Cash is king in an emergency. Don’t leave home without it.
When electricity is out . . .
Think about it. When the electricity is out – and it’s likely to be out for days following a major calamity – your credit cards are going to be pretty much useless. Stores won’t be open, gas pumps won’t work and that friendly ATM won’t even accept your card, much less spit out any money. And your favorite fast food is likely to be shut down.
Even if you can find anything to buy, the seller is likely to want cash. Your I.O.U.s aren’t likely to carry you very far . . . if at all.
So, what’s the message here? You might consider keeping some cash on hand (including some on your person). Best bills: anything up to a $20. How much should you carry? Of course, that depends on you, your environment and the amount of preparing you’ve already done.
When considering cash for your children, realize that in a real emergency they could become a target if it is clear they have money. Make sure they know how to manage their money and how to hide it.
Action item: You might want to consider having some of the gold-colored $1 coins on hand. Some people might actually prefer these over paper money, especially if you have the shiny ones!
More cash-related recommendations . . .
- Never let your car’s gas tank get below ¾ full. Even if gas stations are open and able to accept payment, they will run out of supplies very quickly.
- Keep your monthly bills paid up. If an emergency hits, and you can’t use online banking or mail delivery is suspended, important services may be interrupted or you may be penalized for late payments.
- Routine trips to the pharmacist will be impossible. Again, in a real emergency, pharmacies will be unable to process orders for medicines. In fact, they are most likely to shut down and lock up immediately. Do your best to have a week or 10 days’ worth of pills stored up for an emergency. (Rotate them each month.)
The electricity going out is the emergency you are MOST LIKELY to face! If it’s never happened to you, take some time to think through what to expect. With some planning, you can keep this emergency from becoming a disaster.
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
Here are a couple other articles about power outages, to help with your planning!
- Power Outage — No lights means . . . !
- Power Outage at Work — Ten questions you need to be asking at your workplace.
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