Let’s face it: a family emergency is something that all of us hope that we’ll never have to encounter. From health problems to house problems, though, we’ve all suffered from emergencies at some point. Here are some tips on how to get your life in order so you’re as prepared for an emergency as you possibly can be…
Keep Everything Up To Date
First and foremost, it’s important that you keep everything in your home and in your life as up to date as you can. If your boiler requires annual checks, make sure that you schedule them rigorously. Likewise, you should get your car checked frequently, particularly if it’s an older and more unreliable model. Your own health should be even more of a priority than the material objects in your life. If you don’t feel well, make sure that you go to the doctor, and ensure that you get an annual physical. If you have any health problems it’s best to treat them as early as possible to have the best possible recovery. Likewise, if any family members don’t feel well, encourage them to get medical treatment as soon as you can – keep an eye on any moles that you or your family members might have to ensure that they don’t change shape or texture and make sure that you’re all up to date on vaccinations.
Invest In Insurance Policies
As we all know, insurance costs can get extremely pricey. It’s important to focus on what’s most important to you, which is generally health, so if you live somewhere where you need health insurance then it’s important that you make sure you have a great plan. If you have pets, it’s also important to get good up to date health insurance for them – you don’t want the guilty feeling of having to have your dog put down because you can’t afford to get his broken leg treated. Pets are members of your family who will love you unreservedly, and deserve to be treated as such. You should also make sure that you get home insurance – if your house gets broken into or flooded then you might lose some sentimentally valuable possessions but at least you’ll be able to make repairs easily.
Remember There Are Always Solutions
Even if you’re in the bleakest financial situations, remember that there are often solutions that can be found to your problems. If you need some money quickly then you could always go for a loan with a company like PersonalMoneyStore.com – just make sure that you keep on top of paying it back so you don’t end up having to pay too much interest! Don’t think of your bank as your enemy – they want to help you and find financial solutions to any problems you might have. It’s a good idea to talk to the experts to figure out what your next step should be. Remember that there are also charities that will help people in need. There are food banks available and if you’re in the middle of a housing crisis then shelters will help provide your family with shelter, clean clothing and food. If you’re having health problems that you’re having problems paying for (whether that’s the treatment itself or the missed work) then plenty of people have had success using websites like Just Giving.
Save Your Money
When you’re going through a financial rough patch, knowing that you have savings to lean on is an absolute godsend. A lot of people end up having to borrow money from friends or family members but we all know that this can lead to strained relationships. Your own savings is always a better place to start. You should aim to save as much money every month as you can – ten percent of your incomings is a good amount to put in a high interest bank account but if you can’t quite stretch that far, just go for whatever you can manage. Having that cushion of money might potentially help you in the future – for instance if you lose a deposit on an apartment but you need to move quickly.
Have An Escape Planned
There are plenty of emergencies that crop up from health issues to car problems to house things that need to be fixed quickly, but there are other emergencies like fires, floods and earthquakes that might mean you need to leave your home extremely quickly. Make sure that you have your escape planned – you should know a rough area of where your pets sleep at night so you can grab them easily, and you should ensure that your kids know exactly what to do if they smell smoke or notice something strange in your home. Keep the essentials next to your bed so you can grab them if you need to – you might need your glasses, your medication, your passport, your charged cell phone and a bank card. Even if you lose everything else to a fire or another natural disaster, having those things with you will help you make it through the next couple of days. The Red Cross will also provide medication for people who have lost theirs after a terrible event in their homes.
Help Your Kids To Be Independent
Finally, it’s important to raise your kids to be independent and resilient. If you have to be out for the evening, then you want your teenagers to be able to make dinner for themselves – or at the very least to know how to call for pizza! Help your kids to be contributing members of your household by assigning them chores to do, so that if they have to take on more responsibility one day because you’re tied up elsewhere, it won’t be too much of a shock to their systems. Teach them how to use your washing machine and dishwasher, and encourage them to learn to drive as early as they can. If your kids are independent, then they’ll be able to help out as much in an emergency as they can.