CPAs Join Red Cross in Financial Planning Aspects of Disasters

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) announced they have jointly developed a new, broad-based guide to help people affected by natural and man-made disasters recover from financial loss. Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues will be offered free of charge by local American Red Cross chapters across the country as a public service to aid people affected by disasters and their families. The guide is being offered as a public service of the AICPA, AICPA Foundation, American Red Cross and NEFE.

"Prior to this guide being produced, there were no comprehensive, easy-to-understand resources that guide people affected by disasters through the three key stages of recovery – the days immediately after a disaster, the months following that period and the future," said Terry Sicilia, executive vice president, American Red Cross Disaster Services. "NEFE and the AICPA have developed a very valuable tool that our American Red Cross volunteers and employees can use in their local community outreach following a disaster to help get people affected by disasters back up on their feet quickly. CPAs can play a central role in the process as well, providing much needed financial planning advice so that families can recover as soon as possible."

The colorful, 32-page Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues addresses several pertinent topics in three parts:

  • Part I defines the steps to take immediately following a disaster, such as restoring household stability, managing an injury or disability and financial decisions after death;

  • Part II identifies steps to take in the weeks and months after disaster has occurred to help people affected by disasters try to settle into a more normal routine by establishing a steady flow of income, handling expenses and debt, and working through potential lawsuits or other settlements;

  • Part III illustrates the steps to take in planning for the future and moving on with life in areas such as assessing financial needs, getting retrained for a job, and estate planning.

"We're extremely pleased to have the AICPA and the American Red Cross as our partners on this project," said Nan Mead, NEFE Director of Communications. "The AICPA and its CPA members have brought an extraordinary wealth of financial planning experience and technical expertise to the booklet’s development."

"The AICPA Foundation is pleased to be a sponsor of the disaster planning and recovery guide because it fits with one of our key missions to provide valuable financial literacy tools for the public," said Kate Forbes, CPA, Chair of the AICPA Foundation and Chief Financial Officer of eTec. "This strategic partnership continues to build upon our ongoing mission of the AICPA Foundation to support the Certified Public Accountant in protecting and serving the public interest."

The guide will expand on previous publications issued by NEFE, the AICPA and the American Red Cross. After Disaster Strikes: How to Recover Financially from a Natural Disaster was issued by NEFE in 1997 in collaboration with the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Regaining Financial Balance was published by the AICPA specifically for people affected by the September 11th terrorist attacks.

For more information about Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues or to request a copy of the guide, please visit the Red Cross Web site or contact your local Red Cross chapter. Local CPAs that are members of the AICPA may also have copies available.


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