Having funds set aside for an emergency is a pillar of financial stability. Most savings accounts probably begin as an emergency fund: easily accessible money to pay for unplanned expenses. Car repairs and urgent care visits are often used as examples of emergencies, but what if there was an actual life-threatening emergency, would you be financially prepared?
If you happened to be in West LA last night (November 29, 2017) you probably noticed the strong gas smell permeating the air. I smelled it on my drive home as I entered my neighborhood. Once home, I quickly jumped on social media and realized I wasn’t alone. People from Rancho Park to Venice reported the strong gas smell and multiple calls to 911 and the gas company were fruitless. Many people complained of nausea and headaches. Within 10 minutes I made the decision to evacuate my apartment even though there was no official order to evacuate. Better safe than sorry is my mantra.
Luckily, I had a friend who was not affected by the gas smell and he agreed to let me crash at his place. Had that not been an option I would have found a hotel room away from the smell and paid for it out of my emergency savings. Of course, it sucks to dip into a savings account, but it would also suck to get sick (or worse) from a gas leak.
The events of last night underscore the importance of maintaining an emergency savings account. Don’t wait for a life-threatening (or otherwise) emergency to put you in a financial bind. Start saving today for the unexpected. Even if it’s only $5 a week, that money will slowly grow and you’ll be glad you have it when you need it. In addition to having money easily accessible from your financial institution, it’s also a good idea to keep a couple hundred dollars in cash in a safe at home. Having that cash on hand could be a lifesaver if the ATM network goes down.
As it turns out, the incident last night wasn’t a gas leak but a leak of the odorant that’s added to gas. However, I’m not convinced that it was harmless. I have zero qualms about my decision to bug out last night. Being financially secure made that an easy choice.
Did you experience the gas smell last night? How did you react? Are you prepared for a financial emergency? Tell me all about it in the comments section.