Disasters and Financial Planning A Guide for Preparedness 

    by PFP Section and AICPA 
    Published October 25, 2004

    Purpose | Users | Price  | Contributors | View the Guide

    Disasters, whether natural or manmade, usually strike quickly and without warning. You and your family may have little or no time to decide what to do next. That's why it is so important to plan for the possibility of a disaster—and not wait until it happens.

    Taking measures to avoid or prepare for a disaster in advance—called "mitigation" in technical terms—reduces the likelihood of injury, loss of life, and property damage far more than anything you can do after a disaster strikes. Part of a disaster planning should include financial planning, which is why this booklet was written.

    In this booklet, you will find suggestions on steps you can take now to:  

    • Protect your family's health, life, and property with adequate insurance.

    • Consider disaster vulnerability and mitigation before making decisions about relocating and making major purchases.

    • Pay for mitigation process.

    • Plan financially for the possibility of a job loss or disability.

    • Safeguard your important financial and legal records.

    • Prepare your loved ones to weather a disaster even if you are not there to care for them.


    While this booklet may not answer all your questions, it will answer many of them and, we hope, enable you and your family to avoid a financial crisis if you ever experience disaster.

    Disasters and Financial Planning:  A Guide for Preparedness is offered to you as a public service of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), AICPA Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

    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.

    Purpose

    Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness was developed because a need was seen for a guide to help individuals and families to prepare for the possibility of a disaster.  Previously, there were no comprehensive, authoritative, easy-to-use resources for people and disaster preparedness.   

    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 people to help them solve financial issues when preparing for the possibilities of a disaster.  Washington, D.C.-based American Red Cross became involved to help fulfill its mission of providing relief and assistance to people in the possibilities of a 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.

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    Users

    Individuals or families that want to prepare for the possibility of 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 on disaster preparedness in times and can take the necessary steps to minimize the financial impact a disaster can cause.  The guide will also be used by local American Red Cross chapters in their community outreach efforts for disaster preparedness.

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    Price

    Provided as a public service by the American Red Cross, Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness is provided free of charge directly to people that want to learn about disaster preparedness. For a nominal fee, the guide will also be made available to CPA members of the AICPA for use with their clients.

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    Contributors

    Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness 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.

    About the 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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    View the Guide

    View the Disasters and Financial Planning Guide

    View the Recovery Guide

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