Whether or not you believe in a breakdown (crash) of the financial structure as we now know it, having a separate fund for emergencies (some listed below) is a smart financial strategy. An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside to cover the financial surprises life throws our way. These unexpected events can be stressful and costly.
Some reasons to have an Emergency Fund are:
Job Loss or loss of pay due to illness or injury
Unplanned expenses such as car repair, home repair or appliance replacement
Unplanned travel expenses
Emergency pet care
Diversifying funds into different "investment vehicles", such as precious metals, real estate, cash, stocks, bonds, etc., is necessary. If one vehicle is doing bad, the others may be doing well. Mutual Funds are a good example of financial diversification but mutual funds should not be the only investment vehicle.
Storing the Emergency Funds should also be diversified. Not all funds should be in the bank or other financial institution but also at home where it is readily available when needed and when financial institiutions are closed.
Funding the Emergency Fund should be gradual but methodical. Many may not have the ability to set aside a ton of money all at once, but setting aside a buck or two every paycheck can lead to a substancially-sized fund.
We're not providing much detail here because of the many options and scenarios. Our goal has been to encourage you to set up your Emergency Fund starting now and keep funding it. There are many resources available to assist you. Here are a few:
Emergency fund: Why you need one
Cash vs. Gold: Which Asset Could Prove Better?
Buy Silver Instead of Gold! Here's Why
Setting Up a Crash-Proof Emergency Fund
Sound Mind Investing
Compass - Investment Resources
Anabaptist Financial - Investments
Minimalist Living - The Conserver Lifestyle