This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Personal Continuity Plan Can Defeat Disaster

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. ( TheStreet) -- Just before Halloween the Northeast was hit with an early freak snowstorm. The storm toppled trees, knocking out power and heat in my neighborhood and those surrounding it. My power was out for five days. Since I work from a home office, this was a big deal.

Luckily I had a business continuity plan that allowed me to continue to work; my business was up and running Monday morning.

A storm or other natural disaster can take out your power for days, which might destroy your business.

My plan includes an offsite office where I can operate in the event my primary place of business is not operational. My firm's computer systems are automatically backed up offsite every night as well. Luckily, my computers were not damaged, but if they were I had a means of quickly recovering my firm's critical files. My point is that having a plan allowed me to continue to operate my business with minimal interruption. What would happen to you and your family if you were faced with a similar event or an even worse natural disaster?

If you answered "Who knows?" I suggest you create your own personal continuity plan.

I would recommend your plan include:

  • Key contact information, including for insurance agents (home, auto); your financial adviser; attorney; contractors (plumber, landscaper/tree companies, electrician, roofers); and utility providers (electric, gas, water)
  • Digital photos of your home and a list of items, with more digital photos, of your personal inventory
  • Recovery plan for digital files/records
  • Hotel preferred-guest numbers
  • Having emergency cash on hand

Here are some tactical things I would recommend based on my observations during an areawide multiday power outage:

  • Join a hotel preferred member program. This might be the only way to actually get a hotel room in an area affected by a storm or disaster.
  • Have a regular offsite backup of your critical digital files and documents.
  • Have a car phone charger. Everyone else will also head to Starbucks to charge their smartphones and laptops.
  • Do not overstock on perishable food.
  • Consider getting a generator if you absolutely can't afford to lose power due to health issues.
  • If you have a storm warning, fill the car gas tank. No power after a storm means no gas.
  • Make sure you have cash handy. No power also equals no access to cash via an ATM, nor electronic payments.
  • Have a sense of humor about it.

The time you spend now preparing a personal continuity plan will be time well spent. The plan will make your life easier in the event you and your family actually suffer a natural disaster. Even if you never have to use the plan, you will be extremely well organized.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:







Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Michael Maye is the founder and president of MJM Financial Advisors (www.mjmfinadv.com), a registered investment advisory firm in Berkeley Heights, N.J. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and has been a speaker covering tax topics at NAPFA's national and regional conferences. Maye has also been a frequent contributor to the Star Ledger of New Jersey's "Biz Brain" and "Get With the Plan" articles. In addition to NAPFA, he is a member of Financial Planning Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New Jersey State Society of CPAs and the Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $132.03 1.90%
FB $80.55 1.50%
GOOG $539.80 1.40%
TSLA $247.43 -0.01%
YHOO $43.39 1.30%

Markets

DOW 18,162.99 +121.45 0.67%
S&P 500 2,123.48 +19.28 0.92%
NASDAQ 5,106.5930 +73.8420 1.47%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs