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Hurricane Season is Here

It is June 1, which means hurricane season has officially started. Every year, from June 1 — November 30, the Gulf Coast braces for hurricanes. While we hope for the best, it is important to be prepared for the worst.  While many people along the Gulf Coast know to stock up on necessities like water, canned goods and batteries, the process of preparing your finances tends to get overlooked. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Secure important documents

Gather documents like IDs, contact lists and financial account information. For helpful guidance and checklists about what to pack, review the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) from FEMA. Place a copy of your important documents and records in a locked, waterproof and fireproof container. This way, you have everything in one place if you need to evacuate. Be sure to include some cash in your storage box since ATMs are often out-of-order when the electricity goes out. You will also want to make copies of this valuable information and store it in a secure location outside your home — like a Gulf Winds safe deposit box. If you keep your files electronic, make sure your information is well-guarded with a password and/or two-factor identification. 

2. Enroll in Digital Banking

Our digital tools can help you monitor your accounts, pay bills, transfer funds and much more from the convenience of your mobile phone, tablet or computer. These tools will be invaluable if you have to evacuate or roads are closed. Enroll in Gulf Winds Digital Banking with just a few easy steps. If you're going to rely on your phone, consider purchasing a cell phone solar charger. 

3. Set-up direct deposit

Continue receiving your paycheck or Social Security payment on time, even if mail service has stopped or you have relocated. Setting up direct deposit will help you get your money quickly, without having to wait for your check to clear. Learn about Gulf Winds direct deposits here

We all can prepare financially for a hurricane. Doing so will alleviate stress and help you get your life back in order after a tropical storm or hurricane strikes. And remember, we're here for you if you need us. You can find several ways to contact us here or call us toll free at 1.800.650.6328.

Other ways to be prepared

If you are new to the area or just haven't made the time to preparing for a hurricane — start with this advice from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This page covers the basics, from strengthening your home to building an emergency kit. If you're preparing your emergency kit, Florida offers a Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday from May 28 - June 10 this year. Here are a few other valuable resources: 

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