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How Homeschooling Families Can Prepare For Emergencies

For most, we hold the assumption that it's a matter of time before an emergency of some sort will strike our community. I don't mean to sound doomsday. But, it's naive to believe that a natural disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, tsunami, lahar, tornado, or hurricane) or other type emergency won't impact your family at some point in your life. 

Luck favors a prepared mind; luck favors a prepared person.
— Richard Hamming, American Mathematician (1915-1998)

 

Self-sufficiency and preparedness feel good during calm times. They can be life-saving in an emergency. 

Here's how to prepare your family:

1. Set a meet-up. In the event that it's not safe to stay in your current location, have a plan with your immediate family (and inner circle of friends) and share this form. Agree on a spot to meet, like a landmark or park. (Source: SF72.org, emergency plan from CA State)

2. Build a basic supplies kit. At a minimum, your family should have (Source: ready.gov):

  • Water - one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation for at least three days.
  • Food - supply of non-perishable food for each person for at least three days. 
  • Battery-powered radio - with extra batteries. Consider purchasing an emergency radio that can be charged by sunlight and can charge your cell phone, like this one.
  • Flashlight - with extra batteries.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle - to signal for help.
  • Filter Mask - for air pollution. 
  • Moist Towelettes - for sanitation.
  • Wrench or Pliers - to turn off utilities. 
  • Manual Can Opener - if emergency kit contains canned food. 
  • Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape - to shelter in place. 
  • Garbage Bags and Plastic Ties - for personal sanitation. 
  • Unique Family Needs - such as prescription medication, infant formula, diapers, and important family documents. 

3. Educate yourself on your communityBefore an emergency strikes, find out who the local authority is on disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, lists state-by-state resources. 

4. Train yourself (Source: nrdc.org):

  • Take a CPR and First Aid Certification Course (see directory at ifrc.org).
  • Citizen Corps offer Emergency Response Team classes. 
  • Read Arthur T. Bradley's bookHandbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family.

5. Settle Personal Details - before an emergency.

  • Assess your home insurance policy's coverage of natural disasters known to strike your area. 
  • Be sure your will is up-to-date. If you need a will, Willing is a great place to start. 
  • Life insurance is important. Make sure you have appropriate coverage. Insurance Happens can help you. 

Finally, if you would like to incorporate emergency preparedness into your homeschool curriculum, check out the free resources provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Youth Preparedness Program.

3 Life Insurance Tips For Families That Homeschool

Homeschooling parents have made a significant and impressive decision in the lives of their families. It's no easy task to take your children's schooling into your own hands and requires careful planning, diligence and patience. The end result is an educational experience tailored to your child's talents and needs, one that provides an excellent opportunity for success in life. 

Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions. Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges
— National Home Education Research Institute, 2015

 

If it's important to maintain a homeschooling status, no matter what life brings, careful planning is essential. Take action on the following three things to protect your family's homeschooling plan. 

1. Insure the working parent - For many homeschooling families, one parent works full-time while the other parent teaches full-time. Be sure to have appropriate life insurance coverage outside of the working parent's life insurance through their job. Typically, life insurance through an employer will only cover one or two years worth their annual salary. That's not enough coverage for most families and the policy disappears if you leave that employer. Generally, we recommend 10 times the amount of an annual salary, plus funds to pay off a mortgage. Free, instant quotes can be found here.

2. Insure the teaching parent - While it's common for parents homeschooling full-time to not have an income, their value is crucial. To continue homeschooling, or transition into another educational plan if something were to happen, funds would be necessary. For example, a life insurance policy could cover private school, online school, tutoring, curriculum, or a homeschool co-op. To read about the value of a Stay-At-Home Parent, check out this article from salary.com.

3. Get a will - Be sure to name guardians for your children. Knowing they will be in good hands, and that your life insurance policies will be handled effectively and appropriately, is priceless. Willing is an excellent online resource.

Chances are, you'll never need the life insurance policy. Be prepared anyways. Protect your children's education by making a plan. Your future self will pat you on the back for doing something super-responsible. Get started with Insurance Happens. We specialize in helping homeschooling families. 

 

Life Insurance Calculator for Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs)

How do you measure the value of, or place a dollar amount on, the contributions of a Stay-At-Home Mom (SAHM) to her family? SAHMs work for "free". For parents in the workforce, the process is pretty straightforward. Most insurance experts recommend, in general, you multiply your annual salary by 10. What if you don't earn a salary?

First off, let's acknowledge the necessity of life insurance for Stay at Home Moms. Even though you're not paid for the tireless work you do, your value is immense. You can never be replaced. However, if something were to happen to you, the financial impact to your family could be devastating. In fact, in their most recent report (2014), salary.com concluded that a Stay-At-Home Mom works, on average, 94 hours per week and has the earning potential of $118,905.

Fortunately, calculators exist to help you decide on a dollar amount for a life insurance policy. Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness company, provides a free calculator. It's easy to use and works even if you aren't a wage-earner in your family. You can find the calculator here. Remember these tips for filling it out:

1. Don't use commas when filling in dollar amounts. 

2. You will be able to fill in your spouse's (or partner's) income. 

3. There is also a space for total family income, in case there are additional sources of income. 

4. Some questions are specific, such as your tax bracket. It's okay to leave it at the assumed value if you are not sure. 

5. Remember, the calculator exists to provide you a general idea of how much insurance you should get. Ultimately, you should decide an amount you feel comfortable with. 

Finally, it's important to know that life insurance premiums (monthly or annual cost) are cheaper than you think. 

Many people believe coverage is more expensive than it is. On average, consumers estimate the cost of life insurance twice as high as the actual price. (source: LIMRA 2015) 

For about a dollar a day, a healthy 30 year old mom, can receive $500,000 in coverage. That's a fraction of the cost of a daily latte! 

To get started on an application, or to learn more about our process, click here

Moms and Dads - Compelling Events Remind Us To Get Life Insurance

Maybe it's something exciting, like flying somewhere for a family vacation. Possibly it's something difficult, like the loss of a loved one. We think about life insurance when compelling events happen in our lives. For many, the thought is fleeting because we don't like to think about something scary, like death. 

Let's say a coworker passes away unexpectedly. You are reminded of how precious life is and how we're never guaranteed another day. It's unnerving. Thoughts of mortality typically make us uncomfortable and paralyze us from taking action - to plan for the unknown and protect our loved ones.  

What if you could rise above those fears and take action? Challenge yourself to tackle those yucky, uncomfortable feelings about loss of life. 

Life is precious and invaluable. No dollar amount can be placed on a human life. Yet, loved ones rely on your financial means. Understanding the financial value of your life will allow you to determine how much life insurance you need. Fortunately, there are resources that make the process simple and informative. 

Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization, created a "human life value calculator". The calculator analyzes items such as your age, occupation, income and the number of people that depend on you financially, to determine the proper amount of insurance coverage. 

Ultimately, it's important to work with an agent who will make the steps to obtaining life insurance easy and straight-forward. To get started with a free no obligation quote, click here

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver