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Olathe, KS 66061

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Cash is King: Why you need cash

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Contributing writers: Mary Lou Peter, Nancy Peterson and Kathleen Ward, K-State Research and Extension, Manhattan, KS

Cash is king, particularly when a natural disaster or emergency occurs. Imagine if the ATM you always use is in the path of a tornado or flood and is damaged, destroyed or without the electrical power needed to access records or complete a cash or credit card transaction.

“With cash in hand, people caught in an emergency situation will be better able to cover immediate expenses,” said Carol Young, K-State Research and Extension financial management specialist.

The types of expenses Young refers to are:

  • food
  • water
  • shelter
  • medications
  • gas
  • rental car or other transportation
The amount of cash your family could need will depend on:
  • the number of members in the household
  • any special needs of family members
  • the severity of the emergency or natural disaster
  • the amount of money you feel comfortable possibly losing

A few hundred dollars could be enough to bridge the gap, said Young, who advised tucking the cash into a water and fireproof emergency kit.

The kit could also include:

  • medications your family will need
  • copies of insurance policies
  • identification records
  • health records and insurance cards
  • a recent bank/investment statement
  • family and business contact information

Much of the family business information, such as financial account numbers or scanned copies of documents, can be saved to a flash drive or a web document account and updated as needed. Include the flash drive in the emergency kit, but don’t record passwords on the flash drive.

Store the kit on a high shelf in the basement, or another safe place, so it can be quickly accessed, or taken to a storm or emergency shelter if evacuation is required.

Contact Us

Denise Dias
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Denise.Dias@jocogov.org