Emily Kerbey

Many people are realizing the value of preparation because our tough economic times make the future seem so uncertain.  What if things get worse (maybe much worse) before they get better? Unemployment is high, home values are low, and many people simply can’t afford to prepare in the ways that they would like to.

We need to prepare while we can…but how can people go out and buy everything they might (someday, maybe) need for every possible emergency situation?

When it comes down to it, there are three ways to prepare for emergencies while sticking to a budget or minimizing spending: prepare in ways that are free (or cheap), make things cost less, or find money to spend.  In this post, I’ll share my list of ways to prepare for free (or cheap), and in my next post I’ll list some ways to make things cost less and ways to find money to spend.

Many preparations are free or cost little money (like learning and organizing).  Here are some ways to get started:

* Collect information. Make copies of your important information and records, and keep it all together in one place (where you can get to it easily).

* Fill water bottles. For long-term storage, empty milk jugs and soda bottles just won’t cut it.  They’re not meant for this kind of use.  Even still, storing water in these sorts of containers is better than not storing anything.  Just remember: water may leak or evaporate over time, you will still need to treat water you store, and don’t store your water on concrete (it transfers chemicals through the plastic).  Buy some unscented liquid bleach or iodine.

* Learn things. Take a First Aid and CPR classes.  Determine which types of emergencies you need to be preparing for.  Find out if your city has an emergency plan, or read the government’s emergency preparedness website.  Your library may also have good resources for this.

* Start a garden. In an emergency, any garden will be a great supplement to your food storage.  A garden will also help you save money.

* Begin Building Your Food Supply. You can begin to start a food supply with a small investment of less than $100. Buy long-term storable food (dehydrated food is best) and check out the nutrition labels and portion sizes. eFoodsDirect is a good source for highly nutritious, dehydrated food. Check them out!

* Get to know your neighbors.

* Get a basic HAM radio license. This takes a little bit of study, and then you need to pass a test, but it actually doesn’t cost much.

* Set aside some cash in small bills. In an emergency where you cannot access your bank account, you will want to have money in small denominations.

* Come up with a family evacuation plan.

It is so easy to get started!  Just choose something from this list and begin today!  You’ll be a little bit more prepared than you were, and it won’t break the bank.

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