A week ago, here in the Northeast, we were preparing for a rare direct hit from a hurricane. Because of the false alarm from last year’s hurricane around this time, many people didn’t take the warning seriously and they were not as prepared as they should have been. However, there are things you can do now and every year that make you prepared, no matter what the emergency.
The results from this storm are devastating and we pay attention because it happened to so many people at once. However, disaster of this kind can strike at any time in many forms. The key to handling any disaster, or life as I like to call it, is being prepared. Here are some key ways to always be prepared:
- Always have an emergency fund of 6 to 8 months – My husband did not go to work last week for 4 days due to a power outage at his office. But we were able to look at it as a mini vacation instead of a tragedy because we were prepared, financially. When you have this emergency fund in place, it gives you the peace you need when an emergency hits.
- Make sure your insurance is right for you – You want to make sure that you have the best insurance for you at the best price. You must have current auto insurance and either home owners or renters insurance, no matter what. Once you have $1000 in your emergency fund, you should consider raising your deductible to $1000 in order to save money on your monthly premium. If you have good coverage and an up-to-date policy, you should have no issues when an emergency arises. You will be inconvenienced and you will have to deal with the adjusters, but in the end, everything will be taken care of and you can get back to normal right away.
- Breathe and make wise decisions – We have a tendency as humans to panic first, which can lead to bad decisions, which will then lead to months of dealing with the consequences of those decisions. When you are in an emergency situation, stop and breathe, if even for a moment. Taking this moment can be just enough time to calm you down enough to see beyond the emergency. I saw news reports this week where people were so panicked that they believed that they would die without power. Yet many other people were without power just as long and were calm. This was possibly due to that moment of breathing that led the calm person to control what they could control and let go of what they couldn’t. When we take a moment to remove the drama of any situation, it positions us to make wise decisions with positive results.
- Literally, be prepared – My daughter is a Girl Scout and is always learning how to be prepared. You never know when the power could go out or your refrigerator could go out or your heater could die, so you should always be prepared with batteries, flashlights, candles and a plan of where you might be able to go if you need help. Invest in a portable power booster that will help you get yourself organized in the first hour or two of a power outage. Also, make sure that you share your emergency plans with your children so that they are also prepared and not scared should an emergency occur.
Your emergency fund prepares you for any emergency that may come your way just like having flashlights and candles always will prepare you for losing your power. Being prepared is a huge step in maintaining peace in any situation. Be a person who is proactive instead of reactive.