Storing Emergency Cash

While there is a risk to storing cash in your home, doing so for an emergency or a disaster is a wise decision. There are steps you can take to make sure you don't fall victim to theft.

Emergency Planning
Having a Stash of Cash

Storing Cash

Leaving all of your money in your bank is not the best strategy when it comes to emergency preparedness. Here are some reasons why:

  • Immediate Needs: cash on hand can help you buy essential items quickly without having to go to the ATM first.

  • Loss of Electricity: this can be one of the first things to be disrupted during a natural disaster. ATMs may stop working and stores may stop processing debit payments leaving only those with cash able to purchase anything before basic supplies run out.

  • Bank Closures: you are at the bank's mercy. While it's rare, banks can close due to an economic crisis. It has happened in the past and it can happen again.

  • Run on the Banks: you could face long lines and many hours just to get money from your account.

How Much Should You Have on Hand?

There is an obvious risk to storing money in your home. You don’t want to store too much as to be made a target, but there’s also a risk of relying on your bank/ATM to get cash when you need it.

It may help to break this down in days. Look at your family’s needs and try to keep enough cash to cover at least 3 days of expenses.

  • If you are prepared at home with other emergency supplies like food and water, your needs may be minimal.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, your needs may be more.
  • It is also recommended that you store money for your grab & go bag. If you would like, this amount can be used for both home and evacuation use. Decide what works for you. Be sure to replace whatever is spent.

Places to Hide Your Cash

Choose a spot that won’t be obvious to an intruder but also one that you will remember. Don’t choose too many places or you could forget.


You can find items and places within your home that lend well to hiding money. Here are some examples:

  • flashlight's battery compartment
  • non-transparent pill bottle
  • within a book's pages
  • container in your freezer
  • can with a plastic lid in your fridge
  • paint can
Diversion Safes

You can also purchase diversion safes from Amazon. They appear to be real things but are actually stash spaces for storing money or other valuables. Here are some examples:

  • hollowed out book
  • lipstick
  • sink cleanser
  • hairbrush
  • flowerpot
  • lightbulb
  • water bottle
  • bolt
  • lint roller
  • vegetable can
  • sunscreen
  • potato chips can
  • soda can
  • picture frame
  • deodorant
  • hairspray
  • key fob
  • shave lotion
  • thermometer
  • liquid soap
  • electrical outlet