You never know when disaster will strike. Be prepared. On New Year’s Eve 1996, I got a call from my parents, who lived 100 miles away from me at the time. The home they lived in was a rented home right next to a creek. The rain that year was terrible. Do you see where this is going?

You’re right. The phone call was my parents telling me they might have to evacuate their house. They told me not to worry if I couldn’t get in touch with them. Sure enough. They had to evacuate. I heard from them the next day. Their rental was flooded. The water was 18 inches high throughout the house, and they lost everything, but the photo albums they managed to pack in the car before they left.

Unfortunately, they didn’t carry renters insurance. The Red Cross helped some, and they eventually got some help from FEMA, but they needed to find a new place to stay on short notice, and then they needed to furnish the house and make sure my family had food & clothing (my two youngest brothers were still living at home).

In the end everything worked out, but it was stressful and financially draining.

It’s at this point a lot of people would be tempted to think disaster has struck once, so what are the chances it will strike again?

Fast forward to last week. I brought my kids to the doctor’s office, because they needed to get some shots. As I’m sitting in the waiting room, I thought I heard my mom’s voice. I look up, and sure enough it’s my mom, at the doctor’s office for her flu shot. She looks a bit stressed. She sat down and told me about her day.

As it turns out, her water heater broke in the middle of the night. Since the water heater is downstairs and her bedroom was upstairs, she didn’t know there was a major, and I do mean major, leak. By the time she woke up and went downstairs, there was 4 inches of water on the floor.

This time she had renter’s insurance. Moving to another apartment was stressful, no doubt. Thinking about possibly having to replace furniture, a computer, and countless other things was overwhelming. But in the end, she knew that she wouldn’t have to worry about the financial aspect of things.

Once again, things worked out. My mom got a great deal on a better apartment. And there wasn’t as much damage to her things as she first thought. But instead of stressing about her finances over Thanksgiving, my mom was able to relax and enjoy the day, knowing that everything back at her apartment was taken care of.

The point is, disasters can happen to anyone, and they can happen multiple times. When catastrophe strikes, there are plenty of things to worry about. You don’t need to be worrying about the financial aspect of the disaster.

Renter’s insurance only costs about $10 a month. Please look into it, if you rent and aren’t covered. You never know what could happen.

If you’ve ever rented, did you carry insurance?