Do you recognize the name Hurricane Katrina? If you were living in North America at the time it struck, there’s a good chance you do. The disaster left thousands of Americans in financial trouble because they were unprepared for a natural disaster of such scale and impact. When routines are thrown off by the destruction wrought by hurricanes and other disasters like forest fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or blizzards, you might not get a bill paid on time, your paycheck deposited, and so on. This can lead to huge consequences on your credit and living situation later.

A few easy steps will help ensure that you’re ready for natural disasters if one should strike in your area. Follow these tips to make sure you’re not caught unprepared.

First ensure that you’ll have money if you can’t get to a bank! If you aren’t already taking advantage of direct deposit, you’ll want to do that as soon as possible. Some employers refuse to pay any other way now, for good reason. Each payday, the money will automatically be deposited into your bank account. If you can’t get to your place of employment or the bank, you’ll still be paid, so you won’t be scrambling to make ends meet or get a hold of someone in the middle of a disaster.

Automatic bill payment is the next thing you should set up. This is fairly easily done online, or through your bank. Ask a branch representative if this is available, and if so, how it works. Sometimes, you can set up bills to be automatically paid by your credit card, then set up your bank account to pay off the full credit card balance each month. This means your bills will still be paid in an emergency, and you won’t have to worry about racking up a huge credit card debt accidentally thanks to interest on unpaid balances.

Online banking is another excellent feature to set up through your bank, too. Sometimes, telephone banking or in-person banking may simply be impossible to get to. You might have to transfer the money to another account or access it through the internet, which can be found in many places compared to banking services. You’ll also be able to check on your bank account to make sure you have enough money for big purchases or repairs, if necessary.

Don’t rely on a credit card, and make sure you have access to a debit card or cash in case of emergency. If credit card machines don’t work, retailers will probably still accept cash or possibly debit, and you can withdraw cash from an ATM with a debit card.

Finally, make sure you make two copies of any crucial financial documents you have. One should be saved on a flash drive or on your computer, password-protected and encrypted, of course. The other, hard copy should be kept securely in a bank vault or another high-security location other than your house, in case your house is destroyed but you need to access these documents.

Don’t let a natural disaster lead to financial disaster, too.