The purpose of this blog post is to provide my first installment in the disaster preparedness series, establish disaster cash and the importance in doing so.
Let’s be honest, life seems to go a million miles an hour. No one wants to take time, or make the necessary time, to prepare for an unknown disaster – flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, just to name a few. Frankly, it is depressing to think about, “what if?!?”
“Preparedness is the only way we can combat a natural disaster.” – John Quinlan
In September 2018, a survey released by Belfor Family Restoration found 60% of Americans do not have any disaster preparedness plans at all. But, when disaster hits, worrying about things you could have prepared for, takes away from you being present for things, or more importantly, people, who need you in the moment.
Let’s tackle this one step at a time. This blog post series will break down disaster preparedness into manageable organized pieces.
Step #1, Cash. Cash is king. When disaster strikes, of any kind, access to cash is crucial. I believe every family should have cash on-hand available for disasters only.
What if… in the next disaster, Internet access was compromised, ATM’s were down, and financial institutions could not get access into any financial accounts? Do you have cash on-hand specific for disasters available to you and your family? Below are questions to ask yourself in regards to your disaster cash.
How much disaster cash do I need?
There is no set recommended amount. Each family should have enough disaster cash on hand for at least 72 hours. For each family, this amount will be different. For our family, we have a disaster cash reserve of $400. The amount of cash you obtain should be in small denominations (no higher than $20 bills). Keep in mind, most retail outlets will not be able to give change for large denominations.
What will I use this disaster cash for?
This cash is for disaster recovery purposes only – gas, groceries, home repair service, etc
Where do I keep my disaster cash?
Remember, every thing needs a home. Keep your disaster cash in an area that is safe, yet easy for you to access. For example, in tornado prone areas, having your disaster cash in your tornado safe room may be best. However, for areas prone to floods or earthquakes, keeping your cash located in a safe within a water proof container/package might be best. Whatever your location, your disaster cash must be easily accessible.
“Remember: When disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed.” – Steven Cyros
Take the time, start small. Disaster preparedness is so critical to us all. Utilize the disaster preparedness resource sites available:
- Ready – https://www.ready.gov/
- Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan.html
- FEMA – https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/03/29/how-make-disaster-plan
- Department of Homeland Security – https://www.dhs.gov/plan-and-prepare-disasters
- State & Local Agencies websites
Recently, I was the featured guest with the National Association of Organizing professionals and Productivity specialists (NAPO) Stand Out podcast, Episode #41: How to prepare for disasters with Lisa Witzleben. Listen and learn more here.
Next week, Be Prepared: Electronics – How to be ready for a disaster.
You CAN do this! Unclutter Me is here to assist you.
Refresh. Renew. Live Simply