4 Ways to Financially Survive a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters can be devastating on many levels. The physical and emotional trauma often affects hundreds, if not thousands, of victims, and can be an overwhelming experience for many. After the dust has settled, communities are left to pick up the pieces. The financial toll of these events can become an enormous burden. To better prepare yourself against catastrophe, consider the following tips on how to financially survive a natural disaster. 

Protect the Essentials

Natural disasters can have devastating effects on your home and personal belongings. We have seen the outcome of this many times, such as Hurricane Sandy and the Moore, Okla. tornado in 2013. When you are rebuilding the pieces, you want to make sure you can access all essential documents, including identification and financial information. 

This includes passports, birth certificates, social security cards, green cards, car titles, house deeds, loan and bank account information, and copies of current credit cards, health insurance cards, and important phone numbers for accessing these accounts. 

The best way to protect these is to keep all original documents – or copies if necessary – stored in a durable, fireproof, watertight container that can be locked and easily located in an emergency situation. If you are evacuating an area, it is imperative that you bring this kit with you. Likewise, if you experience a sudden disaster and are required to hunker down, this kit should be safely stored somewhere it can be accessed if your home is severely damaged. 

Store Gold and Silver

Emergency situations may result in limited or frozen access to bank accounts and monetary funds, leaving you without money for goods and essentials. Keeping a cache of gold and silver  on hand is important for quick and easy liquidity in times of need. 

These assets are extremely durable, and their intrinsic metal content can survive through even the most extreme disasters, including fires and floods. They are also highly liquid, giving you the freedom to exchange for money or barter for goods at any time. 

If you are unsure of what precious metals to have on hand for these types of situations, it is recommended to keep a cache of well-known products that are in smaller denominations for easy liquidation. Pre-1965 US 90% silver coins and one-tenth ounce American Gold Eagles are a good place to start. They are universally recognized and easily traded on the market.

Keep Ample Supply of Goods, Tools and Clean Water

Emergency situations naturally create a shortage of goods and clean water. Even the mere threat of a natural disaster can clear out grocery store shelves in a matter of hours. According to the basic laws of economics, a shortage of goods with increased demand can send prices sky high.

We saw this happen following Hurricane Sandy in 2013 when reports of price gouging uncovered severe spikes in price for essential goods, such as bottled water, bread, gasoline, generators, basic food items, matches, and batteries. 

You want to make sure you are prepared with ample supply of canned foods, bottled water, flashlights, batteries and, if possible, it is prudent to invest in a reliable source of heat if you reside in colder areas. 
 

Always Stay One Step Ahead

Natural disasters can strike at any time. One of the best ways to protect yourself, your home and your belongings against financial trouble is to think one step ahead. Prepare yourself before something happens, and insure the things that are valuable and important to you, including your health. This is one way to rest assured you won’t fall into severe debt following a catastrophic event. 

If you do experience an unexpected natural disaster, there is a chance you may become sick or injured. Medical bills can rack up fast, sending you into debt faster than you may realize. Health insurance can curb many of the costs associated with emergency healthcare. It is also a good idea to consider additional forms of insurance, such as renters, flood and crime insurance. They are typically inexpensive policies, and may significantly help you financially. 

For homeowners, it is important to maintain the structure of your home and keep up on repairs. Leaky roof? Don’t delay in fixing it. A natural disaster in your area could turn one small roof leak into a massive problem resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damage. Furthermore, get the appropriate insurance necessary for your living situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 


Dave Cooper is the president and founder of Upstate Coin & Gold. As the son of wholesale bullion dealer, Andy Cooper of Upstate Coins & Collectibles, Dave has a lifetime of experience in coins, precious metals, and the commodities markets. Dave is an experienced precious metals trader with a wealth of inside knowledge about the wholesale markets and coin industry.

 


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9 Comments

  1. Sorry, but it’s a little silly to worry about gold and silver for a natural disaster. In my part of the country we have experienced massive tornado damage & have never once thought to take a handful of gold coins to the store for groceries.

    Having a realistic amount of cash on hand would have been much better advice. We are not talking about a financial meltdown, but a natural disaster that will not change the value of the dollar in any way.

    My 2 cents anyway…

  2. I am of 2 minds on the precious metals thing. . . . folks are going to want things they can use in a really bad situation-at least to my mind- i would rather have a handful of .22 shells than an oz. of silver. . . .but no problem in having both. . . and some cash. . . in the long term, I just don’t know how the precious metals will trade. . .

  3. gold and silver can be traded for cash in an emergency. i think they are easier to store than cash too. keeping metals and cash on hand is probably the best thing to do.

  4. I would have to agree, Precious metals is overrated as a prepping asset, more of a if your rich and need a secure place to keep your money problem, it has no place in a shtf scenario whatsoever… I think it’s being marketed to us and I don’t agree to it.

  5. I think in Prepping, you need it all. (Food/Water/Spices, Ammo/Guns/Hunting/Trapping gear, Cloths/Boots (for cold and hot weather), Heirloom seeds and gardening tools and supplies, Canning/Preserving items, medical/herbal, books on things you will need -but don’t know. Including having Gold and Silver. Which you can use it for trading, but also if the economy collapses -it’s a way to hold onto your fortune when society comes back.
    I buy Gold (Good Delivery Gold), from Karatbars. It’s in 1 gram, 2.5 grams, and in 5 grams. 99.9999% pure. AND it’s not government owned. Coins are Not pure, in large amounts, and the Government owns them. It they are minted by the Government, the Government owns them.

    Thanks for letting me share. Vic
    NW Preppers and Survivalists, on: Meetup.com (Spokane, WA)

  6. For some of us the issue of gold & silver is moot. We are struggling to hang on while trying to prepare for the future. I think most Americans are more concerned with having food, water & weapons. Even these modest goals are difficult for some of us. As we know the middle class is fast disappearing along with the ability to prep for the future.

    I couldn’t help but notice the author’s family is involved in precious metal trade. Sorry but this makes me question how much of a bias he has. I feel this should be placed far down on the list since it is moot to most of us.

  7. As for using ammo to trade with, No way! I will not barter away my ammo to have it used against me further on down the road. I would not want to be shot with one of my own guns let alone some of my own ammo.

  8. Your main asset, impervious to confiscation will be your skills. Develop them now. Navigation, woodsman skills, trapping, tanning, welding, carpentry, emergency food procurement, canning – you’ll need all of those as they will be marketable. Start with something that you’re good at network with those who have other skills.

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