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Friday Field Notes banner image: Featuring engaging stories from practitioners about how partnerships with Cooperative Extension help build Community Capacity to support military service men and women and their families.

We continue our tour through MFLN’s concentration areas, where we highlight how each concentration area contributes to disaster preparedness, which is an important but often overlooked part of Total Force Fitness. This week’s Friday Field notes features the Personal Finance team.  MFLN’s Personal Finance team focuses on strengthening financial management capability and education of Personal Finance Managers (PFM’s) who assist service members, their families, and veterans.

financial disaster

When speaking of disaster preparedness, we usually think of food and water, physical safety, housing, or gathering necessary medication.  But what about preparing finances for a disaster? Financial well-being before, during, and after a disaster is much more than simply having ample savings or having cash handy.  Though emergency funds are a great way to prevent debt related to disaster recovery expenses, financial preparedness can mean ensuring that your belongings are adequately insured, for example.  Fortunately, the Personal Finance team at OneOp can offer resources to service providers that increase knowledge in all areas of financial well-being.  The team’s blogs are written by professionals in the field on topics of estate planning, how to file a home insurance claim, and life insurance basics that can be valuable in the wake of a disaster.  A 90-minute professional development webinar, “Insurance Principles and Resources: What Financial Educators Need to Know,” was presented in June 2019, which is relevant service providers assisting families who have experienced a disaster.  If you missed the event, you can access the webinar recording here.

Preparing beforehand for a disaster is crucial.  FEMA offers an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit with information on legal documentation, medical information, community resources, and helpful organizations.  Military OneSource also has many resources for families and service providers who are preparing for or weathering a disaster.  Additionally, the aftermath of disasters can leave survivors and their families vulnerable to identity theft and charity fraud.  FEMA also has helpful articles about how to recognize FEMA impersonators and how to protect yourself or family members from identity theft.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has useful information about protecting yourself from scams as well. 

Though disasters cannot be prevented in many cases, having a financial plan before an emergency can help mitigate hardships that can present themselves during and after the crisis.  You can also view resources from multiple concentration areas at OneOp related to finances and disaster preparedness here.

Additional Resources from Personal Finance

Become familiar with the resources offered by MFLN’s Personal Finance team by catching up on blogs and webinars that address many topics including but not limited to disaster preparedness.  The team also has a monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to for updates!