Sunday, September 04, 2005

Lessons From New Orleans

I crossed paths with the "tropical storm" that was left of the hurricane as I flew back from Pennsylvania this week. Knowing that if it was severe enough, I might not have got home made me keep my eye on it.

Like most of America, I had no idea how bad it would prove to be.

The take-home lessons, from a financial perspective, are obvious:

1. Have an emergency fund. Some money set aside for crises. Maybe start with $1,000, but eventually try to get 3-6 months worth of salary saved.

2. Have 72 hour kits. Sacks or backpacks with enough food, water, and other necessities for 3 days for each member of your family. Lots of websites give good suggestions for what should go in here.

3. Fill your car with gas when it's half empty. Not only will this make each trip to the pump less painful, but it will insure you have gasoline when you need it.

4. Have some water storage. A big drum or two, if you can afford it, but at least some bottles. Maybe some water-cooler type bottles.

Is it too early in this disaster to be talking preparedness? I don't think so.

Usually we won't make changes unless we have emotional reasons to go along with the logical ones, and I think right now, while emotions are running high, is the best time for us to get a little more ready. We might do things that would seem extreme two months from now, but that we'll be grateful we did when the opportunity arises.

It's also a good time to help where you can.


Red Cross Advocate said...

Thanks for bringing more attention to what has happened in New Orleans. People should donate to the red cross to help.

mns said...

My heart goes out to all in America at the moment. We in Britain are always complaining about the weather in our country but should think ourselves lucky compared with the rest of the world