I read an article in The Independent last week about how there has been an increase in people unable to cope with unexpected expenditure.
Presumably this is as a result of the recession, and I’ve certainly noticed that everyday life seems to be that little bit more expensive than it used to be; most likely as a result of a combination of rising fuel prices, an increase in VAT and inflation rate changes. However, I’m no economist and therefore I’ll leave precise analysis of the reasons for this to people much better informed than me.
This does have impacts for resilience though. Flooding, arguably the UK’s most likely risk, rarely generates sensational media images associated with…say…helicopter crashes, but (I would suggest) is more damaging in terms of cost. In this context, Rainy Day Fund seems a particularly apt metaphor.
Right now, would you be able to afford, or does your insurance cover,
- Replacing all of your downstairs carpets?
- Hiring equipment to dry out plaster?
- Repairing damage to your car caused by flood water and debris?
It’s something The Guardian picked up in 2011, but clearly many of us didn’t heed their warnings! How many of us have a piggy bank that we can raid in an emergency?
I have several contingency funds, but none of them particularly extensive, and I’m sure I’d have to call on other sources of assistance if I needed large sums of money quickly.
The organisations that I work with every day prepare detailed plans for many of the risks in the National Risk Register. Some of them have considered how to ‘deal’ with Vulnerable People, and often this involves information to “prepare a household or community emergency plan” but perhaps some more practical advice like “save a small amount of money each week” would be more advantageous?
Community resilience isn’t just about sandbags!
Image Source: Ocean/Corbis