Each person’s circumstances will vary, of course; some will be in families with second income streams, good savings accounts or whatever. However, most Americans live “paycheck to paycheck” and being without an income, perhaps with a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed, is not something teachers, etc. are typically taught in college. It is learned in the school of hard knocks only and, frankly, the blizzard of 1993 may well be a more pleasant memory for those who lived through something like this. (The writer was once unemployed for almost a year while being the sole income source, with mortgage, for a wife and six children.)
In Georgia, unemployment benefits vary depending upon past salary and duration of the job and currently the maximum possible is $330 a week (and the minimum $44). The average is $260 and that lasts, depending on job record, from 14 to a maximum of 20 weeks. The legislature last year, to save money, chopped it down to that from the previous 26 weeks.
After that point, extended federal benefits pick up the tab for a while, although those weekly checks have just been cut 11 percent because of the sequester. The length of those are linked to a sliding scale depending on a state’s overall jobless rate, thus in Georgia at the moment they run for no more than nine additional weeks.
All in all, for those in such melted-away income circumstances, the blizzard on 1993 might be considered a comparatively pleasant experience. After a week at most, it was all over and Bradford pears started blooming.