15 Frugal Ways To Prepare For An Emergency
Hello readers, how prepared are you for an emergency? Today we are going to talk about emergency preparedness and we will bring you 15 frugal ways to prepare for an emergency.
One our favorite personal finance bloggers DadsDollarsDebts went through a very traumatic experience last week where he lost everything, including his home, in those California wildfires.
Fortunately, he and his family made it out ok.
The personal finance community came together to support him and we all decided it’s a good time to talk to our readers about emergency preparedness.
Most people put off preparing for an emergency because they think it would never happened to them or that it’s expensive and they don’t have money to deal with it.
However, as we all know, it can happen to anyone especially nowadays with all of these disasters happening every week/day worldwide.
Everyday there’s a hurricane, a wildfire, an earthquake… happening somewhere.
For example, in the couple of months alone, we have had:
- Multiple wildfires in California, British Colombia, Colorado, WA…
- Hurricane Maria
- Hurricane Irma
- Hurricane Harvey
- Flooding in Colorado, Utah, Ontario, New Hampshire, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, WY, MO, UT,
- Multiple tornado touch-downs in in MS, WI, MA, TX, KY, GA, KY, MO,…
Second, it doesn’t have to be expensive, there are frugal ways you can use to prepare yourself.
This story hits home as Mr99to1percent went through hurricane Rita when he was living in Houston Texas as a broke new immigrant/college student.
Mr99to1percent’s hurricane Rita emergency evacuation story:
Back in August 2015, hurricane Katrina, a category 5, hit New Orleans, Louisiana plus a few other states and caused 1800+ fatalities.
That experience put the whole country on edge, thus when a month later hurricane Rita hit, everyone was extremely worried.
I was especially worried because I was a broke new immigrant going to college, and I didn’t have a car and had never even driven on an American highway before.
My only American driving experience consisted mostly of valet parking, one of the jobs I was doing at that time to pay for college.
I was also worried about where I would be evacuating to and where I would stay. As a new immigrant, I didn’t have any friends outside of Houston.
And I was living with 5 other new immigrants who were also in the same situation as I.
After calling friends and acquaintances, we were able to secure 2 cars for free and started evacuating Houston.
A few hours later the evacuation was made mandatory, and it caused such a backlog that some people had to actually return home, because the cars were not moving at all.
For the rest of us, we continued to evacuate and decide to head towards Austin.
Due to having never driven on a highway and being tired and sleepy for driving long hours, I actually bumped on a car in front of us but fortunately, there was no damage.
Eventually, we were able to reach Austin 18 hours later for a trip that usually takes about 3 hours. Once we reached Austin, we decided to continue up north towards Oklahoma City just in case.
Once we got to Oklahoma City, we were able to get a cheap motel where we stayed for 3 days.
The reported death toll for Hurricane Rita was 120, less than hurricane Katrina death toll, but still that’s a 120 people that were gone too early, and left kids, spouses, grandparents, grand kids, brothers, sisters…behind.
So how to do you prepare for an emergency?
Here are 15 frugal ways to prepare for an emergency:
- Check your home insurance to make sure you are aware of what’s covered and what’s not.
For example, our home insurance did not initially cover floods, since our area had never been affected by floods.
But due to recent floods in Ontario, we called our insurance and found out that they had actually started covering floods for an additional $8/month and we decided to opted in.
- Stock up on non-perishable food and water for at least a week. This is a necessity, don’t put it off.
- Stock up additional non-perishable food and water for a month. You can build up the stock slowly if you wish by looking for deals.
For example, when you go grocery shopping and you see cans of beans or tuna on sale, grab as many as you can afford for the moment.
- Buy a backpack and fill it up with a few important things:
- Marriage certificates
- Birth certificates
- First Aid
- Credit card(s)and cash. This should be cash you can afford to have sit around. But it’s a necessity, please don’t put it off. It could be $100, $200, $500, $1,000 or whatever you are able to afford.
- Food, water,…
Or you can buy this 1 Person – 72HRS Backpack Emergency Kit
Or this 4 Person – 72HRS Backpack Emergency Kit if you are a family.
- Make sure your fire alarms are working and test them out regularly.
- Make sure you know where your fire extinguishers are and make sure you have at least one on each floor.
- Identify exit points. For example, in our house in a case of fire, and we are stuck on the 2nd floor, we have identified 2 exit windows in 2 different rooms above our garage that would make it easier for us to get to the ground.
- Identify safe room(s). In our case, we have identified 2 of the safest areas where we could stay hidden.
- Fortify your windows, doors, garage doors,…where applicable.
- Always follow the evacuation orders. Some people choose to stay behind to protect their property. But property can always be replaced, however, human life cannot.
- In case you have to use your car to evacuate, make sure you have these things in your car too:
- Additional credit card (s) and extra cash. Again, It could be $100, $200, $500, $1,000 or whatever you are able to afford.
- Enough food, water to last you at least a week
- An emergency kit: flashlights,…
- A few gas cans. We have 2 of these No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Cans that we keep filled and in our garage.
We also got 2 of these Performance Tool W1555 Deluxe Roadside Assistance Kits
for our 2 cars.
- If you lack some of the resources, don’t be afraid to call your friends and ask for help. They might be able to give you a car to drive or a place to stay.
- Water tank – this is something we don’t have yet, but we are looking into it and cheaper alternatives.
- Power generator – this is also something we don’t have, and are looking into it and other cheaper alternative
- Continue to educate yourself. As you can see there’s always something new or better you could be doing.
For example, as we just mentioned, we are looking into water tanks and power generators and other alternatives.
Thus, we recommend for everyone to continue educating themselves, to never stop learning.
On that note, here are other posts to check out to learn more about emergency preparation:
- DadsDollarsDebt – Tubb’s Fire – A Sudden Evacuation
- Chief Mom Officer – A Harrowing Escape Inspires The Personal Finance Community – Beyond The Emergency Fund
- OthalaFehu – Cool As A Cucumber
- The Retirement Manifesto – Am I A Prepper?
- Mrs. Retire to Roots – In Case Of Emergency Follow The Plan
- The Lady In Black – Emergency Preparedness
- The Green Swan – Preparing For The Worst
- Minafi – Minimal Hurricane Preparation
- A Gai Shan Life – Earthquake and disaster preparedness
- The Financial Journeyman – Emergency Preparation: Be Proactive
- John And Jane Doe – Thinking the Worst: Emergency Planning or Fighting the Last War?
- Adventure Rich – Emergency Preparation Up North
- Money Beagle – How Much Would You Replace If You Lost Everything?
- Crispy Doc – Fighting Fire With FI/RE
- She Picks Up Pennies – How Can A Planner Be Unprepared?
- Chronicles Of A Father-Getting Ready for a Natural Disaster
- Rogue Dad MD- Disrupting the Equilibrium
- Unique Gifter-10 Ways To Help Disaster Victims
- SomeRandomGuyOnline-Friday Blog Roundup – Emergency Preparedness Edition
- 99 to 1 Percent: 15 Frugal Ways To Prepare For An Emergency
- I Dream Of FIRE – Your house is burning and you can only save 10 things – what do you choose?
- Full Time Finance – Emergency Preparedness in Place
What about you guys? How prepared are you? Any other frugal ways you want to share for preparing for an emergency?
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