Preparing for the unknown does not only orbit around natural disaster preparedness. Disasters are defined as a state of extreme misfortune and ruin. Many are beginning to feel how bad this country’s economy has gotten. People are losing their jobs right and left, and are now feeling less secure about their future. And, more and more are beginning to come to realization that the recession is not recovering, but only getting worse.
As a satirical blog so wittingly described the dying U.S. Economy:
“As you are aware, U.S. Economy was found slain last evening. While normally the decedent’s name is withheld pending notification of next of kin, we are compelled to alter that practice today. Agents attempting to contact U.S. Economy’s next of kin, named U.S. Middle Class, have been unsuccessful. Citizens who have any information or know the whereabouts of U.S. Middle Class are asked to call their local FBI office.”
Preparing for a possible bout of unemployment is much like preparing for any type of disaster. A family must prepare themselves physically and mentally for what could come, and be ready for it when it does. Preparing for this ahead of time can give a person an advantage for when the impending talk with HR Department may come.
- Keep the survival needs in mind: food, water, shelter. As long as a roof is over your head and there is food to feed the family, then you are fine.
- Stop all frivolous spending. Stop eating out, stop getting manicures, stop going to Starbuck’s. That is all frivolous spending that needs to stop. Bring your lunch to work and sit outside and eat. The main focus is to save as much money as possible.
- Start using coupons and looking at weekly ads for grocery stores. A person can save a substantial amount of money by looking at discounted goods and not having “brand loyalty.”
- Buy a few extra short term food items (canned goods, formula, flour, sugar) each time you are at the store. Accumulating a few items at a time will not break the budget and when the money gets tight, these items will come in handy.
- Cut the budget as much as possible to get by on the bare necessities. Hacking the budget and getting rid of all unnecessary spending can really help. If a family has children and one of the parents stay at home, get them out of daycare and keep them home. If a family is concerned about a lay off, then they should do all they can to conserve their money. Try and cut back on energy bills, cable bills, etc.
- Have a garage sale to get rid of items that are no longer used. A person would be surprised at how much money is sitting in gently used items out in their garage. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- Talk to family members and let them know of the possible threat of unemployment. Sometimes friends and family have good advise to give.
Assistance is Available
During these hard economic times, unemployment is a terrifying thought. Especially if a person has a family that is used to having the benefits of medical and dental insurance. President Barack Obama has come through with one of his promises to the citizens of America. He has created assistance programs for struggling families that are on the unemployment line. While a person is going through the process of finding another job, there are some forms of assistance available to them:
Government Assistance Programs
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Barack Obama signed a measure that would extend a federal subsidy for continues health insurance coverage for involuntarily terminated workers under employer group plans. The law extends the subsidy an additional six months for a total of 15 months. The subsidy applies only to workers let go by employers.
For a more in depth look at what other government assistance programs are available, click here.
According to some sources, there are some jobs that simply will not be coming back, even if a recovery were to occur. Many are faced with the choices of continuing their job search in there respected fields, going back to school or finding a new trade all together. There is an insurmountable amount of stress that is placed on a person when they are out of work. If a person can prepared ahead of time for this possibility, the shock of having one less paycheck may not come as such a hard blow.
To all of you who are unemployed, I wish you the very best of luck. We hope that you and your family will find a way to get through this hard time.