Natural disasters can be terrifying, and they leave destruction in their wake. Fortunately, planning ahead can mitigate some losses, and that’s precisely the aim of recent IRS press releases.
For Hurricane Preparedness Week, the IRS issued tips for developing an emergency plan and protecting important documents and property, and last week the agency sent a list of links that could be helpful to storm victims. As if on cue, the weather responded by providing real-time examples of the dangers posed by these storms.
You’ve no doubt heard about the extreme weather that is battering parts of the United States this week. CNN reported that 19 tornados ripped across Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas on Monday, flood waters surged in Oklahoma on Tuesday, and tornados touched down again in Missouri on Wednesday. Having a plan in place can help you recover from these kinds of disasters.
How do you prepare for and recover from a natural disaster?
According to IR-2019-87, IRS Promotes Disaster Readiness and Hurricane Preparedness Week, having an emergency plan can help protect your family and belongings.
Since they can vary between households, the best way to describe a disaster plan is a document that outlines what you will do when a disaster strikes. As your family or business changes, you will need to adjust the plan to suit the current situation—something the IRS recommends doing every year. For those who don’t know where to start, take a look at the American Red Cross “Make a Plan” web page.
When it comes to preserving key records and valuables, the IRS says you should make sure to back up important documents and take pictures of any valuables that could be lost in a natural disaster. Whether putting your tax-related documents in a fire safe or keeping photos of your furniture, jewelry, and electronics in Cloud storage (or someplace “offsite”), you took the extra time when a disaster strikes.
Here are some helpful links from the press release:
Here are some additional resources from Tax Tip 2019-59, Disaster Resources Can Help Taxpayers Weather the Storm:FS-2018-18, Reconstructing Records after a Disaster; IRS Provides Tips to Help Taxpayers Tax Relief in Disaster Situations