Preparing for Financial Emergencies


Disasters and other emergencies can disrupt your finances and your sense of normal. Financial emergency preparedness helps you plan, recover, and rebuild after disasters and emergencies.

A financial emergency is any expense or loss of income you do not plan for, like a missed paycheck, a damaged roof, a flat tire, or medical bill. We don’t know what financial emergency we will have in the next year, but it’s likely we will have one!

You can take steps to prepare for financial emergencies. For example, an emergency savings account can help you with unexpected expenses.

Review your insurance coverage (health insurance as well as property insurance) so that it’s effective when needed. Also, be sure that you compile important documents and phone numbers. Know where they are when you need them in a crisis or emotional moment.


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Prepare for Financial Emergencies

Read an overview of the different steps for preparing for financial emergencies. An extensive resource list also is provided.

Download Handout

Chart for contact information

Build a Contact List

Organize key records and contact information so that it will be handy in an emergency. You can download this free chart to help you.

Download Chart

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Small Amounts Add Up

Jumpstart your savings by taking a look at how your habits may be adding up!

Download Worksheet

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Financial Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Webinar

Attend this webinar to learn ways to organize your finances, develop valuable resource lists, and reduce anxiety and stress during a financial emergency. With a focus on implications for older adults, we also will explore building your contact lists before an emergency and watching out for financial fraud following a disaster. Many resources will be shared!

July 9, 2024, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (CT) Online

Registration is free and necessary to receive connecting information. Register now!

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Grow Your Savings

Visit the Savings and Investing page of Illinois Extension's website for ideas and resources.

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For an in-depth, how-to workbook, download FEMA's Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (pdf).