Emergency Financial
First Aid Kit (EFFAK)
Strengthen Your Financial Preparedness
for Disasters and Emergencies
September 2015
The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is available for free from FEMA.
Call (800) 4802520 and ask for document #532.
It is also available as a free download online at
www.ready.gov/nancialpreparedness and at www.operationhope.org.
© 2004, 2008, 2014 Operation HOPE Inc.
Strengthen Your Financial
Preparedness for Disasters
and Emergencies
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their
lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having
access to personal nancial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for
starting the process of recovery quickly and efciently. Taking the time now to collect
and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an
emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery
process without delay.
To help you take this important step in nancial preparedness for disasters, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Operation HOPE are pleased to provide the
Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK). The EFFAK is a exible tool designed to help
individuals and families at all income levels collect and secure the documentation they
would need to get on the road to recovery without unnecessary delays, should disaster
strike. The EFFAK also includes helpful tips and suggestions regarding how to safeguard
important information, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to work with
others to strengthen community preparedness.
In addition to producing the EFFAK, Operation HOPE and FEMA joined with partners
at the U.S. Department of the Treasurys Financial Literacy and Education Commission,
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Agricultures
National Institute of Food and Agriculture to hold a webinar on nancial preparation in
April 2013. This webinar provides an overview of nancial preparedness for disasters
and answers many common questions. It is available for viewing online at www.ready.
gov/community-preparedness-webinar-series-nancial-preparation. For more
information on nancial preparedness for you and your family, please visit the
Ready.gov Financial Preparedness page at www.ready.gov/nancialpreparedness
or Operation HOPE’s website at www.operationhope.org.
Take the time now to identify, collect, and update your personal and nancial records
and documents. If a disaster affects your family, you will be glad you did. We also
encourage you to share the EFFAK with others to help us spread the message of
nancial preparedness. Thank you.
John Hope Bryant
CEO and Founder
Operation HOPE, Inc.
Timothy W. Manning
Deputy Administrator
Protection and National Preparedness
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Contents
1
Overview
5
EFFAK Checklists and Forms
Household Identication
6
Financial and Legal Documentation
Medical Information
Household Contacts
12
20
22
26
Protecting Your Information
28
Other Steps for Preparing
31
Support Community Resilience
32
If Disaster Strikes
34
Additional Resources
35
EFFAK Partners
37
Notice
1
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Overview
If a disaster or other emergency strikes your community,
you may only have seconds or minutes to react. In those
critical moments, your focus will be on your familys
safety. Once the immediate danger has passed, having
your homeowners or renters insurance policy, bank account
information, and other household records and contacts will
be essential as you begin the recovery process. The Emergency
Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) can help you be ready.
The nonprot organization HOPE Coalition America, in partnership with the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), created the EFFAK in 2004 to help individuals
and families collect and organize critical nancial, medical, and household contact
information. After completing the EFFAK, you will have a centralized record of essential
household information whenever you need it, giving you peace of mind that you will be
able to rebuild your life more quickly if you ever experience a disaster.
The EFFAK has four sections, each of which includes a checklist of important documents
and forms to compile your relevant information:
§ Household Identication
§ Financial and Legal Documentation
§ Medical Information
§ Household Contacts
This guide also offers suggestions on safeguarding and storing your EFFAK, as well
as information on protecting your family, property, and other resources. If you have
questions or need assistance completing your EFFAK, please call (888) 388–HOPE (4673).
For more information on HOPE Coalition America, please visit www.operationhope.org.
For information on personal disaster preparedness or FEMA disaster assistance, please
visit www.ready.gov and www.fema.gov/assistance.
Four Simple Steps to Financial Preparedness
1. Compile: Assemble your important documents and contacts.
§ Complete and date all the forms in the EFFAK.
§ Use the checklists to identify the documentation that you should collect.
§ If you do not have an original version of a document, contact the appropriate
company or agency to obtain a copy.
§ If you receive paper checks for any of your Federal benets, consider enrolling in
automatic benets through Go Direct (www.godirect.org).
§ If you receive paper checks from your employer, consider requesting direct deposit.
§ Print or download statements of any obligations that you pay automatically, such as
rent or mortgage payments, utilities, loan payments, and memberships.
§ Take photographs or record a video of the rooms in your home and any valuable
belongings. Include copies of these records with either your paper or electronic
versions of the EFFAK.
§ Keep some cash in the same safe location as your EFFAK to pay for emergency
purchases if ATMs are not functioning or banks are closed. The amount of cash
should be based on the basic needs of your family, including food, gas, and
other necessities.
2. Review: Review your insurance policies and nancial paperwork to be sure that they
are still accurate and current.
§ If you own a home, ensure that your homeowners insurance coverage is adequate.
§ If you rent, ensure that your lease reects your current rent and verify that your
renters insurance is up-to-date.
§ Please visit www.usa.gov/topics/family-homes/insurance.shtml for additional tips
on homeowners and renters insurance.
§ The EFFAK will help you to identify any important personal documents or types of
insurance (such as a will, living will, life insurance policy, or health insurance plan)
that you do not currently have. Consider taking the steps to set up these items.
3. Safeguard: Store paper and electronic copies of all les in safe locations.
§ Consider storing paper copies of important documents at home in a reproof and
waterproof box or safe, in a bank safe deposit box, or with a trusted friend or
relative. If you are using a safe deposit box, you may want to ask your bank or check
state laws to conrm who can and cannot access the safe deposit box if the lessee dies
or is incapacitated.
§ For electronic copies of important documents, store them in a password-protected
format on a removable ash or external hard drive in your reproof and waterproof
box or safe, or consider using a secure offsite storage service. Visit www.us-cert.gov/
ncas/tips/st04-019 to learn how to use electronic encryption to protect sensitive
information.
§ If you bank or pay your bills electronically, we recommend periodically printing
your account records to include with your EFFAK.
2
3
§ If you have a lawyer, nancial advisor, or trusted family member or friend, you may
want to provide him or her with a paper copy of your EFFAK in a sealed envelope to
be opened only with your approval or the approval of someone you have designated
in the event you cannot make decisions on your own, such as your next of kin or
someone whom you have authorized to act on your behalf (known as power of
attorney).
4. Update: Revisit and update your EFFAK on a regular schedule. Updates are especially
important when certain changes in your life occur.
§ Suggested schedule for routine review:
» During tax preparation time
» At the start or end of daylight saving time
» Around your birthday
» At the start of a new year
§ Changes that need EFFAK updates:
» When you change your insurance provider
» When you purchase a home or rent an apartment
» When you open or close bank accounts
» When you have a change in marital status
» When you have a child
» When your child changes schools
» During retirement planning
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
4
5
EFFAK Checklists and Forms
The EFFAK contains the following four sections of key records and contact information:
§ Household Identication
§ Financial and Legal Documentation
§ Medical Information
§ Household Contacts
Each section includes checklists and contact forms to assist you in collecting and assembling
your relevant documents and information. Each checklist includes the following columns:
When you complete the rst
two sections, Household
Identication and Financial
and Legal Documentation,
you will have the information
necessary to apply for FEMA
Disaster Assistance.
§ Type of Document: This column provides a list of the specic documents for the
category (for example, drivers license, bank statements, and health insurance cards).
§ Have: Check the box in this column if you have either a paper or electronic copy of
the listed document.
§ Need: Check the box in this column if you determine that you need this document,
but you do not have a copy. Once you have obtained the document, you can check
the “Have” column and enter the date in the “Date Added/Updated” column.
§ N/A [Not Applicable]: Check the box in this column if you determine that you
do not need this document or that it does not apply to you, your family, or your
household. Remember to review your checklist and update documents if your
household circumstances change.
§ Date Added/Updated: Enter the date in this column when you add the paper and/or
electronic copy of a document to your EFFAK. This information will serve as a handy
reference point to remind you when it is time to review or update the document. You
can then enter the new date in this column when you do a recheck or update.
§ Tips and Links: This column provides additional details on your documents, as well
as suggestions and links on how to contact agencies or organizations to request paper
or electronic copies of your documents.
Things to consider in using the EFFAK checklists:
§ Not all documents may be applicable to you, your family, or your household.
§ If you identify an important document that you do not currently have, please
contact the relevant company or agency to obtain a copy of the document.
§ If the document is an item that you normally carry with you (for example, an
insurance card or military ID that you keep in your wallet or purse), make a copy
of the item and store that copy with your EFFAK.
§ We recommended scheduling your EFFAK additions or updates to align with
important family or nancial milestones throughout the year. These milestones could
include tax preparation time, the start or end of the school year, or birthdays.
§ Review your EFFAK whenever there are changes to your household, such as a
change in marital status, a change of residence or job, or a new phone number.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Household Identication
Use this section to record important personal information for your household.
This information can help you to:
§ Prove the identity of all household members in a post-disaster situation;
§ Maintain or re-establish contact with your family or other members of
your household;
§ Maintain contact with your employer or the employers of others in your
household; and
§ Apply for FEMA disaster assistance benets (along with the information
contained in the Financial and Legal Documentation section).
Checklist of Important Documents: Personal and Family Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS
Drivers license
Photocopy front and back
Other photo ID
Photocopy front and back
Birth certifi ate(s)/
adoption papers/
child custody documents
You can obtain copies of
birth, adoption, death,
marriage, and divorce
certifi ates from your state
health or social services
administration offi e
for a minimal fee. The
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
maintains a state-by-state
contact list at: www.cdc.
gov/nchs/w2w.htm.
Marriage license
Divorce license
Social Security card(s)
If you need a new card or
a replacement card, call
your local Social Security
Administration (SSA)
offi e for assistance at
(800) 772–1213 and tell the
operator where you live. To
locate a nearby offi e, visit:
https://secure.ssa.gov/
apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp.
Child identity cards/
dental records/
DNA swabs
Ensure that you have your
children’s identifi ation
records, including recent
photographs, child identity
cards with ngerprints,
dental records (typically
stored by dental care
providers), or DNA swabs.
6
7
Checklist of Important Documents: Personal and Family Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
Passport/green card
Having a copy of your
passport or Green Card
will make obtaining a
replacement quicker, if
needed. Information about
applying for and renewing
a passport is available
at: www.travel.state.
gov/content/passports/
english.html You can
call the National Passport
Information Center at (877)
487–2778 ((888) 874–7793
(TDD/TTY)). Information
about applying for,
renewing, and replacing a
Green Card is available at:
www.uscis.gov/greencard.
Naturalization
documents
Information on U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration
Services is available at: www.
uscis.gov. Naturalization
documents are the only
acceptable proof of
citizenship for individuals
not born in the United States.
MILITARY/SERVICE INFORMATION
Current military ID
Military
discharge record
(DD 214)*
If you are a veteran, obtain
copies of your DD 214, your
military discharge form.
Obtain copies by contacting
the U.S. National Archives
and Records Administration
at (866) 272–6272 or
1–86–NARA–NARA, or by
accessing Veterans Records
online at www.archives.gov/
veterans.
PETS
Pet ID tags
Proof of pet ownership
(photos of owners with
pets, registration papers)
Pet microchip
information
Ensure that you have a copy
of your pet’s ID tag numbers
and microchip account
information, if applicable.
*Certifi ate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, issued by the U.S. Department of Defense.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Household Information
Because every household is different, these forms will need to be customized to meet
your needs. Only you can know the information that is important for your household.
For example, if someone in your household has more than one job, be sure to write
down contact information for someone at each job.
YOUR NAME
Last Name
Date of Birth
First Name
Place of Birth
Middle Name
RESIDENCE
Address
City
Home Phone
Email
Cell Phone
Other
State ZIP
Work Phone
Apt.
YOUR EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
Company/Firm
Address Suite
City State ZIP
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9
NAME OF SUPERVISOR OR OTHER WORK CONTACT
Last Name First Name Title
Work Phone Email
Home Phone Other
NAME OF SPOUSE/PARTNER
Last Name First Name Middle Name
Date of Birth Place of Birth
Cell Phone Work Phone
Email Other
YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
Company/Firm
Address Suite
City State ZIP
NAME OF SUPERVISOR/WORK CONTACT
Last Name First Name Title
Work Phone Email
Home Phone Other
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION
Trusted family members or friends who should be notied in the event that something
happens to you or your spouse.
Contact #1 Relationship
Work Phone Email
Home Phone Cell Phone
Contact #2 Relationship
Work Phone Email
Home Phone Cell Phone
LIST ALL CHILDREN AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS LIVING IN THE RESIDENCE
Person #1 Last Name First Name Middle Name
Email Cell Phone Date of Birth
School/Employer Contact Name/Supervisor
Contact Phone Email
Person #2 Last Name First Name Middle Name
Email Cell Phone Date of Birth
School/Employer Contact Name/Supervisor
Contact Phone Email
10
Person #3 Last Name First Name Middle Name
Email Cell Phone Date of Birth
School/Employer Contact Name/Supervisor
Contact Phone Email
Person #4 Last Name First Name Middle Name
Email Cell Phone Date of Birth
School/Employer Contact Name/Supervisor
Contact Phone Email
11
1111
Financial and Legal
Documentation
Please use this section to record information on your key accounts, including
but not limited to:
§ Housing payments
§ Other nancial obligations (for example, utility bills, credit/debit card accounts)
§ Financial accounts (for example, checking, savings, or retirement accounts)
§ Insurance policies
§ Sources of income
§ Tax statements
§ Estate planning
This nancial information is important because it can help you to:
§ Identify your nancial records and obligations (you may need to demonstrate proof
of income when you apply for disaster assistance);
§ Re-establish your nancial accounts if checks are destroyed or your regular online
access methods are disrupted;
§ Maintain payments and credit;
§ Provide contact information for actions to start recovery, such as contacting your
insurance company to discuss damage and repairs, or contacting utilities regarding
outages and restoration; and
§ Apply for FEMA disaster assistance benets (along with the material contained in the
Household Identication section).
Important Reminder
In the event of an emergency or disaster, you are still responsible for paying your
mortgage regardless of the condition of your house or its habitability. You are also
responsible for paying your credit card bills. Failing to remain current with your
payments could negatively affect your credit at a time when you need credit the most.
If an emergency or disaster causes you to lose income and you are unable to pay your
bills, we recommend that you call your card issuers as soon as possible and explain your
situation. Many card issuers will work with you to establish a schedule to accommodate
you and your personal situation in times of emergency.
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13
Checklist of Important Documents: Financial Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
HOUSING PAYMENTS
Lease or rental
agreement
Proof of housing rental
may be required to receive
Federal disaster assistance.
If you need a copy of your
lease or rental agreement,
ask your property owner
for a copy.
Mortgage or
real estate
deeds of trust
Proof of home ownership
may be required to
receive Federal disaster
assistance. If you need a
copy of your mortgage
or deed of trust, contact
your lending institution.
NOTE: You must continue
to pay your mortgage even
if your home is destroyed
or unlivable due to a
disaster. Failure to pay your
mortgage could put your
loan in default, which
could trigger a foreclosure.
Second mortgage/
private mortgage
insurance
Include documentation
of all mortgages on your
home.
Home equity line of
credit (HELOC)
Include copies of other
loans or nancial
obligations tied to
your home.
OTHER PAYMENTS/FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
Include statements from all your accounts. These documents will include the name of the
nancial institution, the name of the account holder, the account number, and contact phone numbers.
Utility bills (electric,
water, gas)
If you do not have a copy
of your lease, having
proof of utility payments
is very important for
demonstrating proof of
residence.
Loan payments
for vehicles
Include copy of loan
agreement.
Credit card
Include account number
and phone numbers to
report lost or stolen cards.
Credit card
Credit card
Student loan
Include copy of loan
agreement.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
OTHER PAYMENTS/FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
Include statements from all your accounts. These documents will include the name of the
nancial institution, the name of the account holder, the account number, and contact phone numbers.
Alimony payments
Child support
payments
Include copy of payment
agreement.
Elder care facilities
Include copy of payment
agreement.
Automatic payments
(such as gym
memberships)
Include copy of payment
agreement.
Other
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS/OTHER ASSETS
Ba nk/cre d it
union/debit card
statements
Many people do the
majority of their banking
and other nancial business
electronically. If you bank
electronically, periodically
download electronic copies
of your account statements
on a removable ash or
external hard drive, or
print and store hard copies
of account statements
on a regular basis (for
example, quarterly). The
main goal of this activity
is to document proof that
you have an account, your
account number, and
the institutions contact
information.
Retirement accounts
(401K, TSP, IRA)
Investment accounts
(stocks, bonds,
mutua l funds)
Vehicle registration/
ownership papers
If you do not have your
car ownership papers,
you should be able to
get a reissued vehicle
title or registration from
your local Department
of Motor Vehicles. Visit
www.f hwa.dot.gov/
webstate.cfm to locate
your state’s department of
transportation.
Other
14
Include copy of payment
agreement.
Checklist of Important Documents: Financial Information
15
Checklist of Important Documents: Financial Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
INSURANCE POLICIES
Property/
homeowners/
renters insurance
(including riders)
Call the claims numbers
on your insurance policies
to verify that the policy
numbers are correct. Retain
a copy of the claims call
number with your records.
Review your policies
coverage to be sure they
are still adequate.
Copies of photos
of property and
contents (including
photos of any
valuable items
that are separately
covered)
Auto insurance
Life insurance
Professional
appraisals of
personal property
Other
SOURCES OF INCOME
Recent pay stubs
for all sources of
income
Consider including one
or two recent pay stubs
for reference.
Government
benets (Social
Security, Temporary
Assistance for Needy
Families, Veterans
benets)
Having proof of your
income sources will be
important if an emergency
interrupts your income.
To learn more about
government benets,
grants, and nancial aid
and to obtain any needed
documentation, please visit
www.benets.gov. If you
receive paper checks for
any of your Federal
benets, consider
enrolling in automatic
benets through Go Direct
(www.godirect.org).
Alimony income
Child support
income
Rewards accounts
(frequent yer
programs, hotel
rewards)
Other
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Checklist of Important Documents: Financial Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
TAX STATEMENTS
Previous year’s tax
returns (Federal,
state, and/or local)
Tax returns from the
previous three years may
be required to apply for
some new loans. You may
need to verify qualifi ation
for income-based
assistance. Tax experts also
recommend keeping all
tax returns and records for
seven years.
Property tax
statement
Personal property
tax (for example,
car tax)
ESTATE PLANNING
Will/Trust
A will is a legal document
that species who will
receive your property after
your death. A trust holds
the property transferred
to it and can be disbursed
before your death. Property
passing through a trust
also avoids probate. These
documents can help reduce
family conicts, legal time,
and expenses during the
stressful time of losing a
loved one. Most nancial
planners can help you
create a will or trust, or you
can contact a local legal aid
offi e for assistance.
Power(s) of attorney
(personal/property)
Giving someone “power
of attorney” authorizes
another person (not
necessarily an attorney)
to act on your behalf. You
can give someone complete
authority or authority that
is limited to certain acts
and/or certain periods
of time. This is a legal
document, and it should be
prepared and reviewed by
a lawyer.
Other
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17
Financial Account Information
Note: If you have safeguarded copies of your nancial accounts and payment obligations,
you do not need to complete this section.
FINANCIAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION (Banks, Credit Unions, Retirement Accounts)
Name of Institution Type of Account
Last Four Digits of Account Number
Institution Phone Number
Website
FINANCIAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION (Banks, Credit Unions, Retirement Accounts)
Name of Institution Type of Account
Last Four Digits of Account Number
Institution Phone Number
Website
CREDIT/DEBIT CARD INFORMATION
Card Type (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc.)
Issuer of the Card
Card Cancellation Phone Number
Website
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
CREDIT/DEBIT CARD INFORMATION
Card Type (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc.)
Issuer of the Card
Card Cancellation Phone Number
Website
INSURANCE POLICIES
Firm/Institution Name
Name of Policy Holder
Policy Number Claims Phone Number
Type of Policy Value Coverage Period
Website
INSURANCE POLICIES
Firm/Institution Name
Name of Policy Holder
Policy Number Claims Phone Number
Type of Policy Value Coverage Period
Website
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19
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS (Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly Payments)
Payee Account/Policy Number
Name of Account Holder
Payment Amount Due Date(s)
Date of Final Payment (if applicable)
Website
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS (Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly Payments)
Payee Account/Policy Number
Name of Account Holder
Payment Amount Due Date(s)
Date of Final Payment (if applicable)
Website
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS (Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly Payments)
Payee Account/Policy Number
Name of Account Holder
Payment Amount Due Date(s)
Date of Final Payment (if applicable)
Website
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Medical Information
Please use this section to collect information relating to the health and medical needs of
your household.
Checklist of Important Documents: Medical Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
MEDICAL
Other
Caregiver agency
contract or service
agreement
List of medications
you take on a
regular basis
Copies of current
prescriptions
(including glasses)
Disabilities
documentation
Living will/
power of attorney
(medical)
List models,
serial numbers,
and suppliers for
medical equipment
(pacemakers,
feeding pumps,
home IV units,
suction machines,
wheelchairs, Braille
or lower vision
equipment)
Physician
Pediatrician
Medical specialist
(e.g., dentist, optometrist)
Medicare card
Medicaid card
Copy of health insurance
ID card(s), including
Veteran Health
Identifi ation Card(s)
Copy of pharmacy
ID card(s)
Record of
immunizations/
allergies
You can obtain a copy
of your health insurance
cards from your insurance
provider or the Department
of Veterans Affairs.
You may wish to put a
copy of your physician’s
or specialist’s business
card or paperwork from
your most recent visit.
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Checklist of Important Documents: Medical Information
DATE ADDED/
TYPE OF DOCUMENT
HAVE NEED
N/A
TIPS AND LINKS
UPDATED
PETS
Veterinarian contact
information
You may wish to put a
copy of your veterinarian’s
business card or paperwork
from your most recent visit
in your EFFAK.
Pet immunization
records
Copies of current
pet prescriptions
2121
Household Contacts
It is important for you to have contact information for all your nancial advisors, health
professionals, and service providers. You may wish to put a copy of a business card
in your EFFAK or write down contact information on the forms provided here. This
information will serve as a backup in case your address book or contact lists are lost or
destroyed during an emergency or disaster. These contacts could include, but are not
limited to, the following:
§ Landlord or mortgage representative
§ Doctor, dentist, or other health care providers (for example, audiologists, kidney
dialysis centers)
§ Insurance agent
§ Person in charge of your military benets
§ Social services representative (for services such as the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program, Aid to Family programs, Supplemental Security Income, and
Social Security Disability Insurance)
§ Local disability service provider or case manager
§ Assistive technology or Durable Medical Equipment provider
§ Lawyer
§ Financial advisor
§ Banking institution(s)
§ Neighborhood, civic, and house of worship contacts
§ Household service providers (for example, plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter)
POINT OF CONTACT #1:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street Suite
City State ZIP
Email
Work Phone
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
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POINT OF CONTACT #2:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street
Suite
City
State
ZIP
Work Phone
Email
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
POINT OF CONTACT #3:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street
Suite
City
State
ZIP
Email
Work Phone
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
POINT OF CONTACT #4:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street
Suite
City
State
ZIP
Work Phone
Email
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
POINT OF CONTACT #5:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street
Suite
City State ZIP
Work Phone
Email
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
24
POINT OF CONTACT #6:
Contact Type
Last Name First Name Title
Company/Firm
Street
Suite
City
State
ZIP
Work Phone
Email
Home Phone
Fax
Additional Information
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Protecting Your Information
Once you have collected all your nancial, legal, and contact
information, it is essential to safeguard this information.
Helpful Tips to Protect Your Identity and Important Information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established a dedicated website
(www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/repairing-identity-theft) to provide individuals
with tips and guidance that they can use in the event of identity theft, the misuse
of checking accounts, the theft of nancial documents, or the loss of debit/credit
cards or government-issued identication.
For example, in the case of a lost credit or debit card, the FTC suggests that you
do the following:
§ Immediately report the loss to your nancial institution via telephone.
§ Send a followup letter or email to the institution with the details of the card loss,
including your account information, when you rst noticed the loss, and when you
reported the loss. (Note: Some card issuers may require you to provide additional
written conrmation within 10 days of the telephone notication.)
§ Check your statements on a regular basis and report to your card issuer any
transactions that you did not make or authorize.
§ Determine if your homeowners or renters insurance policy provides liability coverage
for card loss or theft.
§ Review your credit score or credit report each year to monitor for potential
unauthorized access to your accounts and potential identity theft.
Keeping Your Electronic Records Safe
You have probably already created a password, personal identication number (PIN),
or answered personal security questions for your electronic banking, bill paying,
purchasing, and other nancial activities. These items provide an extra measure of
protection for you and your accounts. We do not recommend keeping written lists of this
type of personal access information with the paper or electronic copies of your EFFAK. If
you do keep written lists of your passwords, PINs, or security questions, you may want
to consider substituting a “hint” word or phrase for the actual access information. This
hint will allow you to recall the real access information easily when necessary, while
preventing unauthorized users from accessing your accounts.
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Tips on Passwords and PINs
Choosing secure passwords is one of the most important things you can do to keep your
accounts and identity safe. Be sure to select a password or PIN that is memorable but
not easily associated with you. Someone can easily discover a birth date, phone number,
nickname, or other similar reference that is connected to you. In addition, you should
avoid using the same or similar passwords or PINs for multiple accounts. Using different
passwords or PINs will reduce the likelihood that you will have more than one account
compromised if someone illegally gains access to your password or PIN.
Last ly, never give out a password or PIN for any account to anyone, no matter whom the
person is or claims to be. No customer service representative, systems administrator, or
corporate security ofcer should ever ask you for your password or PIN. If someone is
authorized to access your account, he or she does not need your password to get access.
What To Do If Your EFFAK Is Stolen
If you believe that your EFFAK or any of your important documents have been stolen or
illegally accessed, you should immediately notify all of your nancial institutions (such
as banks or credit card companies), insurance agencies, and similar companies about
the situation. These organizations have their own rules and procedures for monitoring,
closing, or reopening your accounts, and they can assist you with these details,
including obtaining new account numbers and establishing new PINs.
Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (www.consu mer.ftc.gov/articles/0218-
electronic-banking), if you report the loss of your debit or ATM card before any
unauthorized activity occurs, you are not responsible for any unpermitted use. If you
report the loss promptly (within two business days of learning of the loss of the card),
you have limited responsibility for any unauthorized transfers that occurred before you
reported the loss. Even if you have not lost your debit or ATM card, FTC suggests that
you regularly review and monitor your statements and account activity for unusual or
suspicious activity, particularly if you bank online.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
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Other Steps for Preparing
What Else Can You Do To Prepare?
Once your EFFAK is complete, you can take other steps to prepare for potential
disasters or emergencies. An important rst step is to learn about the types of disasters
that may happen where you live, work, or travel frequently. Then, join with others in
your neighborhood, workplace, school, or house of worship to take action to stay safe
before, during, and after the emergency. Americas PrepareAthon! is a community-based
campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience. The campaigns
website, www.ready.gov/prepare, provides free preparedness guides and other
resources to help you get started.
Review Operation HOPEs Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide
This guide outlines additional categories of information to consider storing for use
after a disaster (such as health care, pets and animal shelters, employment, childcare,
and schools). The document also asks you to think about three types of emergencies
that are most likely to occur in your community, as well as actions you can take to
protect and recover from an incident. Finally, the guide includes various “Plans of
Action” to which you can refer in the event of an emergency. Review the guide at
www.operationhope.org/images/uploads/Files/pdpg.pdf.
Visit Ready.gov
Ready.gov can provide you with basic preparedness tips and information on organizing
different types of disaster supply kits, as well as details on how to create other
preparedness and emergency materials for you, your family, your home, and your
business. Go to www.ready.gov to learn more.
Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness Activities
Building more resilient communities takes trained volunteers and an informed public.
Here are a few ways you can help:
Learn about the emergency plans for your childrens schools, your workplace,
and your neighborhood.
Participate in community exercises and drills.
Take training in rst aid and emergency response skills.
Volunteer to support your local rst responders.
Find out other ways to get involved at www.ready.gov/get-involved.
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Follow Tips for Employers and Business Owners
Is your company or business nancially prepared for an emergency or disaster?
If not, you are not alone. According to the Insurance Information Institute, an
estimated 25 percent of all businesses affected by a major disaster never reopen.
1
The following resources are available to help you nancially prepare your business for
potential emergencies, as well as increase the safety and security of your employees and
your community. It is important to prepare your organization. Planning now can reduce
the time it takes to resume normal operations.
Ready Business
The Ready Business page at Ready.gov (www.ready.gov/business) encourages businesses
to take four steps to prepare for emergencies:
§ Plan to stay in business.
§ Talk to your employees.
§ Protect your investment.
§ Contact your customers and suppliers.
The Ready Business page also provides tools and materials to help businesses and other
organizations create a plan to address the potential impact of emergencies or disasters.
The content and structure of these business tools and materials are based on the
Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Standard, as developed by the
National Fire Protection Association and endorsed by the American National
Standards Institute and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has established an Emergency Preparedness
Web page (www.sba.gov/prepare) to provide business owners with links to relevant
information, including emergency preparedness, maintenance of business operations
(also known as continuity of operations, or COOP), disaster assistance, cleanup,
and recovery. SBA is also a cosponsor on the Prepare My Business website
(www.preparemybusiness.org), which provides a list of resources for use in
developing business preparedness plans.
1
www.iii.org/press_releases/insurance-lessons-learned-from-sandy-steps-to-keep-
your-business-running-following-a-disaster.html
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
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Support Community Resilience
Getting involved before a disaster strikes can help ensure that
your community stays strong and recovers more quickly. On the
Ready.gov website (www.ready.gov), you can nd information
on what to do before, during, and after an emergency, as well
as ideas on ways to help strengthen your community. The
following are a few ways you can support community resilience:
§ Volunteer to support disaster relief efforts in your community as part of a
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a Medical Reserve Corps unit,
or a Citizen Corps partner program or afliate organization. Many local houses
of worship and community organizations, including those that serve people with
access and functional needs, also have active disaster support programs. To locate
your nearest preparedness group, visit www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/nd-your-
nearest-council.
§ Join the National Preparedness Coalition and participate in any of the upcoming
preparedness events in your community. For more information, visit
http://community.fema.gov.
§ Connect with your local emergency planning group, Citizen Corps Council, or
local emergency management agency as part of the community planning process.
To locate your nearest planning group, visit www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/nd-
your-nearest-council.
§ Join or start a community preparedness project. FEMAs Community Preparedness
Web page (www.ready.gov/community-preparedness) can help you nd an event,
identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, and set goals.
§ Share with your friends and neighbors important preparedness information, such
as the FEMA document, “Safeguarding your Valuables” (http://emilms.fema.gov/
IS909/assets/11_SafeguardingValuables.pdf).
§ Donate cash or goods to help meet the needs of your community in times of disaster.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly.
§ Join the HOPE Corps, Operation HOPE’s nationwide network of volunteers dedicated
to promoting nancial self-sufciency and community empowerment. For more
information, visit www.operationhope.org/Program/pid/4.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
If Disaster Strikes
If you have been affected by an event that is declared a
Federal disaster by the President, you should immediately call
FEMA to apply for Federal assistance. If you have access to the
Internet, you can complete FEMAs online disaster application
at www.disasterassistance.gov or on your mobile device at
m.fema.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, please
call (800) 621–FEMA (3362) or TTY (800) 4627585.
Following most disasters or emergencies, FEMA will open Disaster Recovery Centers
(www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers) in the affected areas. Once they are
established, you can visit the location to speak with FEMA representatives about
available disaster recovery programs.
After a disaster, you should locate or recover your stored EFFAK and the copies of
your important documents. You should then review the EFFAK to identify the relevant
materials you may need to use during your recovery period, such as contact information
for out-of-state relatives or family members, homeowners or renters insurance policies,
or bank account data.
Disaster Assistance Resources
If you have been affected by a disaster and need assistance, contact FEMA at
(800) 621–3362 or TTY (800) 4627585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS),
call (800) 621–3362. Multilingual operators are available to answer calls seven days a
week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. You can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov
or by smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
HOPE Coalition America also has nancial counselors available to help you after
an emergency. Through the HOPE Crisis Hotline and onsite counseling centers, the
Coalitions staff can provide you with additional nancial recovery information. Call
(888) 388–HOPE (4673) for assistance.
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What Information Do I Need to Apply?
Whether applying online at www.disasterassistance.gov from your computer or
smartphone, or over the phone through a FEMA call center, you should have a pen and
paper and the following information ready:
§ Your Social Security number;
§ Current and pre-disaster address;
§ A telephone number where you can be contacted;
§ Insurance information;
§ Total household annual income;
§ A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have
disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account); and
§ A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.
After you complete your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application
number. Please write down this number and keep it for future reference.
Beware of Scams
As a disaster survivor, you should be watchful and aware that criminals and other
dishonest individuals may try to take advantage of a disaster situation. These individuals
may attempt to gather personal information from disaster survivors to commit identity
theft or collect payments for disaster assistance services that they do not provide. The
Additional Resources” section includes links to articles that will help make you more
aware of these and other potential disaster-related scams.
If you encounter an individual or situation that causes you concern or seems suspicious,
you should immediately report the matter to local authorities or to the FEMA Fraud
Hotline at (866) 720–5721.
FEMA Tips to Safeguard Against Disaster-Related Fraud
§ Federal workers do not solicit or accept money.
§ If in doubt, ask for an ofcial, government-issued laminated photo ID. A shirt or
jacket with a government logo is not absolute proof of identity.
§ Safeguard your personal information (such as your Social Security number or bank
account numbers), and be cautious about providing it to unknown individuals.
§ Beware of people going door-to-door to damaged homes or contacting you and
claiming to be building contractors. These individuals could be scam artists,
especially if they attempt to solicit your nancial information.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
Additional Resources
Helpful Organizations and Resource Pages
§ American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
§ Citizen Corps: www.ready.gov/citizen-corps
§ Federal Disaster Assistance: www.disasterassistance.gov
§ Extension Disaster Education Network: www.EDEN.lsu.edu
§ Financial Preparedness (Ready.gov): www.ready.gov/nancialpreparedness
§ HOPE Coalition America (Operation HOPE):
www.operationhope.org/hope-coalition-america
§ Financial Education: www.mymoney.gov
§ USA.gov: www.usa.gov
§ GoDirect.gov: www.godirect.gov
Additional References and Tools
§ Avoiding Loan Scams After a Natural Disaster (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau):
www.consumernance.gov/blog/avoiding-loan-scams-after-a-natural-disaster
§ CFTC Fraud Advisories: False Promises of Prots as a Result of Natural Disasters
(U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission):
www.cftc.gov/ConsumerProtection/FraudAwarenessPrevention/
CFTCFraudAdvisories/fraudadv_falesprom
§ Computer Security (Federal Trade Commission (FTC)):
www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/computer-security
§ Disaster Recovery Log (North Dakota State University):
www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/apps/disaster-recovery-journal
§ Disaster Survivors—Beware of Scams! (FEMA):
www.fema.gov/news-release/2012/07/27/disaster-survivors-beware-scams
§ IS-909: Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone
(FEMA; also available in Spanish):
training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=is-909
§ Protecting Your Identity (FTC):
www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/protecting-your-identity
§ Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit (University of Minnesota):
www.extension.umn.edu/family/tough-times/disaster-recovery/family-
nancial-toolkit
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EFFAK Partners
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) is Americas rst nonprot social investment bank and a
national leader in providing nancial literacy and economic empowerment programs.
Through ongoing collaborations and long-term partnerships with leading government,
private sector, and community interests, HOPE works to bring self-sufciency and a
sustained spirit of revitalization to Americas inner-city communities. In advance of
national disasters, HOPE Coalition America (HCA) offers seminars and preparedness kits.
After a disaster, HCA provides one-on-one assistance from staff and local volunteers to
those directly affected by the emergency.
In addition, HOPE operates a growing network of HOPE Centers: inner-city banking
centers that have created more than 8,100 new homeowners and small-business owners.
The centers have facilitated more than $749 million in funded loans and more than
$946 million in commitments for homeownership and small-business loans from their
400 private sector partners. HOPE’s Banking on Our Future program, the Nations only
national urban delivery platform for nancial literacy, has provided nancial literacy
education and related services to more than 690,000 children across the country.
Taken together, these programs make Operation HOPE the national leader in economic
empowerment tools and services, making free enterprise work for all Americans. For
more information, visit www.operationhope.org.
About Citizen Corps
The mission of Citizen Corps is to bring community and government leaders together
to engage the whole community in all phases of emergency management and to build
resilience for individuals, organizations, and communities.
Created after September 11, 2001, and coordinated at the national level by FEMA,
there are now more than 1,175 local Citizen Corps Councils across the United States.
These local Councils help involve community members in strengthening our Nations
preparedness by:
§ Preparing the public for local risks with targeted outreach;
§ Providing training and volunteer opportunities to help augment resources for public
safety, preparedness, and response capabilities; and
§ Collaborating between whole community representatives and emergency managers
to ensure that disaster preparedness and response planning represents the whole
community and integrates nontraditional resources.
To learn more about Citizen Corps and to nd your local Citizen Corps Council, please
visit www.ready.gov/citizen-corps.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
About the Financial Literacy and Education Commission
The Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established under the Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The Commission was tasked with developing
a national nancial education website (www.mymoney.gov), along with a hotline
((888) My-Money) and a national strategy on nancial education. It is chaired by the
Secretary of the Treasury, and the vice chair is the director of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau.
The Commission comprises the senior leaders from 20 Federal agencies: Ofce of the
Comptroller of the Currency; Federal Reserve; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
National Credit Union Administration; Securities and Exchange Commission;
Departments of Education, Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing
and Urban Development, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; Federal Trade Commission;
General Services Administration; Small Business Administration; Social Security
Administration; Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Ofce of Personnel
Management; White House Ofce of Public Engagement; and its newest member, FEMA.
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Notice
Use of the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), Third Edition, dated April 2014, is a
copyrighted work of Operation Hope, Inc., for which the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has rights for public
distribution and use.
The EFFAK may be used as distributed by FEMA for educational, informational, and
personal use, but not for commercial use or sale. All other uses of the EFFAK are strictly
prohibited and subject to copyright protection as may be applicable.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Visual Identities
The EFFAK contains the DHS Visual Identities comprising intellectual property owned by
DHS. The public distribution of the EFFAK does not confer authorization to use the ofcial
seal, insignia, or other visual identities of DHS. Use of the DHS seal without proper
authorization violates Federal law (e.g., 18 U.S.C. §§ 506, 701, 1017), and is against DHS
policies governing usage of the seal. The term “DHS Visual Identities” as used here means
the DHS or DHS component name, initials, seal, insignia, and trademark or certication
marks of DHS or any DHS component, or any combination, variation, or colorable
imitation of them alone. The DHS Visual Identities solely or in combination with other
words may not be used in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression of
afliation, connection, or endorsement by DHS or any DHS component. Any other use
of any DHS Visual Identities other than that which is contained in the EFFAK is strictly
prohibited and requires prior written approval from DHS.
No Endorsement
The EFFAK may not be used in a manner to state or imply an endorsement by DHS,
FEMA, or the United States Government.
Any reference in the EFFAK to any specic commercial products, processes, or services
by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply
its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by DHS, FEMA, or the United States
Government.
Disclaimer
The views, opinions, ndings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the EFFAK
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of
DHS, FEMA, or the United States Government. The publication of these views by DHS
does not confer any individual rights or cause of action against the United States. Users
of information in the EFFAK assume all liability from such use.
EFFAK Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is available for free from FEMA.
Call (800) 480-2520 and ask for document #532.
It is also available as a free download online at www.ready.gov/financialpreparedness and www.operationhope.org
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