Making it past December 21, 2012, some people may have breathed a silent sigh of relief that it wasn't the end of the world. However, the economic factors involved in not preparing for a disaster such as a major earthquake, can be the end of one's bank account.
One of the most common excuses for lack of preparation is the cost involved. Maybe someone doesn't want to pay $40 to have furniture secured to the wall. Perhaps all the food and water you would like to stock adds up to an overwhelming $500, and so the all-or-nothing mentality kicks in and says, "What's the use of a four-dollar case of water?" The result: neither.
Consider that in some earthquakes, people go into instant business selling one bottle of water for $10. Consider that the annual expense of earthquake insurance is less than the price of having no house at all, regardless of public funds available, and not. Consider the potential impact of the loss of the operation of your business, the loss of wages from temporary unemployment, the loss of property and possessions.
Where do you stash your cash? What will you need to pay for in the aftermath of a disaster? Details are important. For example, if you're going to stash $200 in your emergency kit, you might break them up into 200 one-dollar bills. If you come across someone selling bottles of water for $1, you don't want to hand them a $10 bill unless you're buying 10, because if you are the first customer, there will be no change. And just think how useful it would be to have those bills in your car emergency kit. Who wants to run out of gas heading out of town, if you can get gas.
Aside from looters, the only people who might have money are the people who stashed their "$200," or planned other ways ahead of time of having access to needed funds. Even learning how banks will function after a disaster is part of the earthquake education process. (When I find out, I'll let you know.)
In future articles here, the economic factors aspects of earthquake preparation will be addressed. Meanwhile, by just considering the economic aspects, such information will catch your eye as you come across it. Financial survival and health in the aftermath of a quake deserves as much attention as planning for retirement.