natural disaster http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13568/all en-US What Should You Do When a Natural Disaster Spoils Your Travel Plans? http://www.wisebread.com/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_in_the_airport.jpg" alt="Tired in the airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No matter where on the globe you're traveling to, there's a possibility a natural disaster or man-made tragedy could ruin your plans. Maybe you're staring down a hurricane like this year's Harvey, Maria, or Irma &ndash; or a volcanic eruption like the one supposedly brewing in Bali. Acts of terrorism &mdash; shootings, bombings, and the like &mdash; are just as likely to affect your trip, or at least make you think twice about traveling.</p> <p>But, what do you do when one of these tragedies inconveniently falls right in the midst of an upcoming trip? Do you cancel? And if you do cancel, are you deserving of a refund?</p> <p>The answer is complicated. The financials of canceling or rerouting your trip depend a lot on how you booked and the severity of the tragedy. However, a few general rules of thumb can help you understand the process.</p> <h2>The way you booked your trip matters</h2> <p>First things first. The manner in which you booked and paid for your trip matters a great deal when it comes to who you should contact to cancel and how your situation will be handled.</p> <p>If you booked a vacation package with a third-party travel booking service like Expedia or Travelocity, for example, you'll want to contact them right away. If you booked your hotel, flights, and rental car separately, on the other hand, you'll need to call each individual vendor to explore your options.</p> <p>Hotels tend to be the most lenient of all travel vendors, especially if you've booked through the hotel directly. You may also have some leeway with rooms booked through third-party sites &mdash; that is, as long as you didn't book a non-refundable rate. While all hotels and resorts have their own unique terms and conditions, many let you cancel without penalty up to a few weeks or even a few days before your trip.</p> <p>Read through your reservation to find the cancellation terms, then cancel quickly if you can. If you're beyond the cancellation window, calling your hotel's customer service line can help. In the midst of a natural disaster or an impending one, they may be willing to let you cancel without penalty. Or, they might be willing to shift your reservation to another hotel.</p> <p>Flights can be a lot trickier, but it depends on your carrier and the specific disaster at hand. Right before Hurricane Irma this year, my husband and I were scheduled to fly into Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The hotel told us not to come, but we had trouble canceling our flights. First, American Airlines told us that we wouldn't get a refund unless the flight was actually canceled. The day before the trip &mdash; with a Category 4 hurricane barreling through the Caribbean &mdash; they said to show up at the airport. They also said we had the option of changing our flights after paying a $150 change fee <em>per person</em>.</p> <p>But when I called back the same night, they relented and offered a travel credit good for another trip if we booked within six months. After another call the next day, however, they said they would convert the travel credit into the original form of payment, which was 57,500 American AAdvantage miles for one flight.</p> <p>The bottom line: Airline policies aren't always set in stone, and you're not always entitled to a full refund unless your flight is canceled altogether. So, call your airline early and ask about your options. And if you don't hear what you want, hang up and call back later.</p> <h2>Cruises may offer several options</h2> <p>If your cruise was impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, your options will vary quite a bit based on your cruise itinerary, port of departure, and how you paid. It also depends on your cruise line's individual cancellation policy.</p> <p>With Carnival Cruise Line, for example, canceled cruises qualify for a cash refund or credit for another cruise. Some cruise lines also ran shortened itineraries to avoid hurricanes this year, only to give customers a partial refund for the days they missed.</p> <p>Cruise lines also retain the option to change your itinerary for any reason. So, if you have a cruise scheduled to stop in an area with severe damage, your cruise line may alter your itinerary so you stop elsewhere that day. Instead of stopping in storm-ravaged St. Maarten, for example, you could spend that day at the port in nearby St. Kitts instead.</p> <p>If you have a Caribbean cruise planned for later this year and are worried about going, check your cruise booking to see if you have the option to cancel.</p> <h2>Can travel insurance help?</h2> <p>If you have travel insurance, it can be a real game-changer. While you can buy your own travel insurance policy, you can also get some types of travel insurance through a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card.</a></p> <p>With trip interruption and cancellation insurance from one credit card issuer, for example, the cardholder and their immediate family qualifies for up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence if their trip is canceled or interrupted for a &quot;covered reason.&quot; Covered reasons include not only illness or injury, but also severe weather and terrorist acts.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that in order to be covered by your credit card's policy, you have to use that card to pay for your trip. Just being a cardholder is not enough. And, as always, make sure to read the fine print and terms and conditions to see what's covered.</p> <p>Individual travel insurance policies also offer various forms of coverage for natural disasters or unforeseen travel emergencies, with limits that vary from policy to policy. Make sure to read your policy's terms and conditions to see if canceling your trip is covered &mdash; or if you're better off using the coverage offered by your credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include</a>)</p> <h2>How do you deal with an act of terrorism?</h2> <p>Acts of terrorism are harder to plan for and plan around, which means travel vendors may be less likely to bend the rules to provide a refund. You may know a hurricane is headed toward your travel destination a week before it hits, but nobody can predict a bombing or a terrorist attack.</p> <p>If an event of this nature takes place, you're at the mercy of your travel vendors in terms of whether they will provide a refund or not. If your flight isn't canceled, it's unlikely you'll have any options other than paying a change fee to switch up your itinerary.</p> <p>If you booked with a hotel that has a generous cancellation policy, on the other hand, you may be able to cancel up until the day before your trip. But, if you don't &mdash; or if you booked a nonrefundable hotel stay &mdash; you may be out of luck.</p> <p>Of course, you may be able to cancel your trip and get a refund via a travel insurance policy, but you have to own the policy before the act of terrorism takes place. You can't wait for something to happen, then purchase a policy. If you paid for your trip with a credit card that offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage, on the other hand, you may already be covered.</p> <h2>The bottom line</h2> <p>Because each event or disaster is different, there are no hard and fast rules that govern how cancellations and refunds are handled. Travel vendors are usually dealing with disasters on a day-by-day basis too, meaning they aren't always sure how things will pan out, either. The best thing you can do when a disaster threatens your plans is keep the lines of communication open. Stay in touch with your airline or travel vendor and make sure you know your options.</p> <p>It also never hurts to have travel interruption/cancellation coverage, whether you purchase it on your own or use the coverage offered through a credit card. That way, you'll have peace of mind no matter what disaster strikes next.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that, if you're flexible, you can just forge ahead with your trip regardless of weather or damage. In hurricane-hit areas in the Caribbean especially, islands that rely heavily on tourism could use your dollars more than anything else. By sticking with your plans, you'll have the opportunity to give help where it's needed most. You can shop in the local markets and dine at local eateries, putting cash directly into the hands of those harmed in the process.</p> <p>You can even turn your trip into a volunteer opportunity. Contact a reputable charity or help organizations like <a href="https://www.hands.org/" target="_blank">All Hands Volunteers</a> to get assistance coordinating your volunteer activities on islands like St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.</p> <p>Trade your beach hat and tropical drink for a hard hat and shovel, and you could end up with a trip you'll never forget.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Should%2520You%2520Do%2520When%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster%2520Spoils%2520Your%2520Travel%2520Plans-.jpg&amp;description=What%20Should%20You%20Do%20When%20a%20Natural%20Disaster%20Spoils%20Your%20Travel%20Plans%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Should%20You%20Do%20When%20a%20Natural%20Disaster%20Spoils%20Your%20Travel%20Plans-.jpg" alt="What Should You Do When a Natural Disaster Spoils Your Travel Plans?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans">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-3"> <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/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight">What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight</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/how-to-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight">How to Cash In On Getting Bumped From a Flight</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/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel flight canceled hurricanes natural disaster travel tips tropical storm vacations Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2032525 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs http://www.wisebread.com/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_power_outage_492001716.jpg" alt="Man getting electrical blackout essentials" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America has been pounded by hurricane after hurricane, leaving devastation in their wake, and thousands of homes without power. And while you may not be in the path of a disaster at the moment, there is no telling when or where a blackout will strike. Are you prepared? Could you survive without electricity for days, or even weeks? Here's what you need to be ready, should the worst happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Micro-Prepping: How to Prepare for Small Disasters</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lighting supplies</h2> <p>Lighting is number one on the list, and for a good reason, as it's hard to get anything done in the dark. While flashlights, lanterns, and candles are great, think about investing in something that doesn't need batteries, and will last you for many years, like a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wVMOpf" target="_blank">hand-crank flashlight</a>. You won't have to hunt for batteries, find propane, or worry that they will burn down to nothing. Couple it with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2y9yJF4" target="_blank">hand-crank lantern</a>, or look for an <a href="http://amzn.to/2wXJi9b" target="_blank">all-in-one unit</a> that does lighting, phone charging, radio, and more. Remember to put them in a place that's easily accessible; you don't want to go hunting around for lighting sources in the pitch black.</p> <h2>2. Power sources</h2> <p>This runs the gamut, from batteries and liquid fuel, to generators and solar-powered chargers. Stock up on the five main types of batteries &mdash; 9V, D, C, AA, and AAA &mdash; and invest in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks" target="_blank">solar-powered charger for phones</a> and power banks. If you fear you will be without power for a considerable period of time, you definitely need to have a backup generator on your property. You can find a good one for under $400 on Craigslist, although you should research your power needs before you buy one. If you'll be using it to run a lot of appliances, and something like a sump pump or attic fan, you will need adequate power and outlets.</p> <p>Generators run on four main types of fuel: gasoline, propane, diesel, and natural gas. Again, research what is best for your situation and environment, and have plenty of it on hand (safely stored, of course) in case of an emergency outage.</p> <h2>3. Heat</h2> <p>You'll need heat for cooking, and possibly for warmth, depending on where you live and the time of year. The power supplies mentioned previously will be essential for cooking and heating, and can supply electricity to a portable buffet range, a space heater, a toaster or toaster oven, and even a kettle. If you don't want to rely on power backups for your heat, there are small, portable propane grills and space heaters that can be used in an emergency. And if you do a lot of camping or outdoor activities, you probably have these on hand, anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-stoves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Camping Stoves</a>)</p> <p>Last but not least, keep an ample supply of blankets, sleeping bags, and other warm clothes in an easily accessible place.</p> <h2>4. Potable water</h2> <p>We cannot survive without water, and yet, we take it for granted. It's right there, flowing freely from a faucet, and costs pennies per gallon. But you will soon find out how much you rely on it if the power goes out and your supply is cut off. It's a good idea to keep a case of drinking water in your basement or garage, but keep an eye on expiration dates, and swap this out with new water regularly. A pitcher that filters water can also be a great help during this time, and can give you a supply of clean drinking water for weeks.</p> <p>If you want to go one step further, and know in advance that you may have a blackout coming, try something like a <a href="https://waterbob.com/" target="_blank">WaterBOB</a>. This is a simple, but incredibly useful device that stores a four-week supply of clean drinking water in your bathtub. You can find them on eBay and, occasionally, on Amazon. Also, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2k3LxGM" target="_blank">Lifestraw</a>, which is often used by people who go camping or go on extreme adventures. A Lifestraw can be inserted into almost any water supply, and filter 1,000 liters of contaminated water, removing 99.99 percent of the bacteria. This is essential if you are running out of clean drinking water. They start at just $15, and could really save your life in an emergency.</p> <h2>5. Nonperishable food</h2> <p>It may be a no-brainer, but you need a supply of food that does not rely on power for storage (the refrigerator will be down unless you have generator power). That means a well-stocked pantry filled with a variety of canned goods, dry foods, snacks, drinks, and pet food if you have pets. Some popular items include jerky, granola bars, soups, meats (don't knock SPAM, it was a lifesaver in World War II), beans, packet foods (oatmeal, ramen noodles), nuts, dried fruit, protein bars and powders, cereals, condensed milk, <a href="http://amzn.to/2k2hvCY" target="_blank">MREs</a> (Meals Ready-To-Eat), and freeze-dried foods.</p> <p>Ideally, you will stock up on food that can be stored for years, but remember to constantly rotate the supply. You don't want to blow the dust off a bunch of cans to find out the food went bad five years ago and cannot be eaten. If all that sounds like a lot of work and effort, you can always buy an <a href="http://amzn.to/2xDfGjk" target="_blank">emergency food kit</a>. These all-in-one kits are designed by experts to be long-lasting, give you a balanced, nutritious diet, and supply everything you need in one container should disaster strike.</p> <h2>6. Basic medical supplies</h2> <p>Most homes have a first-aid kit of some kind, but quite often it gets neglected and is not stocked with the necessary supplies you'll need for a true emergency. You can buy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits" target="_blank">ready-made first aid kits from Amazon</a> and Target, or find them in any supermarket, but if you would rather put your own together from scratch, make sure it has enough to handle the most common cuts, bruises, breaks, and other medical emergencies.</p> <p>In particular, have plenty of antiseptic wipes, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, a wide variety of adhesive bandages, some <a href="http://amzn.to/2xGY9s7" target="_blank">heat and cold packs</a> that can be activated by a click or snap, tweezers, Q-Tips, a thermometer, scissors, latex gloves, a sling, and the usual medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen). It's also generally a good idea to have some Dramamine and antihistamine tablets, an Epi-pen, multivitamins, a suture kit, and laxatives. Check on this kit often, and replace supplies that get used up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>7. Communication devices</h2> <p>These days, everyone relies on a cellphone to communicate. Hopefully, you'll have the ability to charge your phone through solar or generator-powered sources, but if that's not an option, or you're looking to conserve cellphone power, you'll need other ways to communicate. Get yourself a good set of Walkie Talkies, and that means more than two. Amazon has a great set of six <a href="http://amzn.to/2yaKhrB" target="_blank">rechargeable, long-range two-way radios</a> for under $100. That should be enough to cover everyone in the family. Keep them charged, perhaps in the basement or garage, and ready to hand out at any time.</p> <p>Plus, you'll also need to find out what is happening in the world, and in your immediate vicinity. For this reason, first invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xCdvMP" target="_blank">radio that can be activated from a hand crank</a>. This will be an essential way to find out what is happening around you, and whether things are getting worse and an evacuation is going to be called. It can also provide some much-needed entertainment, which will go a long way to keeping your spirits up.</p> <h2>8. Waste disposal</h2> <p>It may be unsavory to think about it, but you may not have access to a functioning lavatory (some water supplies rely on electricity), and you will need to dispose of human waste in a sanitary way. Have a well-stocked cupboard filled with garbage bags, newspapers, kitchen towels, toilet paper, anti-bacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer. You may also want to invest in a bunch of zip ties to keep everything firmly sealed. The garbage pickup service may not be available either, so you will need to prepare for waste storage. It doesn't hurt to have several garbage bins ready to go for excess waste in an emergency. They can be stacked and placed in one corner of the basement or garage, or even in the backyard.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Electrical%2520Blackout%2520Essentials%2520Every%2520Home%2520Needs.jpg&amp;description=8%20Electrical%20Blackout%20Essentials%20Every%20Home%20Needs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Electrical%20Blackout%20Essentials%20Every%20Home%20Needs.jpg" alt="8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs">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/13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have">13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have</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/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters">Micro-Prepping: How to Prepare for Small Disasters</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-5-best-home-security-systems">The 5 Best Home Security Systems</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/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping blackout electrical blackout emergency kit flashlight lights out natural disaster no electricity power outage water supplies Mon, 02 Oct 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 2029062 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Select a Charity to Donate to After a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-select-a-charity-to-donate-to-after-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-select-a-charity-to-donate-to-after-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/charity_donation_illustration_482378218.jpg" alt="Learning how to select a charity after a natural disaster" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the hurricane season we're having, there's no shortage of nonprofit organizations you can support with your dollars and time to aid people in need. But how do you know which organizations have the most impact and do the most good with the resources they have? Here's how to find the most reliable charities of which to donate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-a-natural-disaster?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Donating Money Is the Best Thing You Can Do After a Natural Disaster</a>)</p> <h2>1. Utilize charity assessment tools</h2> <p>There are a number of sites that evaluate nonprofit programs and provide you with information on their efficiency and efficacy.&nbsp;<a href="https://charitynavigator.org/" target="_blank">Charity Navigator</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.givewell.org/" target="_blank">GiveWell</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="https://guidestar.org/" target="_blank">Guidestar</a> all evaluate nonprofit donations. One of their main metrics tells you the percentage of donations that goes to programs, and the percentage that goes to administration costs. While this metric is important, it's not the whole story, and comes with a very large caveat: for a charity to do its work, it must have administrative costs and overhead. Without talented people, a nonprofit can't do its best work, and like all employers, a nonprofit must compensate its employees for their skills. Use this metric as <em>one </em>input to your donation decision, but don't let it make the whole decision for you.</p> <h2>2. Check news stories</h2> <p>Before donating to a charity, check out the latest news stories on a particular charity with a simple Google search. You will likely find stories that highlight the work the organization is doing through its programs and hopefully you'll also discover some firsthand testimonials about the organization's impact. If there have been any recent scandals or shady activities, you'll find them here, too.</p> <h2>3. Review testimonials</h2> <p>Before making a donation, take a look at the organization's website to get a sense of their programs and staff. There is often a press section that showcases recent news releases with the latest news coming from the organization. It's also a good idea to check out the leadership team to determine if you feel they are good stewards of your gift. It's also worth taking a look at their board, major donors, and supporters, if they highlight them.</p> <p>Have they recently won a large grant or formed a reputable partnership? If so, it's another data point that can show someone has scrutinized their work and deemed it valuable. Like the administrative cost percentage, these grants and partnerships don't tell the whole story, but they are another point of reference to help your decision-making process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Charitable Donations That Do the Most Good</a>)</p> <h2>4. Scan through social media channels</h2> <p>One great gift of social media is that it gives individuals and organizations a way to connect with supporters and beneficiaries of their work directly. Poke around on their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds to see their work in action and find out who supports them.</p> <h2>5. Think local</h2> <p>While the big international nonprofits often get the most attention when disaster strikes, local nonprofits can often be just as effective, if not more so. That's because they have such close relationships with people on the ground. For example, the local food banks in Texas and Florida have been able to mobilize quickly in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. After Harvey, I made a gift to the&nbsp;<a href="https://safoodbank.org/" target="_blank">San Antonio Food Bank</a> because they were the closest food bank to the areas in and around Houston that were hit hard by the storm.</p> <p>This same giving strategy can be applied to international work. After the massive earthquake that struck Haiti, I donated to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pih.org/" target="_blank">Partners in Health</a> because their dedication to Haiti over many years has allowed them to have a tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of the Haitian people.</p> <p>If you're more comfortable giving to a large organization such as the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.redcross.org/ns/apology/disaster_homepage.html" target="_blank">Red Cross</a>, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salvationarmy.org/" target="_blank">Salvation Army</a>, make sure they have a chapter in the geographic location where you want to help and tag your gift to go to that specific relief program. Local hospitals and health centers are on the front lines, and are often the first places that local people turn to in the wake of a disaster.</p> <h2>6. Consider who you want to help</h2> <p>Many nonprofits have a mission that designates who they help and the causes that matter most to them. This can be children, animals, environmental protection, or education, to name just a few.</p> <p>In the case of the recent hurricanes in the U.S., local chapters of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/" target="_blank">Humane Society</a> and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aspca.org/" target="_blank">ASPCA</a> are helping to rehome pets that were left behind by their families.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6115947/k.B143/Official_USA_Site.htm" target="_blank">Save the Children</a> has expanded its services and started new programs in key Texas locations in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Natural disasters often destroy or damage housing. Charities such as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.habitat.org/" target="_blank">Habitat for Humanity</a> can make use of your financial contributions as part of the rebuilding efforts.</p> <h2>7. Support sustained efforts</h2> <p>Given the speed of our news cycle, there is a swell of concern immediately after a disaster, and then that concern fades over time. One of the best ways to contribute to sustaining support is to consider a gift to an institution that continually works in the area.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bgca.org/" target="_blank">Boys &amp; Girls Club</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ymca.net/" target="_blank">YMCA</a>, and local schools, places of worship, and community centers are key sources for sustained support in impacted communities.</p> <p>When disaster strikes, it takes a large, collective effort to help people reconstruct their lives. Your donation and support is critical, and a thoughtful gift can make all the difference.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-select-a-charity-to-donate-to-after-a-natural-disaster&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Select%2520a%2520Charity%2520to%2520Donate%2520to%2520After%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Select%20a%20Charity%20to%20Donate%20to%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Select%20a%20Charity%20to%20Donate%20to%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster.jpg" alt="How to Select a Charity to Donate to After a Natural Disaster" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-select-a-charity-to-donate-to-after-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/why-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-a-natural-disaster">Why Donating Money Is the Best Thing You Can Do After a Natural Disaster</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/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans">What Should You Do When a Natural Disaster Spoils Your Travel Plans?</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/epipens-and-other-ways-companies-have-profited-from-your-pain">EpiPens and Other Ways Companies Have Profited From Your Pain</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/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you">How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You?</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/downside-of-the-rolling-jubilee">Downside of the Rolling Jubilee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Financial News charitable donations donate give back how to donate how to help hurricane harvey hurricane irma hurricane season natural disaster Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:31:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2024299 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Donating Money Is the Best Thing You Can Do After a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/why-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-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/hurricane_harvey_impacts.jpg" alt="Hurricane Harvey Impacts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're watching the news, following the updates on Twitter, and staying in close contact with friends and family members as we march through peak hurricane season. In the wake of Harvey and Irma, we all desperately want to help those who have been and will continue to be impacted. While we might reach for what's in our cupboards and closets, the donation of goods isn't the most effective way to help. In fact, it actually hinders recovery efforts. Here's why the best thing to donate in the wake of natural disasters is cash.</p> <h2>Dollars go further</h2> <p>When we go to the grocery store or shops, we pay retail price. When a food bank or another nonprofit buys goods to help people, they pay wholesale or bulk prices that are lower than retail prices. This means when you donate money directly to these organizations, they can make every dollar go further to help more people.</p> <h2>Most goods will be discarded</h2> <p>Here is a sad fact: Donating goods is more beneficial for the giver than the receiver after the natural disaster. We feel like we've helped when we give old blankets or coats, but truthfully, we're hindering the recovery efforts when we donate goods. The Center for International Disaster Information, a leading authority on recovery efforts, says <a href="https://www.cidi.org/how-disaster-relief-works/guidelines-for-giving/#.WbG_NNOGORt" target="_blank">unsolicited goods are rarely needed</a> in the early stages of response. These unwanted donations compete with much-needed efforts when it comes to people power, transportation services, and storage space. So save the waste and send cash instead.</p> <h2>Text donations are too slow</h2> <p>While it is immensely helpful that we can send a quick and easy text to give money after a disaster, the nonprofits and relief agencies we are funding receive the donations much faster if we go right to their websites to make a donation there.</p> <h2>Stick with the establishment</h2> <p>If you are looking for a place to make a donation, it's best in these situations to go with established organizations. They have the networks, connections, and expertise to make the most of the donations. Religious organizations as well as national and local nonprofits that are registered as 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are the best stewards for your money. They also allow you to deduct the donation on your taxes, making it possible for you to be even more generous. If you want to research nonprofits before making your gift, local United Way and local Community Foundation chapters have a wealth of information. In the case of Harvey, look to Houston's chapters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Charitable Donations That Do the Most Good</a>)</p> <h2>Other donation options</h2> <p>There are two other ways to give that don't involve cash or material items, but are also extremely necessary in the wake of a hurricane or other natural disaster: shelter and skills.</p> <h3>Give your space</h3> <p>Do you have a spare bedroom or couch? Can your business location, community center, or religious organization provide space to shelter people? Can you take in a foster animal or adopt an animal to give them a forever home? The giving of your space is something that many people (and animals) need and appreciate more than we could ever imagine. Mattress Mack in Houston has become a national celebrity for <a href="https://twitter.com/MattressMack/status/901969638694600705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&amp;ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2F2017%2F08%2F29%2F546953258%2Fhouston-s-matress-mack-opens-his-doors-to-house-flood-victims" target="_blank">opening up his mattress showroom as a shelter</a>.</p> <p>Airbnb is now waiving service fees and the requirement that hosts charge at least $10 per night; free accommodations are now permitted in selected areas that have been affected by natural disasters.</p> <h3>Give your expertise</h3> <p>Are you a doctor, veterinarian, social worker, carpenter, electrician, plumber, or attorney? Do you have extensive knowledge of insurance policies? Do you have strong government experience that you could leverage to help people? These kinds of skills and areas of expertise are often in demand in areas affected by natural disasters. Again, working through local government or relief agencies that are on the ground is the most effective way to give your knowledge and experience to those who need it.</p> <p>The desire to give is necessary and appreciated. Let's help those in the need the best way that we can. Together, we can make a difference.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-a-natural-disaster&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Donating%2520Money%2520Is%2520the%2520Best%2520Thing%2520You%2520Can%2520Do%2520After%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Donating%20Money%20Is%20the%20Best%20Thing%20You%20Can%20Do%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Donating%20Money%20Is%20the%20Best%20Thing%20You%20Can%20Do%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster.jpg" alt="Why Donating Money Is the Best Thing You Can Do After a Natural Disaster" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-donating-money-is-the-best-thing-you-can-do-after-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/how-to-select-a-charity-to-donate-to-after-a-natural-disaster">How to Select a Charity to Donate to After a Natural Disaster</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/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans">What Should You Do When a Natural Disaster Spoils Your Travel Plans?</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/epipens-and-other-ways-companies-have-profited-from-your-pain">EpiPens and Other Ways Companies Have Profited From Your Pain</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/beware-of-the-phrase-we-can-cut-your-debt-in-half">Beware of the Phrase &quot;We Can Cut Your Debt In Half!&quot;</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/recession-journal-v-mind-the-gap">Recession Journal V: Mind, The GAP</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Financial News donating to charity flood victims how to donate hurricane harvey hurricane irma natural disaster Tue, 12 Sep 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 2019307 at http://www.wisebread.com Micro-Prepping: How to Prepare for Small Disasters http://www.wisebread.com/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first_aid_kit.jpg" alt="First Aid Kit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are unprepared, even a small disaster can turn into a major setback, costing you a lot of time, money, and lost productivity. Everything from a power outage, a house fire, car accident, water shortage, or a sudden evacuation due to flooding can leave you feeling panicked and lost without the right planning and resources.</p> <p>Micro-prepping is essentially making small moves now to get you and your family set in the event of a small disaster. And being prepared for small disasters gets you on the path to better handle larger disasters such as a tornado, hurricane, flooding, an earthquake, or terrorism. Here are some steps you can take to get started.</p> <h2>1. Establish a rendezvous point</h2> <p>A simple micro-prep is to develop a family plan for where to meet in case something happens during the day and you can't return to your home. In such an event, communications systems may be overloaded or otherwise unavailable, so you may not be able to call or text family members to work out a plan on the fly. This is why it is so much better to have a plan for where to meet worked out in advance.</p> <p>Pick a nearby meeting point in case of an isolated incident such as a fire or gas leak at your house, and pick another meeting place outside the immediate area in case of a more widespread issue.</p> <h2>2. Stash some cash</h2> <p>I was once greeted by signs taped to the entrance of the grocery store that read &quot;cash only&quot; when their credit card network was down due to flooding. Most people went away from the store without food, but fortunately I had cash with me. I keep a small supply of cash hidden in my car in case I find myself in need of fuel or a small repair and for some reason credit cards aren't working. Keep enough cash hidden at home to ride out at least a few days of expenses in case disaster strikes.</p> <h2>3. Create a first aid kit</h2> <p>Be prepared to treat minor injuries by having a fully stocked first aid kit on hand. Quick treatment can reduce the severity of an injury, and you may even be able to avoid a trip to the doctor's office or emergency room if you can handle some scrapes and minor injuries yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>4. Stock your medications</h2> <p>If you are taking prescription medication, try to time your refills so you have at least a couple weeks of medication on hand. This buffer makes it much less likely that your supply of medicine will be interrupted in case of disaster or if you need to travel suddenly.</p> <h2>5. Have a list of phone numbers on you</h2> <p>If you lose your phone, or it stops working, you may find yourself without access to contact information for most people. I keep a small list of key phone numbers and email addresses in my wallet printed on a piece of paper the size of a business card.</p> <h2>6. Water</h2> <p>Real &quot;preppers&quot; keep a supply of water on hand for full-scale disasters, typically about a gallon of water per day per person to ride out a disaster when water is not available. But even if you don't keep a supply of water, there are some <a href="https://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/areyouready_full.pdf" target="_blank">emergency sources of drinking water</a> you can tap if you didn't stock up before the disaster:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Melted ice cubes</p> </li> <li> <p>Water drained from the water heater (if the water heater has not been damaged)</p> </li> <li> <p>Liquids from canned goods, such as fruit or vegetable juices</p> </li> <li> <p>Water drained from pipes</p> </li> </ul> <h2>7. Use your flashlight</h2> <p>Stumbling around in the dark is the worst time to be looking for a flashlight! I keep a flashlight next to my bed for those power outages that happen every year during thunderstorm season. You may be able to use a flashlight app on your cellphone to find your way around in the dark as well.</p> <h2>8. Save your radio</h2> <p>If the power is out, you will want to know what is going on, but you may not have access to TV or even the internet if your router is down. This is when you will want a battery-powered radio. I have an emergency radio that has a crank on the side so it can run even without batteries. Consider getting a <a href="http://amzn.to/2r3XEm7" target="_blank">NOAA weather radio</a> that provides storm warnings and information about severe weather and other emergencies.</p> <h2>9. Stock up on batteries</h2> <p>You will want a supply of batteries on hand for your flashlights and radio. If your cellphone is running out of battery during a power outage, you can use your car charger to charge it up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Power Banks</a>)</p> <h2>10. Save those candles (and Crayons)</h2> <p>Candles are a handy way to provide long-lasting light during a power outage, and you can save your batteries. If you don't have enough candles, you can use crayons as a substitute to provide emergency light. Stand a crayon up on a plate and light the top.</p> <h2>11. Keep canned food on hand</h2> <p>The food in your refrigerator can start to <a href="http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/power-outage" target="_blank">spoil within two hours</a> of a power outage. Keep some canned goods and nonperishable food items on hand. Don't forget to get a manual can opener so you can open your canned food when the power is out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Foods You Need in Your &quot;Emergency&quot; Pantry</a>)</p> <h2>12. Be mindful of fuel usage</h2> <p>In the event of an emergency, you may not be able to get gas for your car. As a habit, keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car all the time, and keep a five-gallon can of gas in your garage as a reserve supply in case you need to leave town and all of the gas stations have big lines or are closed.</p> <h2>13. Hand sanitizer</h2> <p>If the water supply is interrupted, you can use moist towelettes, or <a href="http://amzn.to/2snaik0" target="_blank">hand sanitizer</a> and paper towels to keep clean until water service is restored. Wash hands before food prep and eating, and keep cuts and abrasions clean at all times.</p> <h2>14. Store important papers and documents</h2> <p>Keep a list of your credit cards and &quot;lost card&quot; contact numbers somewhere safe in case you need to report a card missing, for example if your purse or wallet is stolen. In case you need to evacuate your home, have your important papers and documents organized so you can quickly grab them to take away with you. Even better, keep them hidden in a portable fire-resistant container.</p> <h2>15. Add a backup heat source</h2> <p>In case your furnace goes out or there is an interruption to the natural gas supply in your area, have a plan for backup heating. I have used a portable kerosene heater for this purpose, and now I have a wood-burning fireplace. A backup heat source can also provide light, and can be a backup for cooking in case your oven is not available. Make sure your backup heat source does not produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide &mdash; don't use a gas grill or gas-powered generator indoors!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters">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-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs">8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs</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/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials">How to Save on 12 Winter Essentials</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/3-great-reasons-to-choose-a-secondhand-engagement-ring-and-where-to-find-one">3 Great Reasons to Choose a Secondhand Engagement Ring (and Where to Find One)</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-137-ways-to-make-this-the-best-halloween-yet">Flashback Friday: 137 Ways to Make This the Best Halloween Yet</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/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping disaster kit disaster prepping first aid kit go bag micro-prepping natural disaster power outage small disaster Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:31:17 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1965089 at http://www.wisebread.com 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/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs">8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs</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/7-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</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/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help">We Do the Math: When Is It Worth Hiring Household Help?</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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-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/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/9-common-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-checking-account">9 Common Mistakes You&#039;re Making With Your Checking Account</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/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees</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/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</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/should-you-take-out-a-loan-backed-by-your-investments">Should You Take Out a Loan Backed by Your Investments?</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-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/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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</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-would-people-be-shocked-by-what-you-earn">Ask the Readers: Would People Be Shocked By What You Earn?</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-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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-3"> <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/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home">Should You Become a Landlord Instead of Selling Your Home?</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/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent">Here&#039;s Why Your Parents Could Buy a Home While You Still Rent</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/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> </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">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/what-should-you-do-when-a-natural-disaster-spoils-your-travel-plans">What Should You Do When a Natural Disaster Spoils Your Travel Plans?</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/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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-4"> <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">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/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million</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/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</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/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</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