Tornadoes, floods, and fires can destroy property and wreak financial havoc on families and communities. During September, which is National Preparedness Month, Port Washington State Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) remind you that you can help alleviate financial concerns by planning in advance of a natural disaster or emergency. 


ICBA and Port Washington State Bank offer the following tips to help you prepare for the unexpected and reclaim your financial wherewithal following a natural disaster.

  • Prepare backup communications plans if both cellular and landline service fail.
  • Store digital and paper copies of critical documents in a safe deposit box. These include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, bank and investment account information, proof of occupancy, a mortgage deed, insurance policies, and three years of tax returns. 
  • Make additional copies of personal documents—marriage license, birth certificates, adoption papers—for safekeeping and alert a relative, trustee, or attorney of their location.  
  • Print out contact information for trustees, guardians, and executors and pack them away for safe keeping and share a copy with a trusted family member or friend.  
  • Create an inventory of personal and household valuables and use photo or video documentation to help assess their value and determine replacement costs. 
  • Contact your insurance agent or visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website,, to determine if you need a flood insurance policy. FEMA also offers a guide with checklists to help prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.

To learn more about the ICBA, visit Member FDIC.

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