Cash is King: Why you need cash
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:
- rental car or other transportation
- 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.