By definition, emergencies are unexpected, which is why it’s difficult to be prepared for any that may arise. However, it’s still possible to plan ahead and improve how well you can respond to potential emergencies. Here’s what you can do to have an actionable plan for when emergencies do happen.
What emergencies are you most likely to encounter?
All emergencies cost time and money, necessitate an immediate response, and will require a set of resources to solve. The first step to being prepared is determining which emergencies are most likely to happen to you.
This depends largely on your health and those around you, where and how you live, your work and career, whether or not you have pets, and other factors that dictate the circumstances of your life. Reviewing these factors and circumstances will give you a better idea of what you should be prepared for.
How To Prepare For Any Kind of Emergency?
1. Medical Emergencies
The most common emergencies are medical in nature, which is why every home should have its own first-aid/emergency kit —with added specifications for household members with special medical considerations.
In terms of having the necessary resources as well as knowledge to respond, the first step is to educate yourself. For instance, the acronym FAST —which stands for face, arm weakness, speech, and time— is a mnemonic device that can help people immediately recognize symptoms of a stroke. Furthermore, as doctors always advise, prevention is the best medicine. Educate yourself, prepare your emergency kit accordingly, and actively try to prevent medical emergencies.
2. Financial Emergencies
It doesn’t matter if you are a low income family or have one our ‘15 Well-Paid Jobs You Had No Idea Existed’, having a dedicated emergency fund is the best way to financially prepare for any crisis. However, if your circumstances have made it difficult or impossible to do this, depending on where you are, there are other financial safety nets you can rely on. If you need money then taking out an emergency loan could be a short-term option that will allow you to take control of the situation.
A good example of this are the farmers in Texas who took out emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency after being hit hard by the recent droughts. Up to 100% worth of drought-related damages can be considered for loan eligibility depending on the damage, allowing them to keep operating during these tough times. If you are a victim of a natural disaster do look out for these emergency funds.
For those with more personal and immediate issues, taking out a non-bank/government loan, such as a title loan, which provides funds quickly, is a valid option. And the best way to get a good deal is to check your local city and state for these types of loans. LoanMart explains how title loans for residents in Cleveland, Ohio can be received within 24 hours of applying.
This makes it perfect for residents who need money for financial emergencies such as debt, rent, and hiring legal aid. Although the borrower will need to put their car up for collateral, it allows them to raise money very quickly without selling any assets, which could make their situation worse in the long run. The site also details how in many cases the borrower will have up to three years to repay, which will give them some breathing space.
3. Vehicular Emergencies
Cars are particularly valuable during emergency situations, which is why it’s important to be prepared for when the vehicle itself requires emergency care. If you do have a car, you need to at least know how to change a flat tire, when to check the engine, know what to look for under the hood, and have the basic resources necessary to keep your car running smoothly.
All of this depends largely on the make of your car and its current condition. Your location greatly factors into this as well, because extreme temperatures affect vehicles in different ways. This is why the Michigan State Police’s auto emergency kit checklist includes a shovel, an ice scraper, blankets, and warm clothes.
4. Natural Calamities
Out of the different types of emergencies on this list, these are the ones that depend the most on your current geographical location. They’re also the emergencies we have the least control over. How close are you to a hurricane belt, active volcano, fault lines, and other potential sources of natural calamities?
This will largely determine the resources that need to go into your emergency “go-bag,” how much potential danger you’re in, and what else you can do to prepare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of resource materials in terms of natural calamity response, which you can use to formulate an actionable response plan for you and your household.
The trick to dealing with any emergency is being prepared and knowing your options. Hopefully this list will be of help if you ever get into a sticky situation.