President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring April 2013 as National Financial
Capability Month. In making the proclamation, the President noted that “all
Americans deserve a chance to turn their hard work into a decent living for
their families and a bright future for their children,” and that “reigniting our economic engine means giving ordinary
citizens the tools to find prosperity, including strong financial capability.”
capability – and the tools and knowledge that come with it – is a key building
block of a secure financial future and a thriving middle class. That’s why the
Treasury Department and the Financial Literacy and Education Commission work year-round to identify key areas
where we can have a measurable impact on the financial skills and actions of all
Americans. The Commission’s work includes areas like helping children and youth
learn to save, assisting students and their families make more informed
decisions about how to pay for higher education, and ensuring Americans are as
prepared as possible for unexpected financial circumstances.
along with the Federal Emergency
(FEMA), is highlighting one side of financial capability too many of us don’t
think about until it’s too late: preparing our finances and financial records
for a natural disaster.
If a disaster struck your
neighborhood, you would only have a short period to react. Is that enough time
to find your homeowners insurance policy, bank account information, or backup your
financially ready for a disaster is easy. Here are four steps you can take to
get started today:
1. Visit Ready.gov to access tools and resources that can help you
prepare financially for emergencies.
2. Join the National Preparedness
Coalition to access a national network of community partners
seeking to strengthen disaster preparedness efforts.
3. Download the Consumer Action Handbook, a comprehensive tool that provides guidance on
how to recover after a disaster and information on other important financial
aspects of your life.
4. Visit MyMoney.gov for tools to manage your money, and get an early
start on being financially prepared.
When you're financially
ready for a disaster, you'll be able to get back on your feet faster.
To provide more
information and ideas for community leaders, financial service professionals
and others, federal agencies and non-profit organizations are hosting a webinar
on April 9, 2013 on “Starting Early: Financial Preparation for Disasters and
Emergencies.” For more information or to register, please visit here.
Finally, to take full
advantage of National Financial Capability Month, 2013, visit www.MyMoney.gov and
www.ConsumerFinance.gov. At both sites, you’ll find tools that every American can use and share to learn about managing
money and navigating the 21st-century marketplace.
Louisa Quittman is
the Director for Financial Education in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s
Office of Consumer Policy.