In June 2020, a survey released by DisasterChecklist.org found that 78% of Americans are not prepared for a disaster. But, when disaster hits, worrying about things you could have prepared for takes away from being present for more important issues – such as your family – who need you in the moment. When a disaster of any kind strikes, having access to cold, hard cash is crucial. I believe every family should have cash on hand available for disasters only. What if access to the Internet was compromised in the next disaster? ATMs would not work. Financial institutions could not access your financial accounts. It is essential to have cash designated explicitly for these catastrophes. Here is how to establish ‘disaster cash.’
How much disaster cash do I need?
There is no set recommended amount. Each family should have enough for at least 72 hours. For our family, we have a reserve of $1000, but your family may need more cash or less, depending on the number of family members and their specific needs. Use small denominations (no higher than $20 bills) because retail outlets may not be able to give change for large denominations.
What will I use this money for?
This cash is for only disaster recovery – gas, groceries, medications, home repair service, etc.
Where do I keep my disaster cash?
Remember, everything needs a designated home. Keep your money in a safe area yet easy to access. For example, storing your disaster cash in your tornado-safe room may be best in tornado-prone regions. However, keeping your money in a waterproof container or package might be best for areas prone to floods or earthquakes. Whatever your location, your disaster cash must be easily accessible.
Take the time; start small. Disaster preparedness is so critical to us all. Use these disaster preparedness resources:
You can do this! Unclutter Me by Lisa Witzleben is here to assist you.