Nobody could predict a crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak we are witnessing around the world. Whether or not you believe you are at risk, the simple fact remains; the impact is real.
According to the latest research, over $6 trillion dollars in wealth has been erased by the panic and fear created by the COVID-19 virus. Grocery store shelves are bare, medical supplies and hand sanitizer are hard to find, and even toilet paper is being auctioned on Ebay for three times its retail price.
Why do we provide Legacy Growth Services? The help families create a strategic plan to manage their entire lives. Crisis and Disaster planning is just one aspect of the multi-faceted work we do with our private clients.
What should your family Crisis plan include? The answer is different for every family because no two situations are exactly the same. There are, however, basic building blocks which should be component of every plan. Let’s take a short look at some of them here.
Resources & Needs
What tangible resources are most important for your family to be able to be independent for a period of 15 days? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that most families be prepared for a period of at least 3 days, but if you’ve ever lived through a hurricane like I have as a South Florida resident, you know it can take 3-4 weeks or longer just to have power restored!
Your basic list should include enough food and water, medical supplies, prescription drugs, and household essentials to provide for you and your family during this time. The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person, per day. This means your family of four should have between 40 and 50 gallons of water just to carry you for 10 days! (and your pets!)
Another smart strategy is keep cash on hand. Depending upon the crisis, such as a natural disaster, it’s conceivable that ATM’s won’t work and banks won’t be open if power is lost. Cash is always an important aspect of any plan.
Communication & Logistics
We value communication as one of the most vital parts for any Crisis or Disaster plan. If your family has the ability, we also like to establish pre-planned meeting points in the event of a crisis. In some situations, it may not be possible to travel by some modes of transportation, or even travel in certain directions. Your plan to “head south” to the Florida house won’t work if the roads are shut down, flights are grounded, or a natural disaster made this the wrong place to be. As such, we create pre-planned meeting places and prioritize them based upon the factors and the situation.
We also suggest creating a family web based email account which everyone can access regardless of where they are, and how they access it. For example, SmithFamilyOffice@gmail.com allows everyone to access the account from their location via phone, laptop or elsewhere to share real time updates and maintain communication regarding the family’s location, movement, wellness and safety. Living in Florida has helped a lot of our clients understand how to prepare for natural disasters, but there are many other factors which come into play when creating a complete family strategy.
Once your plan is built and has been communicated and shared with the family, the next most important step in implementing a logistics strategy to implement your plan, should the time arise. If the family plan is to meet at the vacation home in Aspen, how are you going to get there? How can you communicate “Meet in Aspen”? Can the college student drive from New England to Aspen? Does he or she have gas money, food, water and an understanding of what to do? Are there sufficient resources in Aspen to meet the family needs?
These are just two of the many components which are part of any good Crisis plan. It also reemphasizes why having a strategic plan is such an important aspect of any smart Family Office. It’s why we provide Legacy Services! For most of us, the experience of witnessing what are going through should serve as a wakeup call. If you were not prepared, chances are you and your family will be fine once the dust clears and things are back to normal. For those of you who heed the warning, it’s time to step back and create the plans you need to ensure your family is taken care of.
To learn more about Legacy Services and how we help Private Clients create strategic plans visit my blog at www.danlounsbury.com