Emergencies Happen, Be Prepared

Riding out a bad storm.

There are all types of emergencies out there. Are you prepared for all types of emergencies both financial and physical. Let’s find out and if you are not, let’s get you prepared.

Financial Emergencies

First, let’s take a look at the financial emergencies. You are very likely to run into financial trouble at one time in your life or another. You could lose your job suddenly, you could become ill and unable to work or perhaps you might have to take an unpaid leave to care for a loved one. Whatever the case, there are two things that you need to handle a financial emergency.

Money

First, you need money and lot’s of it. To handle most emergencies, you should have enough money to cover 6 months of living expenses. So, if it takes $4000 a month to pay your bills and cover your living costs, you need$24,000 in savings. Preferably an easy to access savings such as an online high yield account. Choose a high yield savings instead of your local bank because of the much greater interest. It will not be a lot but you could earn $500 a year off of a $24,000 balance.

A Plan

In addition to money, you also need to have a plan on how to cut expenses and save as much money as possible. If you become unemployed, you will need to cut them to the bone. Know what services can be eliminated or reduced and have a plan in place to take care of this ASAP.

Being prepared with both a plan and the money needed to handle a financial crisis is extremely important. Not only will you be able to weather a storm, you will also not have to stress about future financial uncertainty.

Storm Emergencies

Being prepared for a storm emergency is just as important as being prepared for a financial one. This becomes especially true when you have a family. I happen to live in an area of the country where we can get anything. Powerful thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible in the spring and summer and ice storms in the winter. It is very possible to get stuck at home for days at a time. If this happens, we need to be ready. Here are some things that we always have at the ready.

A Generator

A generator and enough fuel to power it is crucial. Choose an inverter style generator if you can afford it. It will cost you a few hundred dollars more but it has a number of advantages.

The biggest one is that it can power electronics without damaging them. The current is cleaner and more stable so you won’t get those little spikes that kill computers and televisions.

Another advantage is noise. These generators are extremely quiet. When they are on eco mode, you barely know they are running. That is a big deal if you do not want to hear the drone of a traditional generator for days on end. Plus, it can allow you to power your home in stealth. Nobody needs to know you have a generator which might be a target of theft in an emergency.

As far as fuel goes, we usually have a few gallons ready to go and make sure that our vehicle gas tanks are full. With the aid of a siphon that gives us about 40 gallons of fuel at our disposal.

Heating & Cooling Supplies

Blankets are great but they only go so far in the winter. We have a couple radiator style electric heaters that can keep a fairly large sized room toasty in the winter, along with our generator of course.

If you live in an area that can get quite hot, a portable air conditioner is also a good idea. If a thunderstorm knocks out power, there is nothing worse than an 85 degree night with humidity. You can pick up a used portable air conditioner cheaply if you shop Craigslist after the Summer is over.

Emergency Home Repair

In a storm, anything can happen and you need to be ready. For us, the biggest risks are roof and window damage. We always keep a large tarp, large enough to cover a section of roof and some plywood at the ready. Combined with a charged cordless drill and some 3 inch screws, it can handle a lot of repairs.

If you live in a flood area, things like sand bags and sump pumps becomes a consideration. Every area will have different needs as far as storm home repair supplies go.

Food & Water

You can not call yourself ready unless you have food and drink at the ready. Canned goods and other non perishables are the way to go. If a storm is on the way, have enough food to last you and your family a week at least, just as a precaution. Also, you need to have more than enough water on the ready. A gallon a day per person is plenty.

Communication

You have your cell phone and along with the generator, you can keep them charged. A small television with an antenna is also a good idea. Not only will it help you keep up on storm details, it will also give you a bit of entertainment.

Tina’s Last Word

A little forethought can make a potentially disastrous situation into a minor speed bump.

I would have to say that some of my best family memories are during times that we have been iced in with no power. Why? Because we were prepared for it.

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