NerdWallet: Are you ready for the next emergency? Take these steps to prepare.

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  When a power outage knocked out electricity to a multistate region in 2003, Gabriella Barthlow, a financial coach in the Detroit area, was prepared. She had enough money on hand to buy food for herself and her two young children, plus put gas in her car in case they needed to leave home. 

“I was so happy I had that cash,” she recalls. Now, Barthlow encourages her clients to be similarly ready for unexpected events. Power outages, weather interruptions and other disasters can inflict chaos and take a financial toll — often with little warning — but being prepared can help minimize the damage.  Here are steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for the next emergency. Set aside physical cash  As Barthlow found, cash can be crucial when you’re facing an extended power outage since machines that accept debit and credit cards might not be running. Bernie Carr, author of “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide” and founder of, says you want to keep enough cash on hand to cover gas and food for several days and carry at least some of it with you. “I like to keep $40 in cash in my car or purse so I know I can always at least get home in case the registers aren’t working,” Carr says. That money is in addition to an emergency savings fund, which is stored in a savings account to help you get through a period of unexpected hardship or income loss. Financial experts often recommend you build up three to six months worth of expenses into that account, but even much smaller amounts will help stabilize your finance …

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