It Doesn’t Cost a lot to be Prepared

While there are many great technologies and tools to help get prepared for emergencies, some of them may not be affordable to families and individuals that are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared? Preparedness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, there are many things that can be done at no or low cost. Here are a few tips on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.

  • Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. To learn more about making an emergency plan, check out the Make A Plan webpage.
  • Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.
  • Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes- and renters, do the same too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.
  • Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. Sample list can be found at the Emergency Kit webpage.
  • Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.
  • Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Visit your local dollar store or other discount retailer to pick up basic first aid equipment and other basic supplies.
  • Consider Store Brands. Store brands may be cheaper for certain items for your emergency kit.
  • Purchase in Bulk and Share. Sometimes you can save some money buy purchasing items as a group—you and your coworkers (or buddies, or neighbors, or family, etc) can buy supplies from a bulk discount store to reduce the cost.
  • Spread out Your Purchases. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.
  • Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight
  • Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.
  • Use part of your bonus money, tax returns or other windfalls to help fund your emergency preparedness
  • Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your emergency kit.

Start now! Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!