Friday, January 30, 2009

Emergency Cash


While sheltering in place is generally your best option, if you need to evacuate due to a storm or other emergency, cash will be an essential requirement. Most people live “cashless” lifestyles that depend on plastic. People carry lots of “plastic” money in the form of credit cards and debit cards but normally don't keep any significant amount of cash on hand for a true emergency. Most, if not all, purchases are made with credit cards, debit cards, or personal checks.

During and after a major disaster or in an emergency situation, it's very unlikely that there will be any merchants that are going to be able to process credit cards or validate checks. If people are selling items, they're probably going to accept cash only. This simply means you won’t be able to buy anything if you don’t have cash. Check and credit card machines and electronic cash registers probably won’t be working due to power outages, etc. Don't count on getting change back from a hundred dollar bill. Needed currency denominations to make change may be in short supply. It will be better to have smaller denomination bills ($10's and $20's) and plenty of change (rolls of quarters, etc.) available in an emergency.

Make sure you set enough aside to counter higher prices that may occur due to needed items being in short supply. Hotel and motel rooms will become very expensive in a short period of time, if any are still available. Gasoline and fuel prices can go up in a hurry and food items, including water and ice, will get expensive due to limited supplies and availability. Don’t count on any of your normal routines working during a disaster or emergency.


Got cash?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi RW!
Cash is alway's a good thing for an emergency bugout.If you need to bail out for a hurricane,earthquake or such,it'll be fine. My concern is a long term crisis. If,should, could there be a longterm finacial breakdown,or a govt collapse,the cash won't be good for toilet paper! Use it up fast and quick,for good item's you'll need. Gold,silver,and barter item's will be better for the long run, but with no idea how to value the metal's,they'll be worthless fast too. Use the cash as fast as possible,while people will accept it,then the PM, then barter!
Dean in az

vlad said...

RW

that's good advice, as usual.

HermitJim said...

Gotta keep some on hand, for sure! That's one thing I've learned from living through a couple of hurricanes...I'm sure others have learned the same lesson, at least I hope so.

theotherryan said...

I suggest a months cash (stuff you've got to pay cash for as opposed to rent, insurance, phone bill, etc) expenses on hand in mixed bills. Keeping a hundred in ones, a hundred in fives and the balance in twenties is probably a good way to go. I've got a couple rolls of quarters but I'm not going to be going to the store daily to buy a pack of gum so making tons of small change isn't essential.

riverwalker said...

To: Dean in AZ

Gold and silver will probably be better for the long term needs. But for short term emergencies still going to need cash while it has any value. Good points all!
Thanks.

RW

BTW, This will be part of a Preparedness Guide I'm doing. Probably going to be quite long...6 to 8 pages at least.

riverwalker said...

To: vlad

Try to keep the basics in mind most of the time. Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

Been through a few hurricanes myself over the years and having some extra cash always helped!

Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: theotherryan

Keep about the same myself. A couple of rolls of quarters in each vehicle (won't lose much if it's broke into!) and a good month's coverage for cash. After 30 days would need to figure out something else. Thanks.

RW

Anonymous said...

RW,
I know I can alway's trade my pepper's to you! My issue is,what will an ounce of gold/silver be worth 1 yr after shtf? With no communication,internet,radio..how will we know how to trade? Will it just be desire? Will it just be human urge? I'd trade everything I have for gold,assuming the SHTF only last's a few month's.If we look at a yr out or so, we need to barter.We all need to decide what a dollar is worth 1 yr after the collapse.
Dean in AZ

Mayberry said...

Hey, I had some of that once! A long time ago.... Heh heh heh.

RV Survivalist said...

I only keep cash in the bank enough to pay bills. Any extra gets pulled right back out. Living in an RV...betcha can't find it!!!!

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

You probably got more stashed away than I do! LOL

RW

riverwalker said...

To: RV Survivalist

Too many hiding places in those things. I used to spend a lot of time in a 14 footer nad even it had a buch of great hiding places!
Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Dean in AZ

Think of the cash as spare TP if its value drops to nothing! HaHa!

RW

Brass said...

Dean, we're headed for heavy inflation. I don't know if we're headed for hyperinflation, but let's put it this way: an author recently pointed out that in the past 16 weeks, the Fed has printed more Federal "Reserve" notes than they printed beween 1913 and September of 2008.

There was a French economist a couple hundred years ago. Last name was Say. One of his propositions is now known as "Say's Law." It says that all the money in an economy will buy up all the goods in the same economy. Hence, if the only items in an economy are 10 pencils, and all the money in the economy is ten dollars, each pencil will sell for a dollar. Now, the Federal "Reserve" goes and prints 10 crisp new dollar bills. The amount of pencils is the same. Each pencil will now go for $2 each. Inflation isn't some mysterious entity, some "vague" rising of prices throughout an economy. It's the direct result of a central bank printing new money out of nothing. Inflation is what happened in Argentina, Mexico, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe, and what is going to happen here.

Now, since September, Holy Mother State has about doubled the amount of money in the economy. Think about it. What is that going to do to the purchasing power of your dollar? Are you planning on making double what you are making this year in the next three years? How about your retired parents, who are living off their savings? They're not making any more money. The purchasing power of their savings is currently being sucked away by inflation. Their savings will be ravaged by this recent criminal act of monetary debasement on a huge scale.

Gold and silver. They are monetary corks that float at the surface of a sea of debased currencies.

What makes something valuable? Aren't scarcity and desirability two key attributes of a valued asset? Guess what: dollar bills aren't scarce, and they're becoming less scarce. A dollar bill and a hundred dollar bill. What's the difference in these two pieces of linen and ink? One has two more zeroes printed onto it. It has as much value as you attribute to it. And I guarantee, as they become infinitely less scarce due to the fact that more are being printed every day, they will become infinitely less valuable. You can't print gold and silver. Stock up now.

Nomad said...

I am extremely guilty of this. I often travel with zero dollars in my pocket. Just the other day I had a blow out and was forced to change my tire on the side of the road. After getting the spare tire on I realized it was low on air. Of course every gas station in America charges between .50 -.75 cents to use the air machine. I had plastic but no quarters and I was SOL. This is solid advice.

riverwalker said...

To: nomad

A little cash will keep you from getting stranded. You never know when somethings going to happen to stop you in your tracks...like 2 flats and only one spare! Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Brass

Inflation is coming. That much is a sure thing. A lot depends upon the length of the current deflationary period we're in.
Thanks.

RW

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