Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Place for Cash in a Crisis

Whether it be a natural disaster or a man-made disaster, there are many reasons that "cash is king" in a crisis. ATMs and credit card machines may not work; there may not even be any power.

Suffice it to say, that you must hoard small portions of cash, and it's better to spread it around than to keep it all in one place (e.g., not just under your mattress).

You'll also need to be extremely frugal during the first 72 hours with your cash. Try to work out deals, barter, or otherwise create on-the-fly IOUs. Short of creative financial deals, you'll need cash.

How much? Well, it's up to each person to determine that. But assuming you've got several days' supplies of food, water, and shelter, you won't need much. I can't really see more than $100. You may even be able to get by on $20.

Where to store the cash? Remember, as in anything financial,

Store small bits of cash in your house. Store some outside. Put some in your car. It wouldn't be a bad idea to put some in a safe deposit bank at a couple banks in town.
Remember, you're not trying to store wads of cash; keep in mind that you may "lose" this cash, so don't go crazy and put your mortgage in a cookie jar.
There are many novel places to store cash in your house. Let your creativity guide you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Top Ten Things You Need In A Disaster: A Checklist

Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires -- these are all disasters that recur frequently, depending on where you live, of course. You need to prepare for these. Here's ten things you need in a disaster:

  1. Plenty of fresh water
  2. Matches
  3. A pot
  4. A portable stove
  5. Packets of oatmeal or other "instant" food
  6. Cell phone
  7. Cash and credit card
  8. Sleeping bag
  9. Extra clothes
  10. Tent
These are the most basic things you'll need to survive. Of course, if you're a hunter, you'll know what to do. If you're a survivalist, you'll need matches and a knife. For the rest of us, you'll need all this, and probably more. It would be nice to have a car, fully-loaded with gasoline and fully-serviced.

But those are "nice to haves." I forgot the most important thing you'll need in a disaster: Unfettered optimism. No matter what else, you need a great attitude. Things generally get better after a disaster. First objective is to stay alive for 3 days.