To assist FEMA in our nation’s emergency management potential, Operation HOPE’s HOPE Coalition America (HCA) division will provide access to free financial counseling and information for disaster survivors, including: Debt counseling, case management services, as well as workshops, seminars and manuals for people seeking help at disaster recovery centers.
We helped hundreds of individuals and families following 9/11, and then numerous hurricanes throughout Florida region, but the big response came in the backdrop of the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. To date, HCA has helped more than 100,000 individuals tied to Hurricane Katrina alone, and even worked with former President Bill Clinton and his Clinton Foundation as we provided more than $14 million EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) assistance to the residence of Gulf Port, Mississippi (this done in response to a specific request from our friend, the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height).
So what can you do to be financially prepared for emergencies?
Start by completing our Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, which can help you keep track of important documentation, like insurance policy information, so you have clear financial records that will help maintain stability in the event of an emergency.
You can find additional resources on financial preparedness, more on our partnership with FEMA, and information on helping your community prepare for a disaster at www.CitizenCorps.gov
John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama