The idea behind today's post comes from the gals at Food Storage Made Easy. Below are 10 budget-friendly tips to help anyone prepare for an emergency.
1. PLAN FOR SPECIFIC DISASTERS. There's no need to plan for a hurricane if you don't live near an ocean. Whether it's a job loss or a natural disaster you're planning for, making a specific plan, tailored to your needs will help you save valuable time and money.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN LIST. Not every item on every disaster prep check-list is going to be something you need. Purchase items that you know your family will benefit from. Make sure the items you include in your 72 hour kits or food storage is something you or someone else nearby will know how to use.
3. MAKE IT PART OF YOUR MONTHLY BUDGET. Setting aside a certain amount of money each month will help you be able to purchase the items you need all throughout the year. If food storage or emergency preparedness items are part of your monthly expenses, you'll be more likely to feel ok about spending money on those items. Just spending an extra $10 a month on simple foods like rice, wheat, beans or pasta, could help you build up to a year's supply in no-time! And did you know that cooking with food storage could actually save you money?!
4. SHOP SALES. Using coupons and buying items when they're on sale can really help save money.
5. STORE WATER IN REUSABLE CONTAINERS. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg on fancy water storage containers. Online websites like kslclassifieds.com usually have sellers with used 55-gallon water barrels for much cheaper than you can buy them in the stores. You can also store water in clean plastic juice or soda containers for free.
6. REQUEST EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SUPPLIES AS GIFTS. When your parents ask you what you want for Christmas this year, tell them you want a tent, or some sleeping bags, or food storage! Most people would prefer to purchase gifts they know are wanted, so what better than something they can pick up at the local home storage center, or order online and ship straight to your door?!
7. THINK AHEAD. Think ahead. You're more likely to save money if you can take your time with focused and strategic shopping. It’s when everyone is at the store right before the storm hits that prices are going to be higher. Use a list to avoid duplicating items when you are stressed or panicked.
8. REVIEW INSURANCE POLICIES. Review your insurance policy annually and make necessary changes. When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will help you get back on your feet. Renters need policies too, in order to cover personal property.
9. UPDATE CONTACT RECORDS. Have an accurate phone list of emergency contact numbers. If you are prepared, you may be able to help friends and neighbors who need assistance. By sharing preparedness supplies, you can help each other. When electricity fails, it's helpful to have hard copies of records on hand, as well as other contact information.
10. TRADE ONE NIGHT OUT. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80-$100. Just one night of sacrifice could fund a 72-hour ready kit.