Don’t let yourself fall into the trap that the international economy finds itself in. According to Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, the United Nations’ disaster response coffers will not reach healthy levels this year, which is an especially serious cause for concern since many expect record-setting disasters in 2012.

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On that note, this is definitely an important year to make sure your own emergency fund is fully stocked and available for any disaster that might befall you in the uncertainty of the 2012 economy.

The enormous and unfortunately devastating disasters we saw in 2011, some of which are still ongoing, including famine in the Horn of Africa, the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in New Zealand and flooding in Pakistan and the Philippines, are likely to be overshadowed by what 2012 throws at us. Mitchell declared that the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has not received enough donations and he pointed the finger at rich governments who are supposedly delaying payments.

According to the UK Press Association, the British government has announced approximately $31 million in support to the UN fund for the upcoming year, but the fund is still short about $70 million. This widely disseminated denouncement flies in the face of an earlier report from the Associated Press – quoted in Taiwan News – stating that CERF has already secured $375 million causing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to declare that the fund “has exceeded expectations.”

Take a Lesson

Despite this seeming contradiction, the fact remains that an emergency fund is crucial on both a global and a personal level.

When you think of a personal emergency savings account, there are two general routes to take. Some people like to have three to six months of living expenses available, while others establish a specific dollar amount they think will get them through any hardship they might face – like $5,000 for an emergency car repair or medical procedure.

The global economy transcends either case and requires enormous cash reserves for the myriad amount of tragedies possible in 2012 — Ban stated that CERF has distributed more than $2 billion in assistance.

Prepare for the Very Worst

While losing your job can be devastating, natural disasters are almost always far worse. In 2012, consider both as you set up — or replenish — your emergency fund.

The wisest will set up two separate accounts, one for living expenses to offset unemployment and one for emergency lump sum spending in case of a disaster. While we always hope that our emergency funds remain untouched, disasters happen and it is essential to be financially prepared especially as we enter a new year and face a new set of problems.

Don’t let 2012 get the better of you. Start saving now before we’ve had our first major snowstorm and there is still some holiday cash stashed in your drawer.

How will you save for an emergency in 2012?

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