Kimberly Palmer: How to prepare for your next emergency – Detroit News
Emergencies such as power outages or severe weather can happen at any time and can be costly. Unplanned hotel stays, lost documents and damaged property are just a few of the expensive outcomes. But there are ways to get yourself prepared, including setting aside cash and storing essential documents in a safe place, and knowing how to protect your credit even when you have to miss a payment. Getting ready for your next emergency today can be one of the smartest money moves to make as 2023 begins, and you can make it manageable by taking small steps each week.
When a power outage knocked out electricity to a multistate region in 2003, Gabriella Barthlow , a financial coach in the Detroit area, was prepared. She had enough money on hand to buy food for herself and her two young children, plus put gas in her car in case they needed to leave home.
“I was so happy I had that cash,” she recalls. Now, Barthlow encourages her clients to be similarly ready for unexpected events. Power outages, weather interruptions and other disasters can inflict chaos and take a financial toll — often with little warning — but being prepared can help minimize the damage.
Here are steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for the next emergency.
SET ASIDE PHYSICAL CASH
As Barthlow found, cash can be crucial when you’re facing an extended power outage since machines that accept debit and credit cards might not be running. Bernie Carr, author of “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide” and founder of apartmentprepper.com, says you want to keep enough cash on hand to cover gas and food for several days and carry at least some of it with you.
“I like to keep $40 in cash in my car or purse so I know I can always at least get home in case the registers aren’t working,” Carr says.
That money is in addition to an emergency savings fund, which is stored in a savings account to help you get through a period of unexpected hardship or income loss. Financial experts often recommend you build up three to six months worth of expenses into …….
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