City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 33 - The Weather and your Wallet

May 21, 2021 City of Plantation Episode 33
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 33 - The Weather and your Wallet
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening to the City of Plantation's Podcast. In this episode, we welcome back Doris Baker of Consolidated Credit. Doris talks to us on how to plan financially for Florida's Hurricane season, some tips and tricks to preparing financially but also some basic household preparations we can all engage in. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes regularly.

Hosts: Cary Blanchard and Ezra Lubow
Guest: Doris Baker of Consolidated Credit
Music: Oakwood Station via Epidemic Sound
Artwork: City of Plantation

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up to date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talked directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers we'll make plantation the great city that it is.

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to another episode of the city of plantation podcast. Carrie and I are very pleased to have Ms. Doris Baker back in the studio today. As most of you will remember from episode 31, door's was here to talk to us about the gig economy and how to navigate through it. And we're back again today to talk about

Speaker 3:

Your weather and your wallet, the weather and your wallet. Excellent. Well, welcome back doors. It's great to have you . Thank you. It's great to be back.

Speaker 1:

You're welcome. Um, so here we are, the end of may and June 1st starts hurricane season. And I hate to use that word, but here we are at hurricane season, but even the official start is June 1st, but May 20th. And there's already activity in the tropics. So let's talk about because of the fact that natural disasters not only affect your life, but they also affect your finances. What can we do? Or what can anyone do to prepare for a natural disaster without breaking the bank?

Speaker 3:

Okay, very good question. And the best way to prepare is early preparation. Now, 70% of us adults agree that you need to be prepared for a natural disaster, but they just don't know how to do it. And then of course, less than 70% are prepared for a disaster. So the best thing is early prepper ration have your hurricane kit. It should be ready now, which means from Christmas after you spend for Christmas, your January objective should be whenever the grocery stores have sales on water, have sales on canned goods, you know , um , that type of food crackers or whatever, you start building your supply so that when we get the warning, we know who runs out of what the fastest. Okay. So you can be prepared for that. And it won't be a big hit on your budget because you've been steadily making small purchases from January. And so when June comes hae or May 20th comes , okay, you're out there, but I'm ready.

Speaker 4:

Right , right.

Speaker 1:

That's, you're talking about people that are willing to prepare. How do we get to the people that believe it's never going to happen? Or it won't be okay? You know, how do we reach them probably in the same way prepare?

Speaker 3:

Um, I hate it hate to be a Debbie downer, but you're always to have that segment of the population. That's not going to be prepared. It's just not in their DNA. Maybe it will take an experience of going through not having, when, if you had prepared earlier, you would be more mindful of it. I share a personal experience. Um, I'm a native Floridian. I know we are few and far between however, I am one. And when hurricane season, I was like, ah , they're always talking about they're coming. And they kind of shift, of course we didn't get the blunt of the storm, but we got something. So my electricity was off or whatever, because of the storm I had not prepared. I had children, I didn't have enough water. I go to, excuse me, my local grocer to pick up the water because the major stores were closed. So I go to, and PRI price gouging was taking place. But if I had prepared earlier, I would have had it in my garage. Like I do now with my little kit and I would be ready to go and I wouldn't have little ones going, like we Tara and me being a little afraid to give them

Speaker 4:

Tap water. Right, right , right .

Speaker 2:

Yeah . Surge water. And you know, it's, it's almost like it'd be nice if in the beginning phases of , uh , right before hurricane season sets in, we take footage from like Andrew all the way up through all the hurricane events and create like a 32nd PSA and say, you know, if you want to avoid these situations, which we've all lived through and experienced, it's a good idea to prepare now because this is the reality of these situations.

Speaker 3:

Right? Right. And not only with preparing financially, I'm glad you brought that in because we also need to have our insurance documents in place. Now I know that I grew up with my parents having one of those steel boxes. You could never carry anywhere, but now it would be wise to get like right now, get your insurance documents, your auto insurance homeowners. If you're a renter you're renter insurance policies, make sure you're properly covered hurricane season just a few days away. Go ahead. Don't worry about the strong boxes, the best from whatever your hardware stores are. Get you some good old Tupperware and put it in there. If you need to run fast, you're able to pick it up. If you get sweat, no matter it's sealed. And so it's protected and we need to start thinking about it that way, because later on, it could cost us for not knowing, I don't know how much coverage I have. You know, I don't know this. And I don't know that you don't know how long , um, we'll be back online or whatever. So you just need to start kind of thinking out of the

Speaker 4:

Right. If I could

Speaker 1:

Just throw in there. Um , having been, I had a tornado, hit my house and I used to, you know, when it was time to shop for insurance, I would say, oh , I want to , how much can I save? You know, whatever. And the truth of the matter is I was so grateful that I had the insurance coverage, because even with the insurance coverage where most of the stuff was replaced, it still costs me a lot of money out of pocket to make myself whole again. So I would strongly encourage everybody to look at your coverages and see what you got. And like you said, have your documents with you. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Have them with you don't take any chances. Definitely. Yeah , definitely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think, you know, record-keeping , and, and there are so many ways and, and I'm going to segue into technology, but when it comes to your insurance documents and your mortgage documents and your home ownership documents, and anything that you have, I think one of the options that , that people might overlook, or maybe they're just not aware of is if you don't want to store the physical documents, scan everything into a file , uh, carried on a jump drive, which is much smaller. Uh , just make sure that that secured in waterproof and you have it with you and you know where it's at, but there are options. And that's, you know, we want to talk to you about that. How do we take advantage of technology to give us some peace of mind? Well,

Speaker 3:

That's a very good point because I like to say the cloud is our friend. It is forever secured, as long as you're using the proper security and have your documents in the cloud. Okay. That is a great place. Um, jumped drive is even better because it's portable. You can go to, maybe there's a central location where a computer would be up depending upon the devastation that your area has. Okay. You could go plug in your jump drive and be able to make calls to your insurance providers and what have you. So that, that is very important. Also speaking about technology, it would be good to also get , um, water filters. Now they have water filters that you can buy. You can put, I don't want to say contaminated, excuse me, chief ,

Speaker 5:

But you can put, you won't

Speaker 3:

Be able maybe possibly, if you run out of your bottled water to have one of these water filters, one of these purifiers that are portable about 20, $25, get that and use it , um , in place of, or to replace, not having the bottled water. Also , um, our blankets, you have the weighted blankets now, probably some of them, 15, $20 just to pack in your hurricane kit to have it. So you would be able to cover yourselves. Sometimes the weather gets cooler. Imagine that after a hurricane, all this atmospheric stuff going on, right, you all know more about that. I do. And , and you would have also something to cover. So you would want to make those investments as well. And it won't break the bank. Another thing, it's a good time to take pictures of everything you have your televisions, you know, things are, are upgrading so quickly. So we find ourselves by more and more technology. So, Hey, take a picture of that television, make sure you take a picture of , um, whatever that important number is. That's on it. Okay. Your furniture, your art, whatever you have. That's a value take pictures of it. Everybody has a cell phone these days. So let's fill it up with the pictures , secure it in the cloud in case something happens with your cell phone so that you can easily retrieve . Yeah,

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. The , the other option to that too , um , pictures are probably the better option, but the other option is if you want to make a rapid fire, you know, turn on the video recorder on your cell phone, walk around your house, verbally, describe the items that you're filming. And like you said, make sure you get serial numbers on those types of things or part numbers at the very least for replacement. And yeah, I think that's a fantastic idea. We , we do that and we let the kids kind of walk , shoot stuff and you know,

Speaker 3:

It would be family fun, a nice family night to do that. So there's the thought.

Speaker 5:

Yeah , absolutely.

Speaker 2:

But yeah. So a lot of tools at your disposal to , uh, kind of prepare yourself and be ready for the aftereffects . And one of the things I want to add upon is we'll be doing an episode on hurricane preparedness in the next couple of days, I'm sure within the week. Um, but one of the things we talk about is usually when we, when we give numbers for items or days to prepare for those are minimum numbers. So when we say you should have a minimum of three days worth of food and water, those are minimums right . At a minimum. And you can add to that for every family member that you have, because everybody's going to need those things. So always kind of try and do more than the minimum.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely . Absolutely. And that's the beauty of starting early of early preparation because you'll have , um, the time say for instance, if, if we get to the end of may and you may be looking a little scares, you know, you would have had the time to, to compile your kid. You want to look at your hurricane supplies and say, okay, I think we have enough for this. The earlier you plan, make it a Christmas gift to yourself, you know, and , and start off the kit with the basics, you know, you're going to need water, everybody needs water. Right . So to make sure that you buy an abundance of water because we can make it without food, some of us more than others anyway, but the water we do need when we it's a necessity. So yeah. Early preparation is the key and it won't break the bank, forget those shoes, ladies, forget them. Okay. Forget that piece of costume jewelry or even real jewelry. Go ahead and make the investment into family safety and get your hurricane kit prepared or your emergency kit, because anything could happen.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I was going to say, yeah, I'm in south Florida, so we're expecting hurricanes, but a tornado that's so unexpected and random. And it, I mean, it was a lot of damage

Speaker 4:

And

Speaker 2:

We, you know, we look at a lot of other things from the fire departments perspective, we're talking to people about, you know, resiliency through God forbid, a fire or, you know, some type of catastrophic event in your house where you're forced to leave. Um, you know, be prepared for that as well, have that preparation in place. So you have a plan and you know what you're going to do. And especially if you're with, you know, a family and children, you know, maybe you're going to have to split up depending on the situation. Obviously we all want to stay together with our kids, but depending on the situation, so have that plan in place it's sound advice.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . And also when we're talking about , um, being prepared and being financially prepared, also think about whatever wherever you are and whatever may be your threat of a natural disaster to have you a preplanned escape route and not just, okay, we're getting in the car. I was raised up in north Florida. I say, okay, I'm heading north. But we remember a couple of years ago, the highways were at a standstill because everyone was heading were heading north. Right. So have your pre-planned , um, escape route, then have the plan of where am I going to land or where am I going? You know, already have that figured out. What if your family members, what if it's something so catastrophic that you're in different locations and you really can't get together and huddle, like if you have older children with cars or, or whatever, the case may be, have a plan sit down and to have family movie night, but let's talk about these things that can happen. Right?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it all boils down to consistent messaging here is pre plan pre right . Always better to plan and to have to react and , and miss things. And

Speaker 1:

I just wanted to like quickly bring up, like we were talking about the cloud and , um , this is not a push for any specific thing, but like Google, when you have a Google email, your photos get stored a certain amount. And , um, Amazon prime, you get Amazon photos. So these are like, you don't even have to pay for the cloud for your stuff to be stored for you. So I just want to let people know it doesn't cost a lot, but it can be worth a lot when you need it. Yes.

Speaker 3:

And you use my favorite four-letter word, which is yes. Amen. Same with all of us. Yes. So it's good to start putting into your budget. You know, maybe it's a little late for some of us for this year for what we are known to have happen because we are in south Florida. I referenced earlier about north Florida where forest fires are there. So, you know, they, they have to steadily and sometimes with the Everglades, you know, we we've been smoked out a little bit and so always be prepared , um, work it into your budget to have an additional $20 to spend towards hurricane supplies. Don't allow it to go. I don't care how, how low the price is for the stakes. You don't need the stakes right now. Okay. Let's think about batteries. Let's think about different things that Irregardless of the disaster, we will be prepared for it. Right .

Speaker 1:

All right . I know that we're talking about prepared for it, you know, a natural disaster, but let's talk about recovery. Um, I know it's expensive to recover from these disasters. What can you tell us about getting your favorite four letter word free help recovering from these diseases ?

Speaker 3:

Okay. Um, one thing I want to make a point that when we go through a disaster and if we suffer any type of loss, especially to our property and our haste to sometimes get back in our homes or to get our homes back to normal, don't call upon any. And everybody that can offer you free or reduced help to prep , to repair your home or to clean up around your house. We want to be on the lookout because when we're vulnerable here, it comes to scammers. Yes. So we want to make sure that we are on the lookout for that. But in saying that we can always go to a website, consumer finance.gov/recover, regardless of what ever disaster you may go through. There is information there, free information. We all know that the red cross is available. Always check they're dependent upon your status after a disaster, but we always want to go to consumer finance.gov to start off also go to disaster assistance.gov. It can let you know what resources you will have in your area. Sometimes you are not directly hit or , or affected in Broward the way you could possibly be in date or Palm beach. Right ? Okay. So disaster , um, assistance.gov. We'll let you know that one county can somewhat affect the other county. So it will give a area relief type thing. Okay. So for different resources, depending on, you know, you may live in Broward, you're cool, but you work in date, what's going on. Whereas some help for me here. So something like that. Excellent. And of course, call , um, if you're having issues with paying your bills, because you're not able to work because your house may have suffered damage, make sure if you're not able to live in your house, first things first we already know from earlier, we're going to contact our insurance provider. Secondly, please contact your mortgage company to let them know what's going on. Next would be your utilities. If you're not in the house, why do I need power and cable and water? Let's suspend that service. And that's going to save us some money on that end as well. And you'll find that governmental agencies are a little bit more lenient. Everyone is a little bit more lenient when you go through a disaster. Okay. And if, especially, if it's a presidential early declared disaster area that opens the window for federal governments and benefits that you would not normally receive. So you always want to check with that. It's well,

Speaker 2:

And the important part with that is reaching out, right? I mean, a lot of us, when we're faced with something horrific like this, we have a tendency to kind of withdraw a little bit and we're trying to mitigate the situation and, you know, maybe even mitigate it in our own minds, but ignoring it and kind of trying to stay away from the creditors. Cause they're , you know, might be intimidating is not the best option. The best option is to call and say, Hey, I'm having some problems. Here's why this is a disaster. And , and get on that road

Speaker 3:

To recovery. Definitely. It is not the time to be an ostrich or an ostrich bearings. It's head in the sand, but you know what other part is left for all to succeed.

Speaker 2:

Oh, see , doorstops not very good. Yeah . Yes .

Speaker 3:

So you don't want to do that. I mean, pull up your courage, pull up your support system. You know, whoever your encourages are, you may need a shoulder to lean on, you know, but do do the necessary things to protect yourself, your property and your family for the long run. This is just a temporary situation. It may be difficult. It may look bleak, but it's a temporary situation. So don't allow a temporary situation to cause you to make a permanent decision. That's going to be horrific. So we have to deal with it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I , I think that ignoring it certainly doesn't make it better. No , that does not. No . Um, I also just want to, again, just reiterate preparation is key because even these resources that we have, there may be a large number of people that need these resources that you might not even be able to get anyone to respond to you quickly. Right . So be prepared. I mean , at the end of the day, that's what we need to do. We need to prepare

Speaker 3:

Ourselves that's right. Because when you reach out to your insurance provider, you have to keep in mind that you're not the only one affected. Sometimes we think we're the girl or the guy in the bubble . I'm the only one. No, no, no. So you have to keep that in mind and to be, and to be patient okay. To , to get the responses. I pay so much money. Why aren't they calling me? Well, because maybe there are thousands of other people that are affected in some could be worse than you. And

Speaker 1:

We talking about, we're talking about tens of thousands of people. Like there's , if there's a hurricane, it's a very large area

Speaker 2:

That brings up a good point too. Um, I think that there's some benefit to also kind of being involved in your neighborhood, in your community. Certainly you don't have to have a social relationship with everybody. Although, you know, a lot of neighbors do, but it doesn't hurt to have a conversation and say, Hey, if my house gets flooded or something happens, can I go come to yours or vice versa? If something happens to your house, we got room come on over and kind of collaborate with your neighbors as well. Because at the end of the day, if it's an Andrew type of hurricane, what we saw as neighbors who didn't even know each other were out there helping each other out, because the beautiful thing about human nature is regardless of how you're feeling, when everything's great, when the, you know, what hits the fan, people always come together. That is so true. And so, you know, it can't hurt to have that dialogue beforehand. That's

Speaker 3:

Right. Have that neighborhood network. That's how it was, you know, way back when, in the dark ages, when I was a child,

Speaker 2:

When I was a kid, if I was misbehaving seven blocks away , uh , you know, Mrs. Smith's house, there's no real Mrs. Smith, but whatever Mrs. Smith's house, before I got home, my dad knew like he got a phone call, Hey, you know, I don't, I just say it. And you had to answer for it because it takes a village.

Speaker 3:

It does. It does even more so now I know that we are sometimes so pulled apart culturally and by a lot of different dynamics, but it is so important to have that, that network, you need that network. We all need that network and that's very important. And so that brings in consolidated credit. If you find yourself , um, while you are going through the recovery process, always , um, where they're available, because there are windows and doors that open for us by being a HUD approved housing, counseling and management , um, that counseling center that we're able to help our clients navigate through or just to help the community, we're a community-based organization. So we're here to help you navigate through those bad times and all for you, some , um , budgetary assistance in order to, to climb through. So always give us a call by visiting our website, www dot consolidated , credit.org.

Speaker 2:

We do. Yeah, we do. It's all about having the information, having some resources available, doing a little bit of pre-planning. Um, you know, I know people who go out throughout the year and buy 10 year, 15 year longterm food. Like they are preppers in that type of definition, but I know other people who are like, I , I have some beer in the refrigerator, I'll be fine.

Speaker 4:

So there's a happy medium to accomplish this. Well ,

Speaker 1:

All right , Doris, thanks again for joining us, educating us and stealing your knowledge and us. We really appreciate you.

Speaker 3:

Thank you all so much for having me. It's a pleasure. Always. Yeah. Stores .

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much. It's good to see you again too. Likewise. Thank you

Speaker 1:

Again. Thank you for joining us. Everyone. Please stay safe. You've been listening to the city of plantation podcast, restrict strive , bring your accurate and timely information. Please continue to tune in to our podcast episodes and also catch up with us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and next door. If you have questions, send them to ask cityHall@plantation.org and we will answer your questions directly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our podcast and stay safe, everyone.