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Expect the Unexpected

Didn’t see that coming!

Unexpected situations often leave us scrambling for documents and information. The best way to prepare yourself to handle unforeseen situations is to prepare in advance, when things are calm and you have time to think.

Emergency? What emergency?
Emergency situations come in many different forms but usually fall into three general categories:

a) Financial

If a financial emergency strikes, you’ll be glad you took the time to put an emergency financial plan in place. Your emergency financial plan should include the following considerations:

  • Three to six months’ total living expenses set aside in a place that is readily accessible such as a savings account. Be sure to account for all expenses like mortgages, loan repayments, rent, hydro, food, etc.
  • Keep this money separate from your other money. This will help you avoid the temptation of dipping into it for other expenses.

b) Medical

In the case of a medical emergency, other people may need to access your personal information in order to deal with the situation. To accommodate this, take the time to complete the emergency checklist and make sure trusted individuals such as family, friends and neighbours know where to find it. One list should be completed for each family member:

  • Physician names, addresses and phone numbers

  • Blood type

  • Allergies

  • Medication, including dosage

  • Brief family medical history

  • Insurance ID numbers, contact information and coverage terms

c) Personal

If something were to delay you in your daily routine, such as a late-running meeting or traffic, who would pick up your child from daycare? Is there a neighbour’s house where an older child could go until you arrive home? How would your family get in touch with your children’s teachers, if they had to do so?

Be prepared for personal emergencies by having the following list readily available, with copies at the homes of trusted friends and family members:

  • school name/daycare, address and phone number for each child

  • for daycare-aged children, a list of authorized adults, including phone numbers, who may pick up your child if you are not available

  • each child’s teacher’s full name

  • helpful neighbour’s names, addresses and phone numbers (including cell phones)