Crisis Preparedness

Make Sure You Don’t Forget Cash for an Emergency

Most crises will be regional and relatively short-lived. There is a high likelihood that a power outage will accompany them.  Credit-card systems and ATMs will be down, and electronic transfers may not be possible, so a smart preparedness practice is to keep a good supply of cash on hand.

Week 52 Preparedness Challenge

The preparedness challenge for this week is to make sure you have a supply of cash for emergencies. Have a minimum of several hundred dollars in denominations of ones, fives, tens, and twenties. Smaller denominations are a smart choice because others may not be able or willing to give you change.

Preparedness Challenge: Keep a minimum of several hundred dollars in denominations of ones, fives, tens, and twenties for use in emergencies.

Hiding Cash and Valuables

Family Handy Man

Safes and vaults are an obvious place to store cash and valuables and you may want to invest in one. But you can also consider using disguises and unusual, unexpected places. Check out Family Handyman for interesting suggestions for hiding places.

Plan Now So You Can Barter Later

In some situations, practical, in-demand items may be even more valuable than cash. Paper money has value only in a working economy that accepts it. So, besides a stash of cash, another good plan is to have items that you can use to barter.


In dangerous times bartering can have risks. Be careful to keep a low profile and especially don’t flaunt your “wealth.” Mix it up. Don’t always barter in the same place or offer the same things to barter.

Ideas for Things You Can Stockpile for Bartering

Consider stockpiling small items that you can use for bartering. These will be items that are inexpensive now but would be highly valued in a time of scarcity. It makes sense to store those items your family normally uses. Below are some suggestions for items that might come in handy for bartering.


  • Bar soap, deodorant, shampoo
  • Condoms
  • Diapers, baby wipes
  • Feminine-hygiene products
  • Lip balm, lotion
  • Personal wipes
  • Razor blades, disposable razors
  • Reading glasses
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Tooth paste, dental floss


  • Antibiotics
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cold Medications
  • Ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Over-the-Counter Medicines
  • Pain killers
  • First-aid supplies


  • Cloth (canvas, denim, wool)
  • Fishing poles, nets, hooks, etc.
  • Garden tools
  • Hatchets, saws, hand tools
  • Knives, multipurpose tools, utility knives
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needles, sewing supplies, thread


  • Aluminum foil
  • Ammunition-12-gauge shotgun shells
  • Ammunition-.22 long rifle ammunition, 9mm, common calibers
  • Detergent
  • Duct tape
  • Garbage bags
  • Gloves—work, gardening, rubber
  • Hard plastic containers
  • Paracord 550
  • Resealable bags
  • Tarps, sheeting
  • Wire


  • Batteries, solar and conventional
  • Emergency Candles
  • Flashlight
  • Fuel: gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel, Coleman fuel, firewood
  • Hand warmers
  • Matches, steel wool, lighters, fire starters
  • Solar-battery chargers


  • Alcohol (vodka)
  • Basic foods
  • Canned foods
  • Coffee and tea
  • Cooking oil
  • Garden seeds, open-pollinated
  • Leavings
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Treats
  • Vinegar
  • Water bottles
  • Water filters
  • Water purification chemicals

Learn More

3-D Picture of book Crisis Preparedness Handbook

In my book Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition, find out more about things to stockpile and how to make your home safe. Learn about storing food and water as well as lighting, heating, cooking, and refrigeration in an emergency plus other areas of preparedness. Crisis Preparedness Handbook is found on my website and on Amazon.

Patricia Spigarelli Aston
Author of
Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition

3 thoughts on “Make Sure You Don’t Forget Cash for an Emergency”

  1. Thank you the 52 week challenge. Your reminders have been well-paced, thoughtful, and solid. And thank you for clarity and editing with your writing. (I wish other websites would do a better job of editing.)

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