Everyone is going to need some of it - cash, ducats, cabbage or simoleons - whatever you call it, "it" should be part of your kit. The why is simple, with no electricity or communications, your credit card/debit card or ATM card is just a piece of future plastic trash. The recent money issues in hurricane hit areas are proof enough for those that observe the obvious... What about alternatives? Traveler's checks are rarely accepted these days, most banks no longer bother to sell em. Safe, maybe yes. Worthless, mostly. How about gold coins? Silver bars? Good luck. Those are worth exactly what someone is willing to trade for the item. In a business - forget about it. So - US Cash. Dollars. Now the question is - How much, and how to carry. This is an interesting point for discussion. I've just returned from a short trip to an isolated rural town in the middle of the West Desert of Utah. Other than the local bank, nobody in town would touch a bill over $20. Period. I purchased an old AM radio at the local jumble store for $6. (BTW in a disaster, this would be the first place I would go looking for used clothing) The clerk used a 'check pen' on both the $1 and $5 bills. Curious about this, I asked why the pen - one rarely sees an employee check low denomination bills. The reply was instructive - it seems the town had been hit with a wave of counterfeit bills - even $1s and $5s. So what to do? Mostly, this depends on what you are planning to do. For discussion, at least $100 should (IMO) be part of any kit for leaving home. Any more is up to you and how well you deal with risk. I carry $6.50 in quarters - mostly for use with any working pay phones - an increasingly hard to find item in even good times. Why such an odd number? 26 coins will fit into a common 35mm 'can'. You can also fit 26 $1 coins wrapped in 3 paper bills in the same container. So, with 3 x 20s, you almost have your $100. Why the $1 coin? Never heard of any counterfeit small value US coins. Never had a business refuse to take one. Would they take 20 or more? Dunno, never had to try. Silver coins may seem to be an option, but the current melt price varies, and many business clerks would not see the difference in 'value" (silver vs clad coins) YMMV. In normal times, it would seem $100 bills are shunned by many - as long as debit/credit cards work. In a disaster, where motel/hotel room might go for $100 to $175/Night, a few $100s may just the thing and appropriate. I'd to hear your take, as I wasn't able to find any chat on the board over this.