September is National Preparedness Month, intended to promote family and community disaster preparedness planning. As summer winds down, we know to expect; wildfires in California; tornados and derechos in the Midwest; hurricanes on the Southern and Eastern shorelines. The news programs show survivors of these terrible events and our hearts break but we don’t think it could happen to us -but we didn’t see a pandemic coming last year, either. While we cannot control the uncontrollable, we can prepare for the unpredictable -- and your finances are part of disaster preparedness planning.
I once worked as an assistant store manager for a big box store and twice a week I was responsible for closing the store. One evening all the registers and the main computer went offline without warning. We couldn’t accept credit/debit cards for sales and we couldn’t post payments for store credit cards. Soon the calls rolled in from other stores in our shopping center; the entire credit card grid was down for twenty square blocks. When I was the closing manager, my normal routine was to run to the closest grocery store to grab some dinner before the other managers left for the evening. That day I only had my debit card…no cash, which meant no dinner, no bottled water, no snack…no nothing. I had an epiphany—I couldn’t eat plastic. From then on I brought my meals from home…just in case. This was only an annoyance but it taught me that things can change without warning.
We don’t always get a warning before a disaster but there are some ways we can be ready should one occur. You can also check out our Guide to Planning for a Natural Disaster eBook for more information.
A good disaster plan includes:
With everything we have to think about, deal with, adjust to, planning ahead for a disaster might seem like one more thing you don’t want to add to your plate. But please, consider doing it anyway. Disaster preparation can mean the difference between life and death. Don’t be caught unprepared!
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today.
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