Some Insight into Financial Emergency Preparedness

Part of emergency preparedness involves having money available during the situation, and having a backup of all your financial data for when the crisis has passed.  Think about how terrible it would be to survive a particularly bad situation, and then find out that all your financial information was lost.  There are different steps that you can take to minimize a financial emergency when things go wrong, and to plan for your future.

Now, while there are certainly potential scenarios and risks of banking collapse and global financial meltdown, this writing will not address that level of preparedness.  This post will make an assumption that current banking and legal tender remains somewhat solvent and available.   We will share more on the potential of massive financial collapse in future posts.

Money is an important part of good emergency preparedness, since banks may not be open and access to funds electronically may not be available.  So this means that cash may be the only form of payment accepted at stores or in other situations.  If that should be the case, then you will need to have a supply of emergency cash that you can access if there is a large-scale problem.  This money should include coins for pay phones and it should be hidden in a safe place in your home.

After the situation has been resolved, then the next step is fixing the problems and confusion that occurred.  Your emergency preparation should have involved making backup copies of all relevant data related to your finances.  On an external drive, you should regularly backup any recent transactions made online, and your credit card information.  The idea here is that even if there is a massive power surge that fries your computer, followed by a power failure, once things have been restored to normal you should be able to hook your external drive to an unaffected computer and recover all your data.

Another important step to being prepared for an emergency is having financial records and important contact numbers and names of people in a safe place. In fact, this information should ideally be stored in more than one place, in the event that the first location is compromised. Safe locations could involve an external hard drive, a safety deposit box, a home safe, or some other hidden location.  Once the situation has been resolved, these records can be accessed and used to make a quick transition back to normal, and they can often suffice as evidence in case the original data has been lost or damaged.

To be successful with your emergency preparedness, you need to anticipate a great deal. It is hard to predict exactly what will happen in a major crisis, but basic steps you take should involve setting aside some cash and making a backup of your financial information. So much can be lost in such a short period of time that it is well worth it to invest a bit of effort in making sure that should the worst occur, you will be more likely to walk away from it unscathed.

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