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Pledge to Prepare. Financial Preparedness for Emergencies

Pack Your Financial Tool Kit

Financial Planning for Emergencies

Emergencies can happen unexpectedly. And, they can happen to someone like you. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires and even water main breaks and power outages can impact millions of people for days at a time.

Preparation for emergencies and natural disasters is key. Among your plans, don't forget to pack your Financial Tool Kit.

Naturally, your first priority in an emergency is to protect your family and property. But it's also important to guard against the financial consequences of a disaster. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) was created by Operation HOPE, a non-profit agency that provides financial literacy and economic empowerment programs, can help you identify important financial documents and serves as a quick reference guide for critical information.

Tips for Financial Preparedness

  • Complete your EFFAK financial worksheet, which includes bank account, credit card and insurance policy information. If you store this information electronically, make a backup copy.
  • Identify and organize important financial and legal documents such as social security cards, mortgages or leases, bank and credit card statements, investment papers, tax returns and insurance information. Make copies for your tool kit.
  • Make copies of your important documents and your completed EFFAK and put them in a secure place, either at home or in a protected area or at an off-site location.
  • Update your EFFAK and other documents once a year to keep the kit current.

When it comes to packing a disaster preparedness kit, most people think of canned food, batteries, water, prescriptions, etc. But, if emergency strikes and you're displaced for days, weeks or even months, you'll also need access to documents and contact information to get your life back on track.

  • Make a list of contacts: Note the phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses for family, friends, schools, medical providers, pharmacy, financial advisors, utilities and other service providers. Also, designate an out-of-town contact for immediate family members to call if they are separated from the group.
  • Additional identification items to consider, if they are available: Copies of passports, current picture of each family member and pets, copies of birth and marriage certificates. Any other legal paperwork, such as divorce settlement agreements and custody orders, should also be copied for your tool kit.
  • Emergency money: Pack enough cash to cover what you will need to survive a few days, just in case ATMs aren't operational or accessible. Consider also packing a credit card you designate as your emergency card and a prepaid calling card as well.
  • Make an information sheet for each family member: doctors, pharmacies, current prescriptions and medical histories for each member of your family.
  • Insurance information: Make copies of homeowner's, auto, life, disability and health insurance policies and cards and contact information for each. If you don't already have one, make a current inventory of your possessions and include a copy in your Financial First Aid Kit.
  • A list of all financial obligations: Make a list of all of your payment obligations, including your mortgage, rent, credit cars, utilities, and any other loans (auto, student, personal). For each, note the monthly payment due date, minimum required payment, mailing address, website, telephone number, account number, etc. If disaster strikes and you are unable to receive mail, you will still be able to make timely payments and protect your credit.
  • Legal Papers: Include copies of all legal papers, including your living will, health care directive, will, durable power of attorney, house deed, etc.

Prepare with Powerco

Powerco offers a number of products and services that can help you prepare your Financial First Aid Kit:

  • Checks: Pack a least a month's supply of checks for your Powerco Checking Account and Money Market Account. Remember that you can reorder your checks online with an instant online discount. Additionally, pack deposit slips for all of your accounts. Extras can be picked up at any of our branch locations. This will give you access to your money and it will also provide you with the information you'll need to authorize electronic transfers from your account to pay bills such as your mortgage, car payment, credit card bill, homeowner's insurance, etc.
  • Powerco VISA®Check Card: Electronic access to your money is simple with your Powerco ChekCard. The card is free with your Powerco Checking account with no annual fees and no monthly fees. Plus, you can use a Powerco ChekCard to get fee-free cash at over 25,000 ATM locations around the world as part of the CULIANCE® Network with no terminal or transaction fees. Transactions at Publix® Presto!® ATMs are also free with no terminal or transaction fees. And, of course, you get fee-free ATM transactions at all Powerco ATM locations.
  • Powerco VISA Gold: Your Powerco VISA® is perfect to use as well since it has a low rate, a grace period on purchases and you can use it at ATMs for cash access to your credit line.
  • Direct Deposit: Direct deposit of your payroll or federal benefits will ensure that no matter where you are your money makes it safely into your Powerco account.
  • VISA® eAccess: Sign up for this free service to manage your Powerco VISA®  account from anywhere you have internet access. Make payments, check your balance, see recent transactions and more with this service.
  • Online Banking and Online BillPay: Manage your Powerco accounts in one easy place. With our free Online Banking service, you can transfer funds between accounts, view your balance and more. With free Online BillPay, you can pay bills for pretty much anyone. Our Online BillPay service also features an eBill service, which means you can receive, view and print your bills directly within our secure online bill payment service.
  • eStatements: All members are eligible for free eStatements. Not only are eStatements safer for all members since they eliminate the possibility of a would-be identity thief stealing your information from your mailbox, they are also more convenient. With eStatements, you'll have access to current and past Powerco statements. You'll be notified when your statement is ready each month. Log into your secure eStatement account to view, print or save the statement.
  • Polly, The Anytime Phone Teller: If you have access to a phone service during emergencies, you can use our Polly, The Anytime Phone Teller service to transfer funds, check account balances, make loan payments and more.

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) is a tool for all Americans. Regardless of annual income or financial assets, we all need to have our financial records in order to help maintain stability in the event of an emergency. The EFFAK is your first step.

The EFFAK is a tool to help minimize the financial impact of a financial disaster or national emergency. It helps users identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick reference to their most important financial documents. The EFFAK offers simple step-by-step instructions for how to protect personal assets and financial information, and reduce the challenges associated with emergencies and disasters. Also, complete the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG) which will guide you through steps you can take before a disaster or emergency strikes.

Emergency Supply Checklist

The Emergency Supply Checklist includes the basic items to put in an emergency supply kit.

Family Emergency Plan Template

Families may not be together in an emergency, so it is important to plan in advance how to contact one another and what to do in different situations. To get started, download the Emergency Plan Template (or the printer-friendly version). Also, utilize the Child Information Cards.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information to Get Ready.

This brochure from FEMA is comprehensive and explains the key steps to emergency preparedness, including: being informed, making a plan, building a kit and getting involved. Also available in a printer-friendly version.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Get Ready Now.

This booklet from FEMA is comprehensive and explains the key steps to emergency preparedness, including: being informed, making a plan, building a kit and getting involved. Also available in a printer-friendly version.

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.

Information for pet owners and suggestions for proactive pet emergency preparedness. A printer-friendly version is also available.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Older Americans

A brochure with information specific to older Americans and tips on how to prepare for emergency situations. A printer-friendly version is also available.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities

Information specific to Americans with disabilities and other access and functional needs regarding emergency preparedness. A printer-friendly version is also available.

Ready Kids Activity Book

An activity and coloring book (16 pages) with interactive activities to teach children about emergency preparedness.


Are You Ready?

This is an in-depth guide to citizen preparedness. This FEMA publication is designed to help citizens learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards. It can be used as a reference source or as a step-by-step manual. The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice and maintain emergency plans that reflect what must be done before, during and after a disaster to protect people and their property. Also included is information on how to assemble a disaster supplies kit that contains the food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity for individuals and their families to survive following a disaster in the event they must rely on their own resources.

Preparing For Disaster

Provides step-by-step disaster preparedness procedures including hazard identification, how to create a family disaster plan, how to assemble a disaster supplies kit, and how to maintain a plan and kit.

Food and Water in an Emergency

Explains how to select and store food and how to store and treat water in the event of an emergency. Provides information on emergency cooking, where to locate emergency water and how to assemble a portable disaster supplies kit with food and water.

United for a Stronger America: Citizens' Preparedness Guide

The Citizens' Preparedness Guide, produced by the National Crime Prevention Council with support from the Department of Justice, provides current crime and disaster preparedness techniques as well as the latest information on terrorism, to give Americans guidance on how to prepare in our homes, in our neighborhoods, at work, at the airport, in places of worship and in public places.

FCC Consumer Facts: Emergency Communications

Information from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help citizens better understand what happens to communications systems during an emergency and how to best use communications systems during a crisis or disaster.




This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. NMLS# 762143

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