Coping With Emergencies

Note from Nicole: I’ve asked a couple of my favorite bloggers to guest post while I’m gone to keep my blog going for a few days. Right after sending out an email to my blogger friends about my wrist, Sean was admitted into the hospital. He had ’emergency’ surgery and is doing fine but he’ll be in the hospital for a little while. Because people have stepped in to help, Breaking Even has kept going and I’ve spent the time in the hopsital with Sean without giving the blog a second thought. Thanks for continuing to read. I’ll be back soon.

I’m Kelly and I write Almost Frugal, a blog about frugality and personal finance in France. Nicole and I found each other through the French speaking community (although we’re both Americans) and I’m happy to be guest posting for her, although not for why she needs a guest post!

Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you, doesn’t it? One day you’re trucking along nicely, minding your own business and the next day BOOM. Your car dies, or your basement floods, or your wrist starts hurting after too much time spent pecking at the keyboard.

We’ve all heard the expression “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” and it sounds kind of trite to be sure. But if you think about it, successfully coping with an emergency does depend on making a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade instead of complaining (ahem) bitterly about the bushel of lemons that just fell into your lap. Here are three rules that can help you get over the hump.

Rule number one: Prepare yourself. We all know that emergencies happen, why deny it? So cover yourself in advance. Get health insurance, car insurance, house or rental insurance. Leave yourself more than enough time to get to the airport. When packing for a trip, split your clothes between two suitcases, so that if you lose one you won’t be knicker-less until they find it. When hiking in the mountains (or even in centre ville) carry a snack, a bottle of water, and a map. Trust me on this one.

Rule number two: Surround yourself. Create a network that can step in to help when you need it. Nicole didn’t just randomly write to other bloggers asking for help, she wrote to people with whom she had already cultivated a relationship.

Remember the first rule of networking “First you give, then you receive, then you give back again”. There is no doubt in my mind that if I need to ask Nicole a favor, she’ll be more than willing to reciprocate. Neither my husband nor I are talented do-it-yourself-ers but we have a neighbor who’s a genius at anything manual. He comes and helps us out with stuff, and I feed him dinner whenever possible. I know that I could ask him to help us with just about any sort of DIY emergency and he’d be happy to oblige, because we’ve created a network of sorts.

Rule number three: Relax yourself. Don’t stress, try not to worry and give yourself time to heal. After all, in the great majority of cases the present emergency is not the end of the world. Not to mention that if it is, you’ve got bigger things to worry about! Take the time to relax and let yourself heal, or use that extra hour at the airport to sit back and read the magazine you have with you (brought from your subscription at home, of course). And getting lost in a new city can lead you to discover treasures you might never have found otherwise. Getting lost in the woods is another story, of course!

Thanks to rules number one, two and three, emergencies don’t have to be catastrophic. Just follow the rules now- you may thank me for it later.

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Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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