As I write this, Hurricane Henri is making his way up the East Coast and expected to make landfall in my town of Montauk and coastal New England. It is likely we will lose power and there will be flooding in the area. I hope the damage is minimal and power is restored quickly. What are the basics of creating an emergency plan?
My phone has already started blowing up with notifications, there’s a line at the gas station and grocery store, and a steady line of traffic OUT of the Hamptons.
I am reminiscing a bit about other emergencies we’ve been through … Hurricane Sandy (in Montauk), NYC Blackout (2003), and of course 9-11. What did we learn? Are we better prepared this time?
Of course, recent weather events (wildfires in California, heatwave in Pacific Northwest, snow in Texas!) mean we should ALL be prepared with the basics.
Financial planning is mostly about the big, long-term stuff
- Insurance: The purpose of health, disability, life and property insurance is to protect you financially in the event of an emergency or unforeseen expense.
- Retirement Planning: It’s about preparing for a day that you no longer “work for a living” and need to sustain your lifestyle with retirement and investment income.
- College Planning: Figuring out how (and how much) to support education goals for your kids, often a decade or more in advance (the sooner the better!).
- Tax Planning: Figuring out how to prepare for and minimize tax over a multi-year time frame.
The list goes on … maintaining an emergency fund, a good credit score, an “opportunity fund”; these are all variations on the theme of preparing for something that may or may not play out in the way you expect.
What about emergencies and short-term needs?
A habit of planning helps there too. It’s never too soon to have basic emergency supplies on hand.
- Flashlights (check those batteries!)
- Candles (make sure you can find your matches/lighters)
- Bottled Water (you can also get one of these)
- Non-Perishable Food
- Battery pack phone chargers (I always accept that swag at conferences!)
- Ability to cook without electricity (charcoal or gas grill, camp stove)
Of course, I’m kind of a planner so here is my list of T-minus 24-hour preparations:
- Locate candles, flashlights, emergency supplies.
- Charge up all your chargers
- Put gas in the car, hit the ATM and the grocery store for any last-minute items
- Secure outdoor furniture, patio umbrellas, etc.
- Run the dishwasher and do some laundry – you don’t want to be overflowing when the power goes out for days!
- Make a pot of coffee in case the power is out when you wake up (I’ve learned this one the hard way, LOL)
We don’t know what will happen, but I feel pretty prepared for a big storm (or a zombie apocalypse!).
Stay safe everyone!