No Power — No Money!
We expect a major power outage in a major catastrophe. But even by itself a power outage can be a calamity. We depend on electric power for so many necessities on a daily basis. Some things that will stop short as soon as the power goes out…
Paying your bills
A major power outage in an area means that ATMs won’t process deposits or cash withdrawals. Even if their doors are open, banks won’t be able to manage even minor transactions without their data centers up and running. Of course, bills paid by mail won’t be delivered on time, maybe for days on end.
Getting Food and Gas
Even if stores have emergency lighting, and staff, they won’t be able to process purchases without their automatic cash registers. They can’t receive deliveries if their inventory-management software is out of commission. Pharmacies will be hard pressed to handle prescriptions, even if they know you and have supplies on hand.
Pumps at the gas station won’t work either.
How to prepare for a power outage?
First, of course, if you have up to ten days worth of food, water and medicine, you’ll survive. But your finances will be at risk very quickly if you can’t pay your bills on time or get cash for your day-to-day needs. And as for the car, if it’s low on gas, you’re limited in where or how often you can travel without operating gas pumps.
Develop five new habits
- You can lessen the potential problem and feel a lot more confident if you always keep your gas tank at least tank three-quarters full. Yes, it means stopping to buy gas more often. Make it a new habit!
- And, unless you like to live dangerously, it’s a good idea to make sure your automobile’s belts, hoses, and fluids are always maintained.
- As for finances, keeping some one, five and ten-dollar bills on hand is a good idea.
- Paying your bills as soon as you receive them gives you more flexibility should mail or electronic delivery options be interrupted even for a few days.
- Build up a small supply of any pills or medicines that you take on a daily basis. And keep them with you in case you get caught away from home.
These are simple habits that won’t cost you anything but will have a huge impact on your security during an emergency. Take a look back — how many of the five habits will YOU have to change starting now?
(We’re not ignoring the plight of those who may be dependent upon the power for life sustaining medical equipment. We’ll address that in another post.)