Why do you need cash in your emergency kit, and how much should you have available? Where should that cash be stored? These are all questions that should be answered if you want to be prepared.
In an emergency situation, cash can come in handy if there is no access to electronic transactions and you need supplies. In most emergencies, you will probably not need cash, since either stores will be closed or inaccessible. There are some instance where having cash would be invaluable.
You might need cash for tolls or campground fees if you need to evacuate to another area. Some hotels may be open but not have power or connection for credit card transactions. You also may come across smaller businesses that do not take credit cards. For example, we live within an hour of an Amish community, and the stores there do not take credit cards.
If you find yourself having to stay local in your neighborhood for an extended period of time, you might have to use cash for certain services, such as tree limb removal. You might also need cash for supplies purchased from your neighbors.
Finally, if the emergency was on a national scale, such as a shut down of the banking system or a run on the banks, having cash on hand will ensure that you can still pay for goods and services that you might need.
How much cash should you have on hand? This really depends. Most recommendations are for $100 to $150. Personally, I would recommend a minimum of $300, especially if you have several members of your family.
Store your cash either with your emergency kit, or somewhere were it can be grabbed quickly. You don’t want to place it anywhere where it might be stolen or accidentally thrown away.