12.10.2008

CAUGHT WITH OUR PANTS DOWN

Here is the difference between Erik and I when it comes to emergency preparedness:

Erik's Ideal 72 Hour Kit

My Ideal 72 Hour Kit

Whenever I attend any sort of emergency preparedness presentation, Erik always begs me to ask the same question -

HOW MANY GUNS SHOULD WE HAVE?

[At the last fireside I attended, 2 weeks ago, the presenter's answer was no guns, just a pocket knife. According to this man, a pocketknife was more useful than a gun because I could use it to cut things. To defend myself, the presenter said I could tape the pocketknife (blade exposed) to the end of a stick. He also said that I should be more worried about dogs than humans in a disaster scenario. The whole thing sounds a little Dwight Schrute-like, don't you think?]

So, since Erik has been focusing on how many guns to put in our emergency kit, and I've just been really lazy, we are embarrassingly under prepared... and now we have been caught.

Last night, our bank called to tell us that someone stole our debit card number and cleaned out our account.* I quickly went online to confirm this. Yup, there it was, ACCOUNT BALANCE - $0.00!

The bank representative quickly explained that we will get all our money back, but it may take up to 2 weeks. "This may be a hardship for you," he said. I sighed.

Since we are unprepared, this is a hardship for us. We don't have credit cards. We don't have another checking account with money in it. We don't have a stash of emergency cash in the house. A transfer from our savings account takes two business days. This means that we have to live off of what I found in my purse ($10.00 in change) for the next 2 days.

We'll survive, but I'm more mad at myself than anything. I know better than this. I usually take all my grocery money for the month out in cash at the beginning of the month and I hadn't gotten around to it yet, which means that I have hardly any groceries either.

So, last night we decided to stop procrastinating our emergency storage and just do it. Next week, amidst all the business of Christmas, I am, at the very least, putting together 72 hour kits and taking out cash (in small bills) to hide in the house for emergencies. I just feel like an idiot for allowing this to happen to us. This small crisis would not be putting us out like this if we were prepared. Ugh.

*On a side note, the thief blew all our money at the Apple Store, so at least he has good taste.

16 comments:

  1. Wow. That stinks. At least you will get your money back--and this sounds like it's going to be a good wake-up call for your family--good luck on everything!

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  2. That's awful! Good thing you are getting your money back.

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  3. wow.
    i have to admit, i'm more than under prepared. the only thing we have that is remotely close to a 72 hour kit are the two empty water barrels my dad just gave me for christmas. [thanks for thing foreboding hint, dad.] so consider yourself a step ahead.
    p.s. you are a total money makeover poster child! we're not so much, but trying.

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  4. Wow! That really stinks! Zach reminds me daily of how badly we need food storage.

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  5. I'm so sorry that happened to you! I hope that everything works out and that you get all your money backk soon! But thanks for the reminder to be more prepared. (I needed that reminder!)

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  6. If it's any consolation, we'd be as toast as you are if this happened to us. Eeekk! Thanks for the reminder. We'd be okay foodwise but moneywise- YIKES!

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  7. How horrible! On the bright side though, at least this is a relatively mild wake up call (assuming that the guy at the bank was right and you will get all of your money back). Your story is a good reminder to me to be more vigilant in checking up on my account balances.

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  8. Brings back bad memories. In 2004 someone hacked into our bank account. They transfered $5000 from our savings to our checking and then drafted a check for $5000. Luckily I logged on and caught the dirty rat before the check went through. The bank was able to stop the check before it cleared. The worst part was that we had to close both accounts and stop all the automatic payments we had scheduled every month. Tell Eric guns are a must! With a good supply of bullets and food, a man will feel like he can take care of his family. Dodd

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  9. ICK! That happened to me the day before rent was due... Luckily my brother hadn't bought a car yet and had an extra grand he could loan me...

    Since the number was stolen when I used my bank card at Arco, I now have a credit card that I use for gas and groceries and such and pay it off in full at the end of each month... this way if someone steals it I just have a high balance I won't have to pay off, instead of being dead broke waiting for money to be returned.

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  10. oh man that sucks. i'd say two guns should do it.

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  11. that's awful!!! I've started just buying extra cans of canned food everytime I go to the grocery store- usually whatever is on sale at the time. So we are slowly building our emergency kit. But you've reminded me that we need to have some cash on hand- we NEVER have cash (but we do have a credit card- something you guys should REALLY think about getting)

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  12. You're right, that was silly of you. I thought you, of all people, would be prepared for something like this.

    On the bright side, Dave Ramsey would be proud of you for at least listening to his brilliant advice. You should phone in to his show and ask him what to do (even though you've got it sorted--it would be fun hearing what he had to say). Maybe he'd loan you something!

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  13. Jim has had his identity stolen on a couple of occassions. Someone that worked at the DMV sold his driver's license. They caught her and she is in the slammer :) We had someone open up a whole bunch of accounts in his name (Home Depot, Lowes, and other department stores) and then buy stuff and a whole bunch of gift cards. They were doing stuff at our bank too so we had to get a whole new account w/ special securities and passwords, and Jim has a special drivers license. It's a pain to doeal with. Have fun and Good luck with everything.

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  14. So sorry. That really sucks. I can't believe you guys don't have an emergency credit card. I would live in panic mode without one.

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  15. We had that happen too. Makes you feel SO MAD that some jerk thinks it's a fine way to live, stealing from others & causing more hardships than you can imagine!

    Somehow, a group of people got ahold of David's liscence AND SS#. (no idea how - we shred EVERYTHING.) They opened instant credit accounts w/ Target, a tire store, Sam's Club, Lowes (hello? have you ever heard of $15K in instant credit???) With the exception of Lowes, they maxed out every account the day they opened it.

    We did the police report, put security on our credit report... then the next day I got a call from Experion to verify that my hubby was OK to open an account at a jewelry store in Ventura. I explained the situation, got the store's phone #...

    Long story short, the store clerk tried to detain "my husband" w/o alarming him, while I called the police. Unfortunately, the crook got nervous & left. The police missed him by about a minute. ARRGH! I had adrenaline flowing & was ready to catch the sucka!

    But thanks for sharing your story - hopefully it will be a wake-up call to more than yourself. I know we've been much more vigilant. HOPE YOU GET YOUR $$$ SOON!!!

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  16. oh man, what a bummer. I'm totally scared of identity theft or something like that happening to us- at least the bank will back it up which is a relief. But hello, i AM surprised you don't have your emergency fund in cash...sheesh, and I thought you guys were gazelle intense...

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