The New York Times estimates the current unemployment rate is close to 13%, the highest its been since the Great Depression.
On top of that, 49% of Americans are already saying they live paycheck to paycheck throughout some parts of the year. Couple the two together, and it’s truly a crisis.
Whether or not you’re weathering this pandemic well, you may be wondering how you can prepare for the next crisis. If you’re prepared, you can make sure you’re never caught off guard again. These tips can help you make sure you’re ready.
Improve Your Financial Health
To prepare for the next major crisis, you should take a long hard look at your current financial standing. Try to eliminate as much debt as possible, and be prepared to cut back on all superfluous expenses during a crisis.
Then try to bulk up your emergency fund as much as possible. You should always have a minimum of $1,000 saved up in an emergency fund. But as soon as you can, bulk this up to six months worth of living expenses. That includes rent, groceries, and all your bills for six months.
Check up on your insurances to make sure you’re covered. This includes your health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance. If your career was drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to consider job loss insurance too. Job loss insurance could protect your paycheck under certain circumstances.
And finally, you want to look over your end of life documents. What’s going to happen to the house and all of your assets when you’re gone? Is the legal foundation set up to make sure there’s a plan in place?
Stay on Top of Your Career
While it’s always a good idea to be the best you can be in your job when you expect a looming crisis is an extra valuable time to crack down and prove your worth.
Brush up on any skills that could help you with your career and make you the most valuable employee that you can be. This could help insulate you from a round of layoffs when times get tough.
Make Sure Your Home is Ready
Is your home prepared to protect you and your family if you can’t leave the house for months on end? You should always do what you can to keep your home clean and safe.
Make sure you’re stocked up on cleaning essentials, and that you regularly replace your filters. It doesn’t hurt to keep a backup on hand for each filter that needs replacing – this way you’re never caught without it.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your home can keep you and your family busy if another shelter-in-place order should occur. Is your home office set up to help you make money? Is there plenty to keep the kids busy?
Hoarding can hurt your neighbors because it takes valuable resources off the shelves for people who truly need it. But it’s a good idea to make sure your pantry is stocked with staples with a long shelf life to keep you and your family well-fed.
Have an Emergency Plan
Finally, make sure you have emergency plans in place. Several different crises need an emergency plan – not just major national crises like the current one.
Put together an emergency plan for fires, earthquakes, tornados, or other natural disasters that are common for your area. You can make a plan in case of a home intruder too.
Then you might want to make a plan that reflects the current crisis. What will you do if a family member gets sick? Do you have a part of the house you can seal off as a sick room? Do you have a well-stocked emergency kit easily accessible?
And you should also put together an emergency plan for your finances – should your income entirely disappear again in the future. How long will your savings last? What could you cut back on if needed?
With every emergency plan, make sure you discuss it with your family and anyone who is involved. Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and exactly what they should do should the worst happen.
An emergency plan is only as good as the effort you take to prepare it. Take time to be thorough.
Prepare For The Next Major Crisis Now
It’s hard to prepare for a major crisis because you truly can’t predict what to expect. But it’s always good to start preparing when things are going well so that you’re ready if things go bad. These staples are generally a good foundation to keep you safe in most scenarios.
When it comes to preparing for a crisis, you need to make sure your finances are in order and do what you can to make sure your family is protected. Do what you can to excel in your career, and make sure your home is prepared to handle a crisis.
Plan ahead, and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities. These tips will have you in great shape.