We live in the US and have worked very hard to set aside 12 months of regular living expenses in an emergency fund. It is primarily to cover us in the event of an unexpected job loss, but it has also come in handy for other unpleasant surprises (car dying, well failure, etc.). We keep the money in a regular savings account at our local bank, linked to our checking account. In an emergency we can transfer into our checking account and have it available same-day. Then, our next financial priority (after paying the bills, but ahead of saving for other projects), is to replenish the fund.
The recent turmoil in Europe has gotten us thinking, though. Should we also have a sizable amount of cash on hand that we keep in our house in the event that there is some type of situation where we aren't able to access our accounts at the bank?
Pros would be (1) immediate access to the money, and (2) we'd have a readily-available source of money that anyone would be likely to accept even if there was a disruption in credit cards or bank accounts.
Cons are (obviously) that if the emergency occurred when we were away from home, we wouldn't be able to use it. Also, if our house were robbed, or burned down, the money would be lost. As far as I know, homeowner's insurance only covers a trivial amount of cash lost.
Finally, if the consensus is that we should keep a bunch of cash on hand, how much makes sense?