Five Steps to Limit the Financial Damage from a Natural Disaster

A major earthquake in Alaska. Devastating wildfires in California. It was a busy final few months of 2018 for natural disasters in the United States, punctuating another year of costly losses of life and property, and providing Americans with a billion-dollar reminder of just how important it is to take steps in advance to prepare and protect their assets from the calamitous climate, weather and natural events that are battering the U.S. and other countries with increased regularity.

Globally, the frequency of natural disasters — earthquakes, storms, floods, drought, etc. — has quadrupled since 1970, to more than 400 per year, reports PreventionWeb, an arm of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. And the U.S. is consistently among the hardest-hit countries. For example, the epidemic of wildfires that swept through parts of Southern California last summer and fall are expected to result in total economic losses approaching $400 billion, according to AccuWeather, making it the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.

If you’re among the millions of people who live and work in areas that are susceptible to natural disaster, the choice is simple: prepare ahead of time to protect your assets, both tangible and intangible, or live with the very real risk of losing things you cannot afford to lose, with little recourse for replacing them. Because while you may not be able to escape a natural disaster, you can take steps to limit the damage, financial and otherwise, that it inflicts upon the things you value. Those steps include:
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