Column | COVID-19: Financial Concerns in a Disaster

Erica Harold-Heine

Coronavirus resources: CDC on the coronavirusOregon Health Authority resourcesWashington County resourcesOregonian reporting on the coronavirusOPB glossary of coronavirus termsNYTimes free reporting on the coronavirus

Erica Harold-Heine, a Banks resident, holds a B.S. in Homeland Security & Emergency Management. While she serves as a Banks city councilor, Harold-Heine noted that her views reflected here do not represent any policy of the city of Banks nor the city council.

In any disaster situation financial concerns arise very quickly as people are unable to get to work or their work is closed because of the disaster. A lot depends on the size and scope of the disaster on how quickly people can get back to work and life resumes per normal. 

According to a Bankrate survey done in October 2019 it found that 2 out of 5 Americans are not prepared for the next recession and this is the same for an immediate disaster situation too. We are at the beginning of this pandemic and have several months before we start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

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1. Talk to your work, ask if you are going to get compensated while they are closed?

2. If you’re able, can you work from home?

3. Talk to your billers, ask the companies if they have a mitigation plan for effected people? 

a. Clarify if it is just one month or will they extend based on the length of the disaster? Get it in writing! Document who and when you talked to them.

4. Be frugal, don’t order out, cook meals at home. Save your cash!

5. Be conservative with your supplies, yes use them, but make sure you’re not wasteful with them while you have an abundance. Act as if you are on your last bottle/roll. 

6. Walk to the store if you can, this will save gas money and wear and tear on your vehicle. 

Know that we will get through this. We will be a more resilient community because of this. We will learn what works and what doesn’t. Stay smart and do what is best for you and your family!

Here is the source for the Bankrate information:

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