With Hurricane season officially underway and at least nine named storms already, 2020 is shaping up to be very active. According to Colorado State University researchers Philip Klotzbach, Michael M. Bell, and Jhordanne Jones, “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.” 16 storms have already been identified and named, with late September looking the most ominous for Carolinians. To learn more about their hurricane forecast report click here.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to prepare for hurricane season, including having an updated “Go Kit,” ready with masks and hand sanitizer. Your Go Kit should also include any important documents such as identification, medical cards, financials and essential estate planning documents. At a minimum, your Go Kit estate planning documents should include durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney or healthcare directives, HIPAA authorization, and/or a trust or living will. It’s even a good idea to leave it near the exit of your home that’s used the most. If you need to go to the hospital or shelter, the package is there for you or someone else to grab on the way out the door. Without the documents, the hospital and doctors don’t know your wishes for medical treatment or who should help make decisions.
“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from Covid-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA. Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep Covid-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets.”
It’s never too late to start estate planning, even if that means you only have time to prepare a few essential documents. If you are single or living alone, you can be especially vulnerable without someone advocating for you or knowing your wishes.
Hurricane season in the middle of a pandemic could also change planning options and evacuation routes for all residents of South Carolina. Take the time this summer to get your documents in order before a major storm develops or threatens where you live. Review your current plans and see where you may need to adjust your kit essentials and estate strategies. Every resident deserves to be fully protected and feel as secure as possible you face difficult decisions through this season. Contact us today to find out how we can help you prepare or finalize your own Go Kit essentials. You can even start planning now at home. Fill out your wishes to help outline what document or plan might be right for you and your family.
For more information on how to build, maintain, and store your current Estate Planning Go Kit, visit here: