I know that you can't cash in a series EE savings bond within a year, but what happens if it is a real financial emergency and the funds are needed? Tom's response If there's a major natural disaster like a hurricane, the Treasury will specifiy specific counties where residents can redeem Savings Bonds in less than a year. If yu subscribe to our email Savings Bond Alerts, we'll notify you when this happens. However, beyond that there are no exceptions. One strategy for dealing with this is to use Treasury Direct and put half your money in savings bonds and half in a zero-percent certificate. Enter a scheduled transaction to move the zero-percent certificate into a savings bond ten to twelve months from now. All of your money is now out of your spendable accounts, but if there's an emergency the first year, you can cash in the zero-percent certificate. If there's an emergency the second year, you can cash in the original savings bonds. After two years all of your money is available to you in an emergency.