September is National Preparedness Month according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This designation serves as a reminder for homes, businesses and communities to be prepared for all contingency scenarios, including natural disasters, which can occur at any time throughout the year. Severe storms, volcanic eruptions, flooding and tornados can cause significant financial strain for people in affected areas. In the spirit of this month’s preparation theme, we would like to highlight an early redemption option that Series EE and Series I savings bond holders may have if they are faced with financial strain during a natural disaster.
Series EE and Series I savings bonds are low-risk savings products. Holders of these savings bonds may be able to redeem them early if they’ve been affected by a disaster. Financial institutions should be aware of the special provisions that may apply. The U.S. Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service will post a notice on the Communications page of FRBservices.org if it is authorizing early savings bond redemptions for a specific geographic area.
Savings bond agents serving in recently affected areas will be authorized to redeem Series EE and Series I paper savings bonds less than one year old. This authorization pertains not only to bond owners still residing in affected areas, but also to those who evacuate from those areas. Evidence of hardship should not be required, but savings bond agents must continue to abide by The Guide to Cashing Savings Bonds (Off-site) and the Federal Reserve Banks’ savings bond processing instructions.
More information on redeeming savings bonds in disaster-declared areas can be found on TreasuryDirect.gov (Off-site).
We encourage you to bookmark the Savings Bonds News You Can Use page for updates on a variety of resources that Fiscal Service and the Federal Reserve's Treasury Retail Securities have put together to assist you in streamlining and modernizing the redemption process.
Additional business continuity resources
No matter what month of the year it is, the resources below can help your organization as you navigate contingency situations.
- Monitor the Service Status page to view General Notifications and the current operational status of Federal Reserve Bank Services.
- Review the latest guidance for depositing contaminated currency on the Contaminated Currency and Coin page.
- Examine the Federal Reserve’s Business Continuity Guides for the following services and applications: