The tornado in western Wisconsin illustrates the importance of being prepared for disasters. Financial professional Brad Allen talks with Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4 about the 5 things to do now to make sure you are financially prepared for the worst.

1. Check Your Insurance – You should consider what you need for insurance now – you might not have a chance right before a disaster strikes. You’ll want to make sure all of your policies (home, life, auto) are up to date and check for any potential lapses. Another thing to think about – does your insurance include replacement costs?

2. Online Banking – Many of us do this anyway, but many of my older clients prefer the traditional method. If you’re not enrolled in online banking, you might have a hard time if roads are closed, or you have to evacuate to another city. Enroll now – and make sure you know your login and password information for all your accounts.

3. Emergency Cash – Speaking of your banking needs, it is a good idea to have some emergency cash on hand. Banks and ATMs may not be up and running for days after a strong storm. We recommend 3-5 days worth of spending money, just in case.

4. Organize Papers – Think about the financial paperwork you would need if you were unable to go home for several weeks. Things like health, life and property insurance policies, credit and bank account information, vehicle registration as well as real estate deeds.

5. Secure Storage – Put all of your important documents and emergency cash in a locked, waterproof and fireproof container that you can take with you in case you are evacuated. For many people, one of the most stressful parts after a disaster is finding documents and policies and knowing where to call.

Get our financial inventory worksheet here.