Ugh, worst title ever, but think about it. What would happen if you were hit by a car driving home from work tonight? You’re not dead, just “asleep” to give your brain time to stop swelling. What happens to the life you set up and how will your short absence affect you long term? This is specifically for single households but I know there are a lot of things I wouldn’t be aware of if my husband suddenly wasn’t able to communicate with me.
Here are a few things to think about if you were suddenly out for a week:
- If you were taken to the hospital suddenly, would your dog die? Your cat would figure it out but what about your puppy. Do you have a system in place in case you fall ill that someone would notice and check on your pets? Who has a key to your place?
- Would all of your credit cards start racking up insane interest from being unpaid? Do you have auto-pay set up on your credit cards and do you keep a consistent amount in your bank account to pay off those cards each month?
- What about your utilities, mortgage, cell phone, etc? Would you come home to frozen pipes because you didn’t pay the gas bill?
- Do you have short term disability to cover the incoming costs? Having 3-6 months saved up sounds like enough until you get your first hospital bill.
- Does your emergency contact actually know how to help manage your household? Often times people put their mom as their emergency contact but mom doesn’t necessarily know how to get in your house, pay your bills, or know who to notify to keep things running smooth.
- Do you have a small business that would collapse if you were unexpectantly out of touch for a week?
- Does the emergency contact listed at your kids’ school know what to do with your kids while you are unconscious? The last thing your frighten kid needs is to miss soccer and then be fed a peanut butter sandwich when he hates peanut butter sandwiches. Make sure they are familiar with your kids and can keep their schedule as consistent as possible.
- Does your emergency contact know where your advanced directive is located?
Invite a responsible friend over for the talk this needs to be someone you trust with your house key and can be available immediately. List them as your emergency contact at work. Show them where you are keeping your emergency notebook and keep it in a consistent place.
In your notebook make sure you have the following:
- Put a list of all the people you want to be notified of your compromised situation. If those contacts are going to be in charge of your pet, kids or your finances make sure it is stated in the notebook.
- Have your short term disability paperwork there.
- Have a brief medical description in it. This could be helpful if you are on chronic medications.
- Have your pets’ veterinarian number listed and any details about the pet that needs to be addressed.
- Write a brief description of your kids’ favorite activities, toys or foods. This needs to be updated semi-annually.
- Make sure your advance directive is up to date
- List the account numbers for your utilities and the name of your mortgage company.
- Have an explanation of how to pay bills while you are hospitalized. Detail where to move money out of to pay
An unexpected hospitalization should not ruin your credit score and wipe out your savings with late fees and high interest. At the very least make a plan for your pets to get fed if you suddenly are not there to take care of them.