As we approach the height of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, here are eight steps you can take now to prepare your finances in case of evacuations or storm landfalls.
Prepare for the Storm and Its Aftermath
When a storm hits, bank branches may close, automatic teller machines may go down and mail may be temporarily disrupted. Prepare now for a storm and the aftermath by making a financial emergency preparedness plan.
Here are some things you can do before and after a storm makes landfall:
1. When a storm threat is likely, get and keep a three to five-day supply of cash on hand; if you're in a hurricane warning area, power outages will probably occur when the storm makes landfall, which means ATMs won't work.
2. Enroll in Online Banking for easy access to your accounts anywhere or anytime, and download the Hancock or Whitney mobile banking app on your iOS or Android™ smartphone to manage your accounts, deposit checks and transfer funds.
3. Utilize direct deposit to ensure that your income will be deposited directly into your account. Set up automatic account drafts with Bill Pay so your monthly payments will continue when you’re away from home.
4. Review your insurance policies with your agent to make sure you're sufficiently covered. Understand what's included - and excluded - in your policy. Remember, most standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, which can happen inland as well as along the coastline. And, most insurers won't issue policies once a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico.
5. If an evacuation order is issued, hit the road with your debit card. You can use it everywhere Visa® is accepted and fee-free at all Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank ATMs. Don’t forget to take your account checkbooks and check refills, and iPhone® users can add their personal debit and credit cards to the Wallet app on compatible devices and use Apple Pay™ to make purchases at merchants nationwide.
6. Make sure your credit card is activated for purchases before, during and after a storm evacuation.
7. Gather and safeguard important legal documents in a safe deposit box or waterproof storage container:
- Mortgage/property deeds
- Car titles
- Social Security cards
- Military records
- Insurance policies
- Health insurance information
- Wills, Power of Attorney, Trust documents
- Birth certificates, adoption papers
- Tax records
- Emergency contacts
Another option is to save password-protected digital copies of important financial papers you may need to access remotely or replace. Save photos of your home and personal property securely on your mobile device or on the Cloud.
8. If you are affected by a storm anywhere in our five-state service area, there are several ways you can receive timely information about banking and branch services after the storm. Prepare for the aftermath of a storm by subscribing to Insights using the form below and receive updates when they're posted on our web site. You can also "Like" Hancock and Whitney Bank on Facebook and follow @hancockwhitney on Twitter. If phone service is available, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-448-8812. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for updates about banking and branch services.
Remember, just like all planning and preparation for hurricane season, the time to get your finances ready is now. Contact a helpful Hancock or Whitney banker or call Customer Service at 1-800-448-8812 for assistance in preparing your bank accounts to weather the storm.
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