Emergency Preparedness Week

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    Raging floods, roaring fires or even a digital security breach can trigger a potential emergency. From forced evacuations to malicious computer hacks, all of your important information can be lost, damaged or compromised without a moment’s notice. With this week marking the 21st annual National Emergency Preparedness Week, BBB is helping home and business owners prepare their own financial security plan.

    Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, says it is crucial to have a financial first-aid kit ready to go at a moment’s notice. “Having a portable back-up system for your personal information, business records and finances is essential,” she says. “Without it, your identity could be lost and it could take a long time to replace that information or repair the damages to your home or business.”

    BBB recommends including the following materials in your financial first-aid kit and emergency plans:

    • Pack personal documents. Have copies of your Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, passport and other personal documents on hand and securely stored.

    • Create a contact list. Have the names and contact information of your family, close friends, employer and will-executor on a single document.

    • Have copies of your insurance. Copies of your homeowner, auto, medical, life, disability and other insurance policies as well as policy numbers should also be included in your emergency kit.

    • Find your finances. Find out your bank, investment and credit card/loan account information as well as institution names, phone numbers and account numbers to include in your kit.

    • Have copies of your properties. Car information, proof of home purchase papers/titles/deeds and other home inventory items.

    • Back up your back-ups. Keep both digital and hard copies of all important information and store it securely. For digital files, use an external hard drive to back up sensitive information. For hard copies, keep files in a secure place off-site, such as a safe deposit box or locked safe. If you must share any information with others, only share with a select few who you know and trust.

    For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.

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