Preparing for disasters does not have to be expensive. There are many things that can be done at low or no cost.

It is free to create a Family Emergency Plan. This plan should outline what you will do in emergencies, how to find each other, and how you will communicate in an emergency.

Do-It-Yourself Emergency Kit

  • Create a List of Essential Items: You may not need all of the items in ready-made emergency preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget
  • Buy in Advance: Emergency preparedness items can be expensive and in high demand just before a storm, so buy them at the end of or well ahead of storm season
    • Consider spreading out purchases over a few months to avoid overextending your weekly or monthly household budget.
  • Find Used and Discount Items: Certain emergency supplies, such as blankets and flashlights, don’t need to be purchased new. Second-hand and dollar stores offer these items at a low cost.
  • Choose Generic Products: These are usually less expensive than name brands.
  • Buy in Bulk: Make bulk purchases of emergency kit items with neighbors, friends, or coworkers.
  • Make Sure It Doesn’t Spoil: Store food and other emergency preparedness supplies in the right environment to prevent spoiling. Store water in disinfected, airtight containers instead of buying expensive bottled water.
  • Stay in to Save Money: Consider spending a night in to save money. A trip to the movies for a family of four can cost upwards of $80. Instead, spending one night at home can fund your emergency kit.
  • Give the Gift of Preparedness: Consider giving emergency preparedness gifts to friends or family to help them be more prepared. Consider flashlights, electronics chargers and other emergency kit and survival items. Ask for preparedness-related gifts for yourself for birthdays or holidays.
  • Check Your Insurance Policy: Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes, whether you rent or own your home. Know what is covered by your policy and what is not. See the Massachusetts Division of Insurance for more information.

It’s never too early to plan for emergencies. Use these tips to start preparing and gathering disaster supplies today. Soon you will be ready for the unexpected without putting a hole in your wallet.