Planning for the Unexpected
Saving for a Rainy Day
A solid emergency fund is perhaps one of the most important tools in developing and sustaining financial security. It is recommended to save six months of living expenses because no matter how well things are going, or well you plan, bad things will happen from time to time.
Well, it can be a hard sell. Spare cash can be hard to come by, and, after all, taking a vacation is a lot more fun. It sounds simple, but survey data reveals it’s anything but that for many Americans. According to a 2011 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 64% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency. If you are one of those who don’t have an emergency savings, learn why you should.
Six Reasons Why You Should Have an Emergency Fund
- You lost your job.
- You can’t shake that cough.
- The only job you can get is three states away.
- Your car makes a funny grinding noise.
- Someone close to you passes away.
- Your roof starts leaking.
Preparing for an Emergency. Are you Ready?
Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.
Family Emergency Plan (FEP) (PDF - 750Kb), print the pages, and fill them in offline.
Your emergency planning should also address the
care of pets,
aiding family members with access and functional needs and
safely shutting off utilities.
Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.
For more information, visit
Tips to Prepare for an Emergency
- Store at least 6 months of net income for the sake of “just in case.”
- The less stable and uncertain your income, especially if you are self-employed, the more you should have in your emergency fund.
- Have an emergency plan. Write it down and keep it someplace that is easily accessible
- Get Tech Ready - Use your cell phone’s text messaging capability to receive text message updates from FEMA (standard message and data rates apply).
Here are basic commands to get started:
• To signup to receive monthly preparedness tips: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA)
• To unsubscribe (at any time): text STOP to 43362 (4FEMA)
- Download the
FEMA App to access disaster preparedness tips, build your personal emergency kit, and look for open Disaster Recovery Centers along with open shelters (if you're a disaster survivor). Also, stay informed with the
Ready.gov/kids - Preparing for emergencies shouldn't fall on your shoulders alone. Young children and teens alike need to be part of the process — for their own safety and sense of empowerment.
- Work together to build an emergency kit.
- Sit down as a family to talk about your communications plan.
- Role-play what you would do during a disaster.
- Hold fire drills in your house.
Sesame Workshop, along with its project partners has created
Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergencies with tips, activities, and other
easy tools to help the whole family prepare for emergencies – together!