I gotta say, every time I hear a new disaster being reported on the news, I am struck by how different my daily existence is from the devastation I see in the photos in my feed.

I must confess to feeling some “disaster fatigue” setting in.

It’s hard to see hard things on repeat. It seems that the world keeps spawning disaster after disaster…

But that doesn’t mean we can turn away.

The reality is that bad things can easily happen and throw us off completely — especially if we don’t expect them (which is most often the case). 

You don’t want to wait until your world has been wrecked by a disaster or an economic strain to start figuring out how to get through it. A financial crisis is often one disaster away from being a reality for most Hamilton County people.

And it matters to me as someone who is helping my Chattanooga clients solve their financial and tax difficulties after the fact, to make sure I’m helping you have a forward-thinking mindset.

How do you prepare for a financial crisis? 

While there are a lot of very helpful guides out there (including this one from FEMA), here are some things that you can start with right now.

Emergency money 

Having money stowed away is a huge starting place for averting a financial crisis. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can feel like this isn’t possible. But before you shrug it off, really take a minute to scrutinize your bank account. 

What is your money actually going to each month? (Do you really need that YouTube TV subscription?) Once you have a clearer picture of exactly where you stand with your money, make a spending plan. Eliminate things that aren’t necessary so you can funnel that money into building an emergency fund. 

Then, automate the amount that goes into your fund each month so you won’t be tempted to use it on something else you “need” before depositing it. (This really works.)

And if you really feel like you can’t build an emergency fund with your current income… increase it. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Get a side hustle, make a hobby lucrative, ask for a raise. Saving money now for a difficult moment will mean you can have some much-needed peace and clarity if a disaster should happen. 

More financial crisis aversion tools

Beyond having an emergency nest egg, you can do a few other things now that will really help if disaster should strike. 

  1. Gather and store critical documents safely. This ready.gov Emergency Financial First Aid Kit has a checklist of important documents and a place to record household information. These are all things you want to have on hand so you aren’t piecing things together in the aftermath of disaster.
  2. Get property and life insurance. If you don’t have them already, you’ll want to get property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. And keep in mind, not all insurance policies are the same, so if you do have these policies already, take some time to review them: how much do they cover and what types of coverage do they provide? Homeowners insurance, for example, usually doesn’t cover flooding, in which case, you’d need to get a separate policy for that. 
  3. Ask a professional. Sometimes you need someone to help you think about financial crisis moments more clearly. Having a personal financial advisor in your corner means you have guidance and clarity when you’re stressed. Even if you can do the financial crisis planning, having someone on your side who thinks about these things daily takes a weight off your shoulders. And they’ll champion you in every way. 

Now, I’m not a certified financial planner, but I am someone who understands financial preparedness. And I’m happy to be that Chattanooga person in your corner for your financial security as well as your tax problems. 

Don’t wait for tomorrow or for a difficult moment. Let’s talk about averting financial crisis now. 



I’m here for you.

John and Wanda King