Two unrelated stories caught my attention this week, which prompted me to write this article. One story was about a California couple who found an underground 1960s fallout shelter in their backyard and the other story was about a woman who had a baby and soon found her husband mistakenly sold a box where she had stashed her wedding ring.
These stories have nothing to do with each other, but they both got me thinking about something that is often left out of emergency planning: having instructions should something happen to you.
As you can see from the story about the bunker, the man planned well, for what many feared in the 60s, that of nuclear war, but fortunately for him, a nuclear disaster never did come to pass in his lifetime. Yet his emergency preps lived on, now a quaint reminder, even a time capsule of sorts, representing a bygone era. In the same vein, we prepare for emergencies or disasters, and continue to hope for the best.
The second story about the wedding ring being hidden in an unused box that got sold inadvertently reminded me of the importance of telling a trusted someone where you hide things. I’ve seen articles giving tips on where to hide stuff such as cash and other valuables. But what if you hide your items in these secret places and something happens to you? You may have hidden them so well that no one will benefit from your foresight – your loved ones may find your stash accidentally, or maybe they will never get found.
I admit, I don’t even feel comfortable with this subject either, but I know it is something I need to deal with. At the very least, have a conversation with your partner about where and what you are hiding, so someone else knows where to find things should something happen to you. If you were incapacitated or unconscious in the hospital, will your loved ones know where to look for emergency cash or even health insurance forms so they can pay the hospital bill? Here are a few issues to consider:
- Do you have a last will and testament? If you have a lot of assets, then best consult an attorney, if not, and your estate is simple, websites such as Legalzoom (no affiliation with us) may help you.
- If you are parents, who would take care of the kids?
- To whom would you grant power-of-attorney should you become incapacitated?
- Hidden caches and such: would your family know where you hid your valuables such as safe deposit boxes and storage units? Watching that show Storage Wars and seeing the characters uncover hidden gems for profit just makes me wonder about the hapless owners who lost these items for whatever reason.
- Not all families are “on-board” with prepping – you’d have to consider who may appreciate and benefit from your efforts the most, instead of just dumping everything in the trash or selling them off for pennies at a garage sale.
No one really likes to think about this, but loss of life is certainly a disaster situation for the family. It is something that many of us avoid thinking about, yet is necessary to consider as part of a well-rounded plan.