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Is It Worth it to Plan for an Emergency as an Expat?

I cannot stress how important it is for all expats to create a contingency plan in the event of an emergency while they’re abroad. While living in offshore locations gives you significant advantages–understanding how a country handles evacuation and emergencies is of vital importance.

While doing your research for the new country you would like to live in, see if they are in the path of tornadoes, tsunami’s or earthquakes. If so, investigate how the country’s infrastructure has been dealt with. Are they experienced and well informed if a natural disaster were to happen? Find out when the last natural disaster occurred and read how the government and local people handled the event. Also, if they haven’t had a disaster in more than 20 years, then you are probably pretty safe making a new home there. However, you must be prepared for anything to happen.

The best move is to take steps that can help you avoid the worst of the most unpredictable things that happen in the world every day.

The Basics of an Emergency Kit

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought to light a major consideration that all of us forgot in recent years because of the relative stability the world enjoyed. However, we need to understand that there is no telling when the next pandemic or the next natural disaster will hit the place we're living in.

As such, it’s important to have a contingency plan in place that can help us overcome whatever unexpected circumstances might come our way. The best way to do so is by making an emergency kit that contains everything we might need in such a situation. The basics of making an emergency kit include:


You should keep your family’s passports and other necessary documents like licenses, insurance cards and other forms of ID where you can easily find it. Keep these things together, in a safe place so that you have no problems finding them when in need.

I would also recommend that a copy of all of these documents be left behind in your home country with a family member or good friend just in case you need them. I would even go as far as leaving these documents with more than 1 person you trust.

Spare Cash

Whether it’s a natural disaster or a political upheaval–you won’t find the time to go to an ATM to get cash out of. It’s best to have some emergency cash with you at all times that you can use to help yourself and the family out of a tight spot. Whether you need to evacuate, find transport or buy things–you can’t go wrong with some cash that you can readily use to buy these things.

Smartphones and an Internet Connection

A smartphone is heaven-sent when you’re trying to figure a way out of stricken areas. Communication is key to keep in touch with the authorities or other people who can help you out–it also helps if you have access to the internet at all times. Similarly, you can get in touch with your lawyers, doctors or business managers who can make timely decisions that are crucial for a swift plan to help you out wherever you might be stuck.

Almost all restaurants and malls have local wifi that you can tap into; however, if you are walking or require a taxi, you will not have wifi. I would suggest a secondary back-up like a local pre-paid wireless SIM card. You can purchase them quite often at the airport upon arrival. They are often more expensive than in the city; but you have it once you leave the airport and are not running around looking for a shop that sells them.

About The Author

Mikkel Thorup is the Director at the oldest and largest offshore website in the world and host of The Expat Money Show podcast. He is also the author of #1 Best-Selling book Expat Secrets on Amazon. Mikkel has spent over 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran. His goal is to help people just like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. Follow Mikkel Thorup on Twitter @ThorupMikkel

Click here to get more information about how to get prepared in case of an emergency.

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