Monday, September 12, 2005

Getting out from under Katrina Financially

Obviously, finding loved ones and getting food, water and safe shelter were the highest priorities for victims of Katrina; however, most victims (including those who got out before the storm) must deal with the financial impact of the storm. ABC news reporter Eileen Powell tells readers how to get records (or at least some records) back that the storm destroyed. For immediate cash needs, a partial insurance advance, an advance from employer or emergency funds from the Red Cross may be necessary until full insurance settlements or government aid becomes available. Ms. Powell also recommends preparing as best one can an inventory of property lost in the storm and subsequent flooding. Contacting relatives about pictures of the house prior to the storm may help in this process; additionally the IRS will provide Katrina victims with free copies of prior income tax returns. For more expensive items, the article suggests contacting (Kelly Blue Book) to help determine value of automobile and the mortgage institution to get records related to their home. From an employment standpoint, it is a good idea to contact your pre-hurricane employer (especially if you worked for a national/multinational business or organization) to check on temporary employment opportunities elsewhere and to assure that health insurance is still available. Finally, as disgusting as it is to think about, some people see calamity as a money-making scheme. Make sure to deal with known, reliable parties in regard to insurance aid, loans and construction contracts.


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