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TheStreet Open House

Protect Yourself Financially From Swine Flu

Take out some money: Keep extra cash at home. If there is a pandemic, getting money from ATMs may become difficult. Banks ran scenarios of what could happen if there were a pandemic flu outbreak in response to the H5N1 bird flu virus a few years back. One of the findings was that ATMs could quickly run dry of cash as many workers who were supposed to replenish them called in sick or couldn't come to work to take care of family members who were sick. This could also easily extend to other necessities.

Prepare for your kids being stuck at home: Much of Mexico City has shut down as a result of the current swine flu outbreak, and the city's mayor has indicated that public closures could last 10 days. Individual schools in a number of U.S. cities have already been closed while crews disinfect them. If the swine flu continues to spread, one of the first steps that many cities will take is to shut down school systems to limit the spread.

Kids not going to school can quickly become a huge financial burden. If a child isn't in school and there is nobody to take care of him or her, a babysitter needs to be hired or a parent must take time off work to care for the child. Since this situation could last weeks, coming up with a plan can greatly limit the damage to your finances. One possibility is setting up a group with friends where one parent will stay home one day with all the kids so you miss only a single day each week.

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