Recently, the sky opened up and dumped a great deal of snow on my mountain valley town. While the snow piled up, we were fortunate enough not to lose power or run into other problems commonly caused by lots of snowfall. The potential for problems, however, as well as the memory of recent disasters, had me reviewing my emergency preparedness.
Here’s how to figure out whether you’re prepared for an emergency.
Do You Have the Necessities?
Even though the snow hasn’t prevented us from going out for food and other supplies, there’s enough of it that going to the store hasn’t been something I’m excited to do. Luckily, we have a lot of necessities stored up here at home. Some of the things that we have in the house are:
- Canned food
- First Aid supplies
- Alternate sources of heat (propane heater, grill, camp stove)
- Plenty of bedding and clothes
- Personal hygiene items
- Various lighting options, including candles, flashlights, and a crank lantern
- Crank-powered radio
- Extra batteries
We’ve been careful to build up our emergency supplies, so that if we do end up stuck in the house for days on end, we’ll be able to survive. We even have board games and books to entertain ourselves if the power goes out and deprives us of TV and internet access.
Think about how you would fare if you were stuck in your home for a few days. Would you have enough food and water? Would you be warm? We’ve already discussed which rooms in our home we would congregate in to concentrate the warmth and light, and we’ve done drills about how to leave the house if the emergency is that severe. Our car has emergency supplies as well, and we keep the tank at least half-full so that we don’t have to worry about gas lines if we go somewhere.
Are Your Finances Prepared for an Emergency?
Of course, it also helps to have your finances ready for an emergency. We have cash in the house, as well as credit cards that can be used in a pinch. And, of course, we have an emergency fund. Being financially ready for an emergency is as important as having other preparedness supplies.
It’s also a good idea to have your vital account information and documents safely stored away in a waterproof and fireproof safe. There are even small-sized safes that are ideal for keeping documents. I like the smaller safes, since you can grab them and take them with you if you have to leave the house quickly. Keep account numbers, phone numbers, passwords, and other information you don’t immediately know safely locked away. Documents like passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, and investment information can also be kept in these safes.
Think about what makes up your financial life, and make sure that the information is protected. Even if you don’t take it with you when you leave, you want it to survive the emergency so that you can come back for it.
Don’t wait to prepare both your home and finances for an emergency. Get ready now, as you can never predict when a disaster will strike.
What steps have you taken to ensure you’ll be ready in an emergency?