Hurricane Andrew and No Cash On Hand Fiasco!

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Loving Life 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #697

    Forever Preparing

    A few years ago when Andrew, I believe it was came through I realized that we didn’t have more than a few dollars on hand and decided to make a last minute run to the ATM, 10 minutes away. The storm hadn’t really started yet and I thought I would be fine. Half way to town I drove through a flooded area and my car cut off due to the tail pipe being under water! I try and try and try and finally it cranks and I floor the accelerator and get out of dodge! As I drive into the town where the ATM is, the street lights go out! Guess what else lost power? Yep! One minute before I got to the ATM, power goes POOF! So I start the journey home… It took me 3 hours to get home from a point 10 miles away. The storm got really wound up and I had to navigate flooded rivers, downed trees and pretty much a moist version of hell! Needless to say, this hurricane was the point where we started prepping! A safe place to keep cash is to get a small fire safe and drill holes in the bottom and attach it to your floor with lag screws. It isn’t going to move easily and is always in the place where you intend it to be! haha A bit of advise…. when you are bolting the lag bolts through the safe into the floor, make sure your fingers are not under the safe…..

  • #703

    Grammyprepper Reed

    LOL, FP, I guess that last comment was also based on experience! Having cash on hand can also help out through a lot of scenarios! I lost my job at one point, but had stashed a little here, a little there, sometimes just a buck or two, sometimes a twenty. It wasn’t a whole lot, but it got us thru some tight spots. Now that I am employed again, I am working to build it back up, a dollar or two at a time. We also save all our loose coin change.That is used for a portion of our yearly camping vacation specifically.

  • #704

    Forever Preparing

    You are correct! It was experience based! haha and you make a great point! Having whatever cash you can stashed away is a great help in many scenarios!

  • #732


    Hey – at least you weren’t like a friend of mine during Harvey who had to go out for TOILET PAPER! I mean, seriously? There is NO excuse for running out of TP. It comes in multi-packs!

    • #739

      Red Carnation

      Anna, plus toilet paper won’t go “bad,” but that is how some people live. They buy what they will need for 3-4 days, and that’s it. I’d be tired of running to the store non-stop. :-/

  • #740


    I include a few hundred as part of my every day carry. Would carry more, if I could. I never want to be out of money. Got stranded 300 miles from home when my car broke down once when in my early twentys. Had to have my dad wire me some money. This was before credit cards became ubiquitous. Not going to let that happen again! Sure I got a credit card, would be no good if power was out. Keep silver coins and a little gold in my get home bag in the trunk.

  • #742

    Grammyprepper Reed

    I have asked my parents for a case of TP for christmas present before…after years of useless gifts, I decided to start asking for usefull items.

  • #751


    I’ll never forget when Boston was locked down after the marathon bombing and the police had to bring people food, milk, and water after one day

    • #1091

      Casper Ship

      Don’t let the max coverage of insurance companies limit the amount of cash you keep on hand. They also have very low payouts on firearms and precious metals, unless you pay for costly policy riders. You are going to want to have much more of all these items than your insurance covers.

      Look at it this way…..the alternatives are also risky. Keep cash in the bank, and a financial crash may cause “bank holidays” so that you basically lose it anyway. Or a massive disaster may wipe out an insurance company’s ability to honor the indemnification you have paid for. Both are very possible. These are just different forms of loss, or more specifically “robbery.”

      For a survivor/prepper, being dependent on an ATM…..ever….is a Real Bad Idea.

  • #752


    But I digress. Cash – I keep it in random hiding places all around the house. I don’t like to keep it all in one place, lest someone find one of my stashes. I use small, fire-resistant safes and I keep it in ziplock bags in case of water/floods.

    I learned in a way much like FP (the hard way that is) that insurance companies only replace a small amount of cash in the event of theft or destruction. You can have thousands of dollars squirreled away and they max out at something like $300.

  • #879

    Was Asleep

    I am always worried about running out of TP, soap and toothpaste LOL my kids thought I was crazy buying 6 or 8 tubes of toothpaste and 2 or 3 24 packs of TP! i have just recently started a cash fund. the world now a days makes it sooo easy to never have cash on hand but watching and hearing stories like what all you have described makes me really push harder to save up more and put in different places around the house!

  • #1065


    A friend of mine stores random cash in books- a $5 bill here, a $20 bill there. I’d have to be much more deliberate about it so I’d know where it is when I need it, but I think it’s a good idea. We have built-in bookshelves in the office with most of our books in there, so it would be easy enough to devise a system (twenties in Tom Clancy, fives in Dick Francis, etc, or maybe by the number of letters in the authors name). While it wouldn’t be protected from fire, it would likely be safe from thieves. Fortunately, we don’t loan books out much so there isn’t much risk of losing the cash.

  • #1158


    Great article, Annaraven!

    I think the key for stashing cash is, like everything else, diversify.

    Don’t keep ALL the money in books. Don’t keep ALL the money in your freezer. Don’t keep ALL the money in a safe.

    Keep some in a decoy can. Keep some in a decoy book. Keep some in a frozen dinner nobody in your family would ever eat. (Spinach souffle, anyone?)

    A really ideal place, if you have a dog that you crate when you are gone, is inside the lining of the dog bed. (Assuming your dog does not chew the bed, of course.) Nobody is going to break in and let the barking dog out of his crate.

  • #1221

    Carl Sagan

    I do a lot of traveling/backpacking and keep cash in three places: Wallet which is in my pocket or the top of my bag depending how near to civilization I am. Vacuum packed and hidden in one of my orthopedic insoles. And the third bunch in a small plastic bag inside my diary with my other SIM card and a seldom used debit card (Sweden is moving towards cashless and some places don’t take cash, the horror).

    I don’t like to have less than 500$ (around 4,000SEK) on hand but need to stock up on small bills, just having 100, 200 and 500kr bills isn’t much use.

  • #1224


    I stash it around and not in likely places unless you are a pack rat excavator you won’t see it to know it. My kids know where it is but that’s it.

    I keep small bills and maybe a few 20’s.

    I did the $5 challenge one year, just to see what I could do and saved up enough for an entire years worth of homeschooling books, with change to spare. And change will add up. A few months ago our oven door got broke and we were responsible for it. Paid the $90 to get it from change. Glad the folks at my bank like me, lots and lots of rolled coins for about 3 weeks til I worked it all in!

  • #1352

    Alyssa Simon

    A long time ago, before I had a credit card the small town bank I banked out was closed on a Friday afternoon by the Feds. No one was sure what the plan was for Monday, so local businesses wouldn’t take checks on that bank. Fortunately, on Monday the bank opened under different ownership and I had access to my account. Lesson learned, keep cash at home. A similar situation today could be… what if the bank doesn’t open on the next business day or what if the accounts took a hair cut?

  • #1664

    James Mitchner

    Everyone should keep some emergency cash. The amount is up to the individual. Only the individual knows what they feel is enough.

    After the most recent hurricane landfall in the Florida panhandle, electronic cash was just out of the question. Some retailers did open using generators or simply opening the front door selling food items, water, and similar items… but for cash only!

    Should a bank “holiday” occur, having cash will keep you going for a while. Where and how you decide to secure it your business. I wouldn’t post how you do it.

  • #2300

    Molly Malone

    Forever Preparing, what a story! That is certainly food for thought. I keep several hundred dollars in my home in one’s and five’s, plus a change jar. I store the cash in the fake cans of fruit (stored amongst real cans of fruit) and the fake housecleaning products (stored amongst real housecleaning products) that are for sale on Amazon.

  • #3629

    Loving Life

    This thread caught my eye and I am so glad I read it. I keep about $200 in my wallet and in my house (hidden in my dog’s bed). I dare you at try to steal my dog’s bed. I am going to increase the amount.

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