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American Homeowners Unprepared for Disaster

Though the majority of Americans believe they will be impacted by natural disasters, recent data found that there are still more actions that can be taken in the short term to help protect their finances and their families should disaster strike, according to an American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) survey of 2,050 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll in the fall of 2019.

Six in ten Americans (61%) believe they are likely to be personally impacted by a natural disaster in the next three to five years, including one in five (19%) saying they are very likely to be personally impacted.

“In the face of a natural disaster, protecting your family from harm should be your primary concern,” said Gregory J. Anton, CPA, CGMA, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. “During the recovery process, access to financial resources and personal information is critically important. Taking action to put together a plan today will help protect your family and your finances should you ever find yourself impacted by a natural disaster.”

Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) have taken at least one step to prepare for a natural disaster, most commonly assembling a disaster supplies kit (34%), creating an evacuation plan (32%), or backing up and storing personal medical and financial records in a safe place (31%). The bad news is only 15% have created a disaster plan to protect their finances. Another 27% have not taken any steps at all to prepare for a natural disaster. Additionally, just 27% of Americans have valuated insurance needs to assure adequate coverage.

Natural disasters impact investors, service providers, mortgage servicers, government agencies, legal professionals, lenders, property preservation companies, and—most importantly—homeowners. The COVID-19 crisis is a present example of how our industry and daily operations suffer in the face of unforeseen incidents.

The Disaster Preparedness Virtual Symposium: IMPACT 20/20 will include critical conversations on response, reaction, and assistance to ensure the industry is ready to lend the proper support the next time a natural disaster strikes.

Be prepared. Register today for the Disaster Preparedness Virtual Symposium.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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