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K-State Today

August 22, 2014

Kansans can sign up now for new financial challenge

Submitted by Mary Lou Peter

Consider this scenario: You live where straight-line winds, occasional flooding and fire are ever-present threats. Oh, wait, that's not just a scenario. That's reality for the almost 2.9 million people who call Kansas home.

"Flooded basements or devastating fires — we can't always control what happens, but we can prepare," said Kansas State University assistant professor Elizabeth Kiss. "In the chaos of the moment, advance preparation can make recovery easier. One of the ways we can prepare is to take inventory of what we have and record it. We can also check our insurance options and make copies of important documents that can be accessed on short notice."

Prepare Kansas is a new K-State Research and Extension online financial challenge designed to help individuals and families be better prepared ahead of disasters which can ease recovery. The program will have a few activities every week during September including: developing a household inventory; reviewing your insurance coverage; putting together a grab-and-go box; and tips for after the disaster. 

September has been declared National Preparedness Month by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Think of it as preventive maintenance," said Kiss, who is a family financial specialist with K-State Research and Extension. "We have the oil changed in our cars. We rotate the tires and check the belts and hoses. By doing that, we're working to keep ourselves and families safe. We also can take steps to keep our financial life in order — even if life takes a wrong turn."

Working on each activity provides Kansans ways to be better prepared, but can also spark discussions about preparedness in general and the best ways to handle future emergencies, Kiss said. Accomplishing the weekly activities also serves a more general purpose by providing participants a closer look at their overall financial picture.   

Register for Prepare Kansas or read the blog.