QO20121101">forgive fees</a> in Sandy's wake, most of your creditors will not be so generous. That's why it's important to prepare yourself for disasters, financially speaking, before they happen. Getting caught in one of these with no financial preparedness is just about the worst thing that can happen, so start getting ready today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit">6 Items You&nbsp;Might Have Forgotten in&nbsp;Your Emergency Kit</a>)</p> <h2>Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance</h2> <p>It's good to have insurance for just about every conceivable catastrophe possible. If you live on the 20th story of a building in Dallas, chances are pretty good that you don't need <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-facts-about-flooding-and-your-home">flood insurance</a>. Still, having fire insurance on the place is a good bet. Those living in flood zones should ensure that their renters or homeowners insurance actually covers this &mdash; in many cases it doesn't, and you need to buy a separate policy to protect yourself. For example, in California, an insurance policy will not cover damage from an earthquake. You need a separate policy for that, which is underwritten by the State of California. Know basic information about your insurance policy such as:</p> <ul> <li>What's covered?</li> <li>What's not covered?</li> <li>What's your deductible?</li> <li>How much is your coverage for?</li> <li>Is temporary housing included if you and your family are displaced?</li> </ul> <p>These are all basic questions, but often times people do not inspect their insurance policies. Take the opportunity to do just that so you won't get an additional surprise after disaster strikes.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Keep Your Records Safe</h2> <p>You're going to want to keep financial records in a number of formats, both paper and digital. Paper is great to have because nothing beats the original copy. However, in the event of a disaster such as a flood or an earthquake that starts fires, these paper records won't hold up. You should back up everything by scanning it, then uploading it to a couple of different cloud-computing services to really cover yourself. If you have a <a href="http://gmail.com">Gmail</a> account, you have access to cloud computing that's very easy to use &mdash; just send yourself an email or upload it to Google Drive, a free cloud storage service offered by Google. <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/">Mediafire</a> is another free cloud-based service that doesn't even require registration. Literally anyone with a Facebook or a Twitter account can take advantage of it. Storing your stuff in a few different places ensures that you won't lose everything in the event that one of your storage sites gets done in like Mediafire.</p> <h2>Have a Fund in Place</h2> <p>It's good to have money in place for an emergency that's separate from your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-plan-better-than-an-emergency-fund">emergency savings</a>. The money in this account isn't for things like fixing your car after it breaks down; it's physical money that you can access in the event of a natural disaster or similar emergency. Think of it as &quot;under the mattress&quot; money. It shouldn't be a significant part of your savings, but throwing a few dollars from every check under the floorboards of your bedroom will pay off on the day that ATMs are working they way they need to and you need baby formula.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Know How to&nbsp;Contact Your Creditors</h2> <p>In the event of a natural disaster, there's slim hope that your creditors are going to put your outstanding debts on hold. Having a card in your wallet that has the names of all your creditors and a number where you can reach them will at least help you to communicate with them. This allows you to inform them that a payment might be late and try to work with them to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">avoid accruing fees</a> or defaulting. You can also use these numbers to negotiate for an increase in your credit line if this is necessary because you ran into expenses that you hadn't saved enough to cover, or your current credit limit couldn't cover them.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm">Financial Emergencies: How to Weather the Storm</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360: A Competitive Banking Option</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking emergency plan hurricane natural disaster Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:36:50 +0000 Nicholas Pell 955505 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3062640806_faac174b4a_z-1.jpg" alt="Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?" title="Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-505683"><em>Kristin Haffey</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-506188"><em>Jennifer</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-505676"><em>Lisa @ Cents To Save</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>With the recent earthquake and hurricane on the east coast, disaster preparedness is a topic on the minds of many people. Many people have a plan in place to follow should disaster strike. However, some people have no plan to follow if they are faced with a natural disaster.</p> <p><strong>Are you prepared for a natural disaster? &nbsp;</strong>Do you have an emergency fund? What about an evacuation plan? Do you know what your insurance covers? If you aren't prepared for a natural disaster yet, are you thinking about getting prepared?</p> <p>Tell us if are prepared for a natural disaster and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 5th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if are prepared for a natural disaster and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-is-valentines-day-too-commercial-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Is Valentine&#039;s Day Too Commercial? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers disaster earthquake hurricane natural disaster Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 680812 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Have Renters Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/renters_insurance2.jpg" alt="House after a flood" title="House after a flood" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="139" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been a renter my entire adult life and have been fortunate not to have any reason to make a claim on my <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/the-unexpected">renters insurance</a>. So why do I still carry it? Because accidents do happen, unfortunately. Though I've been lucky in the past, this doesn't dissuade me from wanting to make sure I'm covered in case of a mishap in the future. I've heard too many stories about renters who happened to be the victims of natural disasters or crimes and found out after the fact that their landlords' insurance didn't cover their personal property. And that was if their landlords actually <em>had</em> insurance.</p> <p>While I haven't experienced any crime, disaster, or accident serious enough to warrant using my insurance, I am glad to have it for several reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-and-shouldnt-rent">When You Should and Shouldn't Rent</a>)</p> <h3>In the event that your landlord doesn't carry any</h3> <p>Now it might be the law in some states that a homeowner must carry insurance, but that doesn't mean that every homeowner does.</p> <p>Take my last rental for instance. I was renting a run down house in a very middle class neighborhood. My landlord owned a few rental properties and was somewhat lazy. Not only did he not repair his properties, allowing them to fall into a state of decrepitude, it turned out he didn't even bother to pay his homeowners insurance bill. I only happened upon this information through another one of his tenants who had suffered property loss through an electrical fire. Had that tenant had renters insurance, most of his personal property would have been replaced without the headache of a legal scuffle with the landlord. At that moment, I was ever so glad I had renters insurance.</p> <h3>In case of a natural disaster</h3> <p>Every state in the U.S. is prone to some sort of natural catastrophe, whether it's hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. I just happen to live in Southern California, land of the rumbling ground. I haven't experienced an earthquake large enough to damage property since 1994, yet there's a good chance another will occur in my lifetime. Few insurance companies offer earthquake insurance these days, but my carrier offers it with a high deductible. Even with the large deductible it's worth it since I'll never know when &quot;the big one&quot; might hit.</p> <h3>Because it can cover accidents that happen within your home</h3> <p>Have you ever had a guest fall down your staircase, trip over your cat, or burn themselves on your stove? Your landlord's homeowners insurance will cover accidents that happen around the external perimeter of your rental property, but it may or may not cover accidents that happen within the interior of the property. Having renters insurance with a personal liability rider will cover these types of accidents, leaving you on good terms with your accident-prone friends.</p> <h3>The cost of renters insurance is minimal</h3> <p>Prices are based on the stated value of your personal belongings. For instance, the lower the replacement cost of your personal belongings, the less the monthly payment. When I first purchased my renters insurance policy years ago, my monthly payment was under $20 a month. As I've accumulated valuable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-used-furniture">furniture</a> and appliances over the years, I've bumped up my coverage but am still paying less than $500 for the year, and that's with earthquake coverage.</p> <p>The wise saying &quot;it's better to be safe than sorry&quot; most definitely applies when it comes to renters insurance.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing natural disaster renters insurance renting theft Wed, 22 Jun 2011 09:48:24 +0000 Little House 587058 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Post-Disaster Fundraising Options http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-post-disaster-fundraising-options <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-post-disaster-fundraising-options" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-post-disaster-fundraising-options</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-post-disaster-fundraising-options" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012457188Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The recent tornadoes in the Midwest and the devastation they caused bring home the need for businesses to have disaster plans. Unfortunately, many don&rsquo;t and scramble to recover after suffering damage or destruction to their premises. The American Red Cross says that 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following such severe loss. However, there are ways to get back to square one &mdash; as long as you have the cash to support your efforts. Here are three ways to find the cash you need to rebuild.</p> <h3>Make Insurance Claims</h3> <p>If you have coverage for your business property, contact your insurance agent or the insurance company immediately so you can start the claims process. Most companies have claims hotlines to speed the claims process.</p> <p>Once the basic information has been submitted, expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster. This is a person sent by the insurance company to assess your damage and decide on the amount of your recovery under the policy.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t necessarily accept the offer from the insurer. Do your own legwork to boost your recovery. For example, obtain several estimates for repairs of your property. These can be submitted to your insurance company and likely will be factored into the amount that the company will pay you.</p> <p>You may need to bring in other experts:</p> <ul> <li>If you think the insurance company is trying to underpay you for your loss, don&rsquo;t hesitate to contact an attorney to help you obtain a fairer settlement;</li> <li>If you have business interruption insurance, consider engaging a forensic accountant who can help you show the insurance company what you expect losses to be and what should be paid under the policy;</li> <li>If you own your premises and there has been substantial damage, you may need a structural engineer to assess whether it&rsquo;s safe to rebuild or necessary to demolish what&rsquo;s left and start over; this can affect the amount of your recovery.</li> </ul> <p>For more information about small business insurance and links to state insurance departments, go to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.insureuonline.org/smallbusiness/">InsureU for Small Business</a>.</p> <h3>Apply for an SBA Disaster Loan</h3> <p>While the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) usually doesn&rsquo;t make loans directly to small businesses, there is an exception in the case of disasters. There are two loan programs to help, and together can provide funding of up to $2 million:</p> <ul> <li><b><i>Business physical disaster loans</i></b>. These loans, which have repayment terms up to 30 years, help replace damaged property or restore it to pre-disaster condition. Proceeds can be used for real property, machinery and equipment, and inventory. The interest rate won&rsquo;t be more than 4% if the business does not have credit available elsewhere (8% if credit is available elsewhere); the SBA determines whether the applicant has credit available elsewhere.</li> <li><b><i>Economic injury disaster loans</i></b>. Regardless of any physical damage, if a business has an economic injury, it can obtain an SBA loan for working capital. Substantial economic injury means the inability of a business to meet its obligations as they mature and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. The interest rate is capped at 4% and the repayment terms are fixed according to a business&rsquo; ability to make payments (but no longer than 30 years).</li> </ul> <p>Check the SBA&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2462">Office of Disaster Assistance</a> for a listing of current disaster declarations and links to disaster loans.</p> <p>Note: Farmers may be eligible for special assistance through various <a target="_blank" href="http://www.disasterassistance.gov/federal-agency/2">programs from the Department of Agriculture</a>.</p> <h3>File for a Tax Refund</h3> <p>If you suffer damages that are not covered by insurance, you can deduct the property loss on your tax return. Unlike personal casualty losses, there is no limit on the amount you can write off. For uninsured losses in an area declared by FEMA to be eligible for federal disaster relief, you have the choice of deducting it on the return for the year of the disaster or the prior year. By choosing the prior year, you may be able to obtain a cash tax refund now.</p> <p><b><i>Special tax rule for inventory. </i></b>If your inventory loss is from a disaster in an area designated by FEMA for assistance, you can opt to deduct the loss on your return or amended return for the immediately preceding year. But be sure to decrease your opening inventory for the year of the loss so that the loss will not be reported again in inventories.</p> <p>FEMA posts a list of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema">designated disaster areas</a>. Rules on deducting disaster losses can be found in IRS Publication 547, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p547.pdf">Casualties, Disasters and Theft Losses</a>.</p> <p><strong>Final Word</strong></p> <p>An ounce of prevention goes a long way in disaster planning relief. Review your insurance coverage before anything happens. At the least, make sure you have adequate data backup to protect your important business files and financial information.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barbara-weltman">Barbara Weltman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-post-disaster-fundraising-options">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center disaster disaster fundraising disaster management disaster planning natural disaster small business Sun, 05 Jun 2011 18:02:27 +0000 Barbara Weltman 559430 at http://www.wisebread.com How 15 Companies Went Above and Beyond to Help Japan http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-15-companies-went-above-and-beyond-to-help-japan <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/the-world/article/how-15-companies-went-above-and-beyond-to-help-japan-glen-stansberry" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/the-world/article/how-15-companies-went...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-15-companies-went-above-and-beyond-to-help-japan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014341832Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Japan is <em>still</em> reeling from the massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked the country on March 11th. The disaster has the death toll at 10,000, and another 240,000 in shelters. Gathering aide for this relief is going to be massive, and the country still looks for help in various different ways. Some companies made a huge impact by donating funds, matching employees' donations, and sharing valuable equipment and resources with Japan. The outpouring of generosity from corporations has been incredible, with many finding unique ways to donated resources of all kinds. Here's how fifteen of them did it.</p> <h3>Western Union</h3> <p>Western Union created a way for people to directly donate up to $5,000 (without fees) to the Japan relief using Western Union, and the company also donated $50,000 to Mercy Corps to help. Not only that, Western Union has pledged to match donations up to $150,000 from US employees 2-to-1, and international employees 3-to-1.</p> <h3>Apple</h3> <p>Apple demonstrated its support in many different ways after the disaster. Firstly, Apple set up a donation page on iTunes that sends money straight to the Red Cross, without any fees. Later, Apple CEO <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/17/steve-jobs-offers-support-to-apple-employees-affected-by-earthquake/">Steve Jobs emailed all Apple employees</a> worldwide offering support through their HR departments for shipping supplies to Japan. <a href="http://kevinrose.com/blogg/2011/3/14/apples-role-in-japan-during-the-tohoku-earthquake.html">Reports</a> have come in that an Apple store in Japan stayed open throughout the evening, allowing anyone to come in and use the computers and free wifi to contact loved ones. They also allowed Apple retail and corporate employees and their families to sleep in the Apple store, which was stocked with drinks and food.</p> <h3>iStockPhoto</h3> <p>iStockPhoto is <a href="http://www.istockphoto.com/donation.php">matching donations</a> dollar for dollar, and the donations will be going to one of three organizations that are already on the ground in Japan.</p> <h3>Nissan</h3> <p>Nissan has pledged $1 million to the relief fund, $500,000 going straight to the American Red Cross, and is matching contributions dollar for dollar for the first $500,000. <a href="https://american.redcross.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=ntld_corpmicrosite&amp;s_company=nissan-pub">More info</a></p> <h3>Disney</h3> <p>Disney is giving a massive $2.5 million to the American Red Cross, and is matching employee donations of up to $1 million. That's a whopping $3.5 million dollars.</p> <h3>MLB</h3> <p>Several clubs within the MLB <a href="http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/sports/news/20110319p2g00m0sp060000c.html">have launched fundraising initiatives</a> for disaster relief. Clubs include the Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres. Many clubs are matching fan donations, while front offices of others are donating six figure dollar amounts to the relief.</p> <h3>LivingSocial</h3> <p>LivingSocial, a Groupon competitor, managed to raise <a href="http://livingsocial.com/deals/32115-5-for-10-donation-to-red-cross-relief-efforts">over $2 million dollars</a> through their coupon site. The web company matched over a million dollars in contributions from site users.</p> <h3>SocialShopper</h3> <p>Like LivingSocial, SocialShopper was able to raise $20,000 to the American Red Cross via a coupon on their site. $10,000 of the funds were from site visitors, with SocialShopper matching the other $10,000.</p> <h3>Teck</h3> <p>A mining industry leader Teck is pitching in by <a href="http://www.teck.com/Generic.aspx?PAGE=Teck+Site%2fMedia+Pages%2fMedia+Detail&amp;releaseNumber=11-14-TR&amp;portalName=tc">donating $1 million</a> to a few organizations on the ground in Japan. On top of the generous donation, Tech is matching employee donations up to $1.2 million dollars.</p> <h3>Hilton</h3> <p>The hotel chain is matching donations up to $250,000 <a href="https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/processLanding.aspx?lp=intlfedredcross&amp;wt.mc_id=CMEM_BNftsbB8Zlv4De">through their HHonors program</a>.</p> <h3>Bank of America</h3> <p>Bank of America has committed 100 million yen ($1.22 million USD) to the American and Japanese Red Cross organizations.</p> <h3>dealnews</h3> <p>Internet deal shopping site dealnews matched up to <a href="http://dealnews.com/dealnews-Will-Match-Up-to-25-000-in-donations-for-Japan-Relief-updated-/443459.html">$25,000</a> of donations from site users to the Red Cross.</p> <h3>JPMorgan Chase</h3> <p>The investing giant JPMorgan Chase <a href="http://investor.shareholder.com/jpmorganchase/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=556820">pledged a whopping $5 million dollars</a> to the relief in Japan. Here's how the donation was broken down:</p> <ul> <li>$1.1 million as a direct donation</li> <li>$1 million dollars in matching to both World Vision and the American Red Cross by JPMorgan Chase employees</li> </ul> <h3>American Express</h3> <p>American Express <a href="http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2011/japan_relief.aspx">has contributed $100,000</a> to the Red Cross, and is waiving merchant fees for donations to the organizations listed on <a href="http://www.usaid.gov/">USAID</a>.</p> <h3>Subaru</h3> <p>Subaru has donated $500,000, with employees also donating over $100,000 to the cause. The parent company of Subaru Fuji Heavy Industries is donating $500,000 worth of generators, lighting units, and other supplies. In addition to those donations, Subaru has an initiative that matches Subaru dealer contributions to the American Red Cross of up to $100,000.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-15-companies-went-above-and-beyond-to-help-japan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center charity earthquake japan natural disaster small business Sun, 10 Apr 2011 02:57:23 +0000 Glen Stansberry 516741 at http://www.wisebread.com