Disaster strikes. And life suddenly changes …routines may be shattered, jobs disrupted, or properties destroyed. What do you do next?
Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues is a comprehensive, 32-page booklet developed to help people affected by disasters minimize the financial impact of that disruptive event on their lives and well-being. The three-part guide is divided into stages:
- Part I defines the steps to take immediately following a disaster, such as restoring household stability, managing an injury or disability and financial decisions after death;
- Part II identifies steps to take in the weeks and months after disaster has occurred to help people affected by disaster try to settle into a more normal routine by establishing a steady flow of income, handling expenses and debt, and working through potential lawsuits or other settlement;
- Part III illustrates the steps to take in planning for the future and moving on with life in areas such as assessing financial needs, getting retrained for a job, and estate planning.
Is there anything people can do ahead of time to prepare for possible disaster? The guide also contains a brief, easy-to-follow checklist to help individuals and families take proactive steps to prepare for possible disaster in the future.
The colorful guide was written and produced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is being distributed by participating local chapters of the American Red Cross across the United States. The guide is offered as a public service of the AICPA, AICPA Foundation, American Red Cross, and NEFE.
Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues was developed because a need was seen for a guide to help individuals and families during a time when they were most in need and often vulnerable to financial challenges following a disaster. Previously, there were no comprehensive, authoritative, easy-to-use resources for people affected by disasters.
Denver-based NEFE joined the project because the foundation has worked with the American Red Cross since 1995 to provide the public with personal finance information related to disaster prevention and recovery. New York-based AICPA became involved because in its role to help protect the public interest, thousands of its CPA members provide personal financial planning services as part of their accounting and tax expertise. As such, CPAs are uniquely qualified to work with disaster victims to help them solve financial issues in times of crisis. Washington, D.C.-based American Red Cross became involved to help fulfill its mission of providing relief and assistance to victims of disaster. Through its nationwide network of local chapters, the American Red Cross is able to get this valuable resource to a broad community of those who may need it.
Individuals or families that have been impacted by a disaster are the primary users of the guide. Although written for the consumer audience, the guide is also a useful tool with which CPAs can counsel individuals in times of need on what steps to take to minimize the financial impact of a disaster as well as plan for future contingency should disaster strike again. The guide will also be used by local American Red Cross chapters in their community outreach efforts following a disaster.
Provided as a public service by the American Red Cross, Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues is provided free of charge directly to people affected by disasters. For a nominal fee, the guide will also be made available to CPA members of the AICPA for use with their clients.
Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues was written and produced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It is being distributed by local chapters of the American Red Cross across the United States. Information about each of these organizations is below:
National Endowment for Financial Education
The National Endowment for Financial Education is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping all Americans acquire the information and gain the skills necessary to take control of their personal finances. NEFE accomplishes its mission primarily by partnering with other concerned organizations to provide financial education to members of the public, particularly those whose financial education needs are not being addressed by others.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national, professional organization of CPAs, with more than 330,000 members in business and industry, public practice, government, and education.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Foundation
The AICPA Foundation ("Foundation") was established in 1922 as a nonprofit foundation to advance the science of accountancy and accounting education as well as to encourage diversity within the CPA profession. Toward those ends, the Foundation provides opportunities for members and other interested parties to support activities which encourage advancement of the CPA profession through innovative activities. Within the Foundation efforts to advance accounting education, it provides support to organizations and projects that promote financial literacy.
American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of local community supporters—volunteers, blood donors, and financial donors—organized into nearly 1,000 chapters, Blood Services regions and field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1.2 million volunteers and 36,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 67,000 disasters, trains nearly 12 million people in lifesaving skills and exchanges more than a million emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts throughout the world.
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