I had the weirdest dream the other day. I found myself in a makeshift shelter (a community center or school gym). There were at least 60 beds crammed together with people of all ages on their cots. As the dream transitioned, I found myself working as a part of the staff/volunteer group/whatever responsible for coordinating people: directing them to beds, leading group discussions, and shuttling them in from wherever they came from. I don't know where this dream came from, but I don't doubt that it has something to do with the hundreds of families who have been displaced by floods and tornadoes in the South and the Midwest.
In one part of the dream, I distinctly remember a guy, propped up on his elbow, talking about how he came to the shelter. He said that he could afford a room at the Marriott but for so long. He was facing the possibility of running out money and had to find an alternative for his family.
What did I take from this dream? I started to think about my own prepardness in case of emergency, rather, my lack of such prepardness. After a quick Google search, I found Ready.gov, a campaign by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that calls on us to "Prepare. Plan. [and] Stay Informed".
Growing up in South Florida, I've had my experiences with hurricanes and their aftermath. I have memories of boiling water, eating packaged and canned food, and going to the mall and grocery stores (because they had generators and/or restored power before us...we went for the air conditioning). As an adult, however, I have to think about what I would do in case of an emergency. Where would I go? How would I get there (my nearest relatives are four hours [driving] away)? How much money would I need?
This last question really has me scratching my head because I know that I'd have to have such funds available in cash. When the power is out, that ATM machine is not of much help, neither is a check scanner.
Nevertheless, I will do my best to be prepared for -God forbid- an emergency, by combing over the checklists at Ready.gov and taking said recommendations seriously.
Are you prepared for an emergency?
How much cash would you stash in case of one?