What do you do when calamity happens to your family? Read what to do when the family is faced with death. This post is about what to do when disaster strikes that leaves you in an emergency in those cases when it’s not death you are dealing with. Think of why to do when your house burns down. You are faced with unemployment. You are involved in a car accident or are injured in the workplace. Or what if you are abroad on holiday and you get mugged of your money and passports? Here are some thoughts on how you can prepare yourself for each of these scenarios.
Your home catching fire or anything similarly bad is a nightmare for most. And following that age-old adage, prevention is the best cure. Always make sure you are careful with any gas or electrical devices and outlets. If you are making modifications, really consider if you need a professional to come in and do it for you. Also, make sure that gas and electric devices are treated with respect and care. De-clutter your home and ensure that cables are not frayed, and any open fires are clear of anything that can catch fire. Taking proper care also provides that if anything happens, like a fire, your insurance claims can’t be denied due to gross negligence. Make sure you have adequate fire and house insurance, and especially make sure it’s for the right value.
Unemployment will put tremendous pressure on you and your family. In a lot of cases, the reason behind unemployment is entirely out of your control. The rule here is to take nothing for granted. When you are in a steady job, ensure you continuously keep learning and up-to-date. Keep abreast of what’s happening in the industry and don’t be afraid of exploring your possibilities, even if you are happy with your current role with your current employer. At any rate, inform yourself of the unemployment benefit in the state you live. Figure out if that’s enough to keep you and your family going while you find a new job. If this amount doesn't cut it, consider building up a bit of saving, just in case. An alternative would be to take out unemployment insurance. Premiums go up dependant on the safety net you require, but be sensible and reasonable. This is a ‘just in case’ security, you probably can make do with less for a while.
What to do when you are involved in an accident, especially if it’s by no fault of your own? Don’t get bankrupt paying medical bills! If you feel you have the slightest chance of recouping not only your medical bills but also lost earnings, get in touch with specialized lawyers, they’ll be able to take care of things for you. You might have never thought yourself to be a litigious person, but faced with financial hardship and bankruptcy, you have to be realistic. And in most cases, companies are insured, and it’s the insurance company that will have to foot the bill if you win. And in all those cases your medical and financial well being is not dependant on winning a suit, make sure to have medical insurance!
A lighter topic, but not without its own stresses and panic, is being stranded in a foreign country having your money and passport stolen. Again, prevention is the best cure. Never carry all your money with you or your passports when you don’t need to. If you are staying in a popular hotel, you will either have a mini vault in your room, or alternatively, reception can store valuables for you. It’s wise to leave your passport in the hotel as in most cases you don’t need to carry them around. In terms of money and cash, make sure you keep some back or at least bring some travelers' checks. Before you set off to visit a foreign country, educate yourself on where the US embassy is or at least make a note of the number. Ensure people back home know that you have gone and where.
It’s not the most pleasant of past times thinking of the what ifs worst case scenarios. But it is genuinely a ‘fix the roof when the sun is shining.’ You might not want to think of these things now, but you will thank yourself that you did if you are ever in these unfortunate situations. So be brave, be wise, spend some time ensuring you have a plan for when you need it the most.