How to Prepare for Home Emergencies

By Cheryl Proska
Be prepared for home emergencies with these helpful tips

Despite your best efforts to defend yourself, sometimes disaster strikes, and that means you should always be ready for the unexpected. When you’re not prepared for home emergencies you never know how bad it could get. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything! The right emergency gear will help you protect your home and family, as well as deal with unpleasant realities like a post-storm power outage or broken windows.

Here are some critical practices and tips to remember when dealing with a home emergency.

Have an Emergency Fund

It’s important to have money saved for all types of emergencies, especially issues around the home. This should be separate from any funds earmarked for other occasions or emergencies, otherwise you’ll just be “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” In other words, don’t deplete your vacation fund to fix a home repair unless absolutely necessary.Start an emergency fund in case of unexpected home emergenciesLooking for a starting point to build this emergency stash? Start by setting a reasonable target number for the account and determine a how much you’d like to put aside to reach that goal. Once you start adding to it, make sure the money is slightly difficult to access. The harder it is to get to the funds, the less tempted you’ll be to tap into the emergency fund for non-emergencies.


Make a List of Professionals for Every Possible Situation

One of the common mistakes people make during home repair emergencies is going with the first company name that pops up in Google or appears in coupon mailers. In some cases, a repairman getting to the house ASAP is crucial—so you don’t have time to do research to find the best person for you. Do some homework and compile a list of reliable contractors now. That way, when real emergency strikes you already have someone you can call.

Ask family, friends and especially neighbors to recommend plumbers, painters, and lawn care providers. Make sure you find a professional willing to jump at moment’s notice when you’re in need. You can even ask a local real estate agent or property manager who they’d recommend to get things done right and affordably.


Find, or Become, a Mr. Fix-It 

You know the kind of guy. He’s so handy everyone has him in their contacts on their phone. He can do anything on any kind of budget, and he’s reliable. Ask your neighbors if they have a Mr. Fix-It they like to call.

Becoming a "Mr. Fix-It" can help you prepare for home emergencies

You could always become a Mr. Fix-It yourself! Take some classes and learn a few new tricks. Being able to fix household problems yourself will save you money and make you feel accomplished.


Home emergencies are all about being prepared ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to have something catastrophic happen in your home. With an emergency fund, a reliable list of contractors, and some new skills of your own you’re all set. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be prepared for anything. Retirement is your time to relax. You shouldn’t be worrying about your home—you should be enjoying your life!



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