Cash- Do you have enough emergency cash on hand? When the power goes out there is no banking, no ATM, no credit cards. Even if there is power, in an emergency people will head for a cash station. In Houston when people were evacuating for a hurricane all the money was depleted from the ATM’s and banks were closed. Make sure you have some small bills too. You don’t want to overpay on items just because all you have is a $20 and no one can give you change back.
Toilet Paper – I’ve only spent one day in Paris but that day while frantically looking for a bathroom, we stumbled upon a French shop with custom toilet paper. Unbelievable stuff, but I was so grateful (to pay) for a clean bathroom with soft TP. At home I have a large stash of ordinary, non-designer toilet paper. It’s not something I want to be without. My husband says in an emergency toilet paper is going to be a good bartering item.
A Cell Phone (that’s charged) – Here’s a few tips to keep your cell phone working longer if you aren’t able to charge it for a few days.
Fully charge your laptop, and save that charge for your phone. You can plug your phone into your laptop’s USB port to charge it.
- When the power goes out, turn off all the radios on your phone you’re not using: WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Put the phone in “Airplane mode” or turn it off entirely if you aren’t using it and aren’t anticipating incoming calls or texts.
- Turn down the brightness on your screen.
- Send text messages instead of making phone calls.
- Restart your phone to stop any unnecessary apps that may be running.
- Use a cell phone car charger or a solar charger.
Social networks are often a reliable and quick way to communicate with family and friends during an emergency or power outage. Here’s how to get started:
- Join a social networking site like Facebook.
- Build out short lists of contacts on your social networking sites of the most important people you should alert in case of emergency. You can do this easily by building an emergency contact list.
- Prepare your contact lists in advance so you can send notices quickly during an outage.