Tag Archives: fema

Prepare Your House and Finances for Natural Disaster


When a storm is bearing down or a wildfire or tornado is approaching, you don’t want to be thinking about all the things you should have done to protect your family, house and finances.

So with wildfires raging in parts of the West, and hurricane season in full swing, taking some crucial steps in advance—especially if you live in a region prone to natural disasters—can help you minimize any damage.

Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your value questions, some of their appraisers are also certified FEMA inspectors and can answer your questions about the inspection process.

“It’s imperative to make sure you are prepared,” says Thomas Kirsch, a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and co-director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at Johns Hopkins University. “Get things ready to go,” he says, with a disaster kit “and the appropriate financial stuff available to you.”

1. Make a Plan

Create an emergency plan, detailing where you and family members would meet up after a disaster and how you’d stay in touch. Also designate an out-of-state contact whom people can call if they’re unable to get to the meeting spot.

Next, put together a disaster kit and store it in a place all family members can easily access. The disaster kit should include nonperishable food items and water for your family to last 72 hours, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and batteries. Also be sure to keep some cash on hand in case you can’t access a bank or ATM.

Read more at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323297504578581674090775226.html

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Deducting Losses Due to Disaster

femaMany people reeling from the impact of hurricanes, super storms, fires, floods and other disasters this year may be wondering what, if any, relief they can get on their taxes.

In many cases, the answer will be disappointing. Congress generally has erected high barriers to deducting casualty losses.

But some victims of nature’s savagery may benefit from a little-known—and somewhat counterintuitive—tax-law twist designed to help those with losses in places that were declared as federal disaster areas by the president.

If you have questions regarding the value of your property contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; they are certified FEMA inspectors.

First, here is a refresher course on deducting casualty and theft losses on personal-use property.

The big hurdle facing taxpayers is known as “the 10% rule.” Also watch out for the $100 rule. Here is how the Internal Revenue Service summarizes these rules in Publication 584:

“If the loss was to property for your personal use or your family’s, there are two limits on the amount you can deduct for your casualty or theft loss.

“1. You must reduce each casualty or theft loss by $100 [$100 rule].

“2. You must further reduce the total of all your losses by 10% of your adjusted gross income [10% rule].”

Read more at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323401904578158963567403752.html

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

Should You Still Get Flood Insurance?

Homeowners will see increases in the rates they pay for flood insurance soon, if they haven’t already, with owners of vacation homes seeing the biggest jump. But that isn’t reason enough to drop coverage. Flood insurance is one of the best deals going.

Have questions about the FEMA inspection process or how to get help? Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; they are FEMA certified flood and disaster inspectors.

Though floods can bring walls of water 20 feet high, even a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Between 2007 and 2011, the average flood claim fielded by the National Flood Insurance Program was nearly $30,000. The cost of the typical flood policy is about $625 a year.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your homeowner’s policy has you covered, or that a flood won’t happen to you. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which operates the flood insurance program, flooding occurs practically every day, practically everywhere. And it is costly, racking up $2.9 billion in losses between 2002 and 2011.
Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only