Have you made a New Year’s resolution to save money, but still need to get prepared? If you are looking to accomplish both goals, or just looking to be better prepared without spending too much, check out this top 10 list for preparedness on a budget.
- Plan for the types of disasters that are likely to happen in the area where you live. In Colorado, that means things such as snowstoms and wildfires. Hurricane-specific items (i.e. hurricane shutters) are not a good investment here.
- Create your own personalized preparedness needs list (suggestions at http://www.readycolorado.com/ready-central/build-a-kit/). You may not need everything included in “ready-made” kits and there may be additional items you need based on your personal situation. For example, if you have pets, you may need special items. Don’t forget to have supplies in your car and at work.
- Budget emergency preparedness items as a “normal” expense. Even $20 a month can go a long way to helping you be ready. Buy one preparedness item each time you go to the grocery store.
- Save by shopping sales. Make use of coupons and shop at stores with used goods. Don’t replace your ready kit items annually, just replace and cycle through those items that have a shelf life (e.g., batteries, food). You may want to test the radio and flashlight every September to make sure they are in good working order.
- Store water in safe containers. You don’t have to buy expensive bottled water, but make sure any containers you use for water storage are safe and disinfected.
- Request preparedness items as gifts. We all receive gifts we don’t need or use. What if your friends and family members gave you gifts that could save your life? Don’t forget to protect them by sending preparedness gifts their way, too.
- Think ahead. You are more likely to save money if you can take your time with focused and strategic shopping. Buy items that are on sale and keep a list to avoid duplicating items you already have.
- Review your insurance policy annually and make necessary changes. When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will be sufficient to allow you to replace needed items. Renters need policies too, in order to cover personal property.
- Update your family communications plan (more information at http://www.readycolorado.com/ready-central/create-a-plan/). Have an accurate phone list of emergency contact numbers, including an out-of-state contact.
- Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost $80 or more. Just one night of sacrifice could fund a 72-hour ready kit.
Pre-planning will help you and your family better survive a disaster, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Consider giving the gift of preparedness this holiday season.
For a printable version of this list, go to http://www.readycolorado.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Top10listCO.pdf.