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How To Prepare for a Family Emergency or Disaster

As a driver, you are trained to deal with emergencies on the road. What about a family emergency? Is your family equipped with the tools to navigate through the unexpected while you are away? Make sure your family prepares to deal with emergencies using these tips:

Have an emergency fund.

Money may not solve all your problems, but it makes dealing with them a lot easier. When your air conditioner goes out, having cash in your emergency fund means a quick solution instead of waiting weeks to afford the expense. Financial planners recommend saving three to six months of your salary. If you are just starting to save, having two weeks of your regular pay available is a realistic goal. Don't worry about starting small. Even small amounts accumulate with time. Make saving a priority.

Build an emergency kit.

You never leave on a long haul without emergency supplies in your truck. Make sure you are just as prepared at home for a family emergency. If your family members spend long periods without electricity or evacuate, advance preparation will make it easier. Have a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, medications, emergency cash, a first aid kit, and any special care items needed for babies, elderly family members or pets packed in a plastic storage bin and ready at all times.

Have a family care plan in place.

For families with young children this is especially important. Have a backup plan if you are a single parent, or if your significant other becomes unable to care for your children during a family emergency. This is a hard conversation to have. Choosing who cares for your loved ones in your absence is one of the most important decisions you will make. Go over the details with the person(s) you choose. Make sure they understand what is being asked of them. If your spouse or significant other is suddenly ill or injured, knowing your kids are being cared for provides some peace of mind.

It’s impossible to prepare for every emergency scenario, but advanced preparation makes dealing with the unexpected more manageable.