The mid-west tornados and NOAA predictions for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year are big warning signs that severe weather may come to your area this summer. With a few simple steps, individuals and businesses can protect financial and tax records in case of a natural disaster.

Keep paperless records: Many banking institutions offer documents and statements electronically. Records such as W-2s, tax returns, and other documents can be scanned into an electronic format. Keep a USB drive back up of this information just in case any hard copy files are destroyed in the disaster.

Document Valuables for Insurance:  The IRS recommends that taxpayers photograph or videotape the contents their homes or businesses before the storm. This can help an individual prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims.

Keep emergency plans updated: Review your family or business emergency plan annually. Individual taxpayers should make sure they are saving documents like W-2s, home closing statements and insurance records in safe places. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.