Preparing an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
May 4, 2019
What to know and what to prepare for Hurricane Season
Texas hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and lasts through November 30. Now is the time to prepare yourself, so you are ready in case disaster strikes. When making disaster preparations, it’s important you are not only ready with water, food and evacuation plans, but that you also have your finances in order and on hand.
Now is the time to start gathering the following information and taking the following actions so that you’ll feel ready to face hurricane season.
Safeguard Critical Information
Gather financial, household, personal and medical information for you and your family in a safe place. The easiest way to prepare this information is either in a password-protected app, on an external drive or in a safe deposit box. If using a safe deposit box, place all your items in an airtight and waterproof container. You may also consider providing a copy of this information to your lawyer.
You’ll want to save copies of your:
- Photo IDs
- Birth certificates
- Social security cards
- Military service IDs
- Pet ID tags
- Insurance policies
- Automatic payments
- Tax statements
- Physician contact information
- Health Insurance
- Immunization records
- Home insurance
- Marriage licenses or divorce decrees
- Passport/green card
- Sources of income
- Estate planning items, like your will, trust and/or power of attorney
- Lease or rental agreement, mortgage or home equity line of credit
Beyond having copies of the above-mentioned information, you should also have a physical storehouse of items that can help you during a disaster.
We suggest placing these things in an airtight and waterproof bag or container, and making sure this makes its way out with you should an emergency evacuation occur.
- Driver’s license or state identification card, insurance cards, social security cards, passports and copies of birth certificates
- Checkbook with enough checks and deposit slips to last several weeks
- Some cash. Be cautious about the amount of cash you have in your house or wallet as it can be easily lost or stolen. The amount of money you should take will depend on the number of people in your family, as well as your ability to access cash or make purchases using your ATM, Debit and/or credit cards
- ATM, Debit and credit cards
- Contact information for your home, family members, friends, credit card issuers, brokerage firms, your bank, your insurance agent, healthcare professionals and other service providers. TGB’s toll free number is 1-800-467-7216
- Account numbers for your bank, brokerage, credit card and insurance policy accounts
- Key to your safe deposit box
Mail is usually disrupted by major storms and disasters. Should a hurricane strike, you don’t want bills to go unpaid or benefits to not make their way to you.
If you receive benefits, like Social Security, switch to an electronic payment method.
If your place of employment offers direct deposit, sign up for that now.
If you have bill payments and are a Texas Gulf Bank checking customer, sign up for Texas Gulf Bank’s Online Banking and set-up automatic bill pay.
Texas Gulf Bank’s Emergency Procedures
Texas Gulf Bank is committed to supporting the communities we serve. Part of this commitment includes emergency and disaster planning. We have detailed procedures in place to assist with recovery of electronic data and information, availability of cash, and continuation of customer service. We want our communities and our customers to know that we are prepared.
What You Need to Know About Our Plans:
In the event of a hurricane threat to our area, Texas Gulf Bank’s intentions are to close our Freeport location at 1400 Brazosport Boulevard – first. Our remaining four locations in Brazoria County, as well as our Houston Voss, West University, CityCentre and Friendswood locations, will remain open as long as safely possible to assist you with your banking needs. Signs will be posted indicating operating hours.
If an evacuation order is declared for Brazoria, Harris or Galveston counties, Texas Gulf Bank will waive and/or refund our customers for all service charges on ATM transactions for up to one week after we can safely return to the area. Please feel free to use any accessible ATM and we will reimburse you for any fees other banks may charge.
It is our goal to have at least one of our locations open for business within 48 hours after the “all clear” signal for evacuees to return to the area is given.
For updates on Texas Gulf Bank’s branch status during emergency situations, please visit our website at www.texasgulfbank.com.
For more information and checklists to prepare for a storm, we recommend visiting ready.gov or KTRK or KHOU’s websites.