Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Make sure you're prepared for an emergency like the shutdown

By Mark Iandolo, Courtesy Capital Area Food Bank 
Losing a job or missing a paycheck can be scary. Unfortunately, a lot of workers around the country have been finding out what that’s like lately.

More than 800,000 federal workers aren’t getting paid during a partial shutdown of the federal government that began Dec. 22. That’s created a lot of worry for them and their families.

Two-thirds of these workers say they don’t have enough savings to cover a month without their salaries. They aren’t alone. Living paycheck to paycheck is common for many Americans.

Demand is up at food banks, which are working to help federal workers and contractors. Some organizations are offering supplies for pet owners as well.

Sadly, losing a paycheck and struggling to make ends meet can happen to anyone. It’s one of those things no one wants, but can try to prepare for when times are good.

When you’re getting a regular paycheck again, take time to stock up on food and emergency supplies. Get Ready has a grocery list and an emergency stockpiling list you can follow. Keeping your kitchen cabinets safely stocked means storing at least a three-day supply of food and water. And don’t forget supplies for your furry and feathered friends. You can use these lists to prepare for a paycheck disaster or any other emergency.

While all this shopping can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. And there are lots of ways to stockpile on a budget, as our Get Ready fact sheet shows.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who is getting paid right now, you can help out by donating to your local food bank. If you have time to hold a food drive, our Get Ready toolkit will help you plan, promote and successfully complete it. Even if those food donations don’t go to federal workers, they will help out others and your community will be more prepared for emergencies of all kinds.

APHA is calling on Congress to protect public health and end the shutdown. Send a message to your legislators and urge them to work with colleagues to end the impasse. 

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