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Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane PreparednessAlong with the summertime heat comes Hurricane season. It's never too early to begin making your preparations should a named storm threaten to impact our coast. Even outer lying inland areas can be affected by hurricanes that produce flooding, severe thunderstorms and/or tornado activity. There are a few things to keep in mind related to managing your finances before, during and after a hurricane:

  • Remember to withdraw money before a pending natural disaster. Within a 24-hour period, withdrawals made at Carolina Trust ATM locations are limited to 3 per day or up to $600 cash. You may authorize up to $1,000 in PIN-based transactions or 10 transactions within a 24-hour period and up to $2,000 per day in signature-based transactions. Be cautious about how much money you withdraw since having too much cash on hand or at home can pose a security risk. During any cash withdrawal, be aware of your surroundings and any suspicious persons.
  • Address any financial matters (loan payments, check deposits, transfers, etc.) before a pending hurricane threat. Financial institutions may close early to allow employees time to evacuate or seek shelter and will typically be closed at least two days after a direct hit. Keep in mind that if areas are without electricity, then ATMs, online banking and phone banking could be out of commission even longer.
  • If you pay bills online or by phone, pay them before a hurricane hits, even if they are not due for several days. A hurricane could interrupt phone and Internet service and cause you to miss payments and incur late charges.
  • If paying bills by mail, send payments at least two days before a hurricane is projected to strike. The post office will not pick up mail within 24 hours of an impact. Keep copies of any payments mailed within 3 days of a hurricane making landfall. After a storm, contact any businesses you mailed payments to and confirm they received them.
  • Have a credit card on hand with at least a $1,000 available limit. Use credit cards to finance minimal repairs when necessary. Document any transactions for insurance purposes. Beware of anyone who offers to help after a storm but wants cash only and who is not licensed and bonded. Get receipts for cash purchases before and after a storm.
  • Safeguard your financial records. Store important financial papers in a safe and accessible place. While it is best to store originals in a safe deposit box*, you should also keep copies of your critical documents in a safe, organized location. Don't forget, Carolina Trust's Deluxe Provent ID Protection services offer Online Identity Vault. It functions as a secure digital wallet, encrypted document and image storage, and password management. In the event of a hurricane, you may need to access the following information:
      1. Your insurance policy number and contact information - If you have the agent's information and policy number anyone at that company should be able to assist you through the claims process.
      2. A list of your financial institutions and account numbers - This will help you access your finances during a disaster recovery period. Include bank accounts, investment accounts and credit card numbers. Again, any copy of these details should be securely stored.
      3. A copy of your last two years' income tax returns - If you have to apply for disaster aid relief, you may need income information for a loan.

Oftentimes when making preparations for our families, homes and pets, we forget about our finances or important information we would need following a natural disaster. Hopefully, we won't have to utilize our hurricane preparedness kits this season, but it's a good idea to keep these reminders in your kit just in case. For additional information on hurricane preparedness, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website.

*Please note: safe deposit box contents are not insured by financial institutions. Consumers wanting coverage on the box's contents should contact their insurance provider. 


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