K-State Research and Extension News
August 04, 2011
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Why You Need Cash

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Financial advisors encourage saving an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses and typically encourage banking the savings in an interest-bearing account.

“That’s sound advice, yet having cash available is also a must,” said Carol Young, K-State Research and Extension financial management specialist.

Imagine, for example, if the neighborhood bank is in the path of a tornado or flood and is damaged, destroyed or without the electrical power needed to access electronic records, operate ATMs or complete a credit card transaction, she said. 

“With cash in hand, victims in such circumstances will be better able to cover immediate expenses, such as food, water, shelter, medications, gas, rental car or other transportation in an emergency,” Young said.

The amount needed will depend on the number of members in the household, any special needs, the amount you feel comfortable possibly losing, and the severity of the emergency, she said.

A few hundred dollars could be enough to bridge the gap, said Young, who advised tucking the cash into a water- and fireproof emergency kit with medications, copies of insurance policies and other essential records (identification, health records and insurance cards, a recent bank/investment statement, family and business contact numbers and address book). The kit can be taken to a storm or emergency shelter along with a battery-powered radio, non-perishable foods, etc.

Much of the family and business contact information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, financial account numbers, or scanned copies of documents can be saved electronically to a portable flash drive or a web document account and updated as needed, she said.

Including passwords on the flash drive is not recommended.

More information about managing money successfully is available at K-State Research and Extension offices throughout the state and online.

Information about disaster management also is available at K-State Research and Extension offices and online, and via the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), which is a collaborative multi-state effort by extension services across the country to reduce the impact of disasters through education. Kansas State University is a member of EDEN.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Carol Young is at 785-532-5773