Disaster doesn't make an advance appointment, but you can rest assured that your home and family could be penciled in at any time. Disaster planning and emergency preparation is very important, but so often families put it off because of budget constraints. Here are a few tips that I have used to prepare my home and family for a potential disaster
A Little at a Time
Because there isn't a lot of extra room in my budget, I have to buy emergency supplies a little at a time. This is the best moneysaving option for my family. I make a habit of picking up an extra item or two when I can and add to my supplies slowly. I know it's not ideal, but for a family with a tight budget, it is the best option.
Some items to be added to the emergency supplies can be bought used at a fraction of the new price. Check yard sales and thrift stores for extra flashlights, candles, battery operated lamps or radios, backpacks and other needed supplies. I have found such items priced at 25 and 50 cents before and they work perfectly.
Check Your Storage
Most of us have a lot of stuff stored away in corners, under beds, in basements, in garages and the like. Take a look through what you have in storage and you might be surprised at what you already have that can be added to your emergency supplies. Extra tarps, forgotten first aid kits, storage containers and other items can all be dragged out of storage and added to your disaster supplies. Because I have a number of things in storage from moving a year ago and combining two households, it seems as though we are always finding "new" treasures that we had forgotten about.
Compare prices by making a list of items you want to buy then browse through various stores to write down prices and quantities for items. Use a small notebook to write down all pertinent information and keep it handy. This will be a great price reference book to help you know where to get the cheapest prices on items. Be sure to check your local dollar stores as those stores usually have great prices on a wide variety of items. Don't forget about sales at local stores. Many stores will advertise great sale prices in the Sunday newspaper so it's worth your time to peruse the weekly circulars. I write down the regular everyday prices on items at the various stores I shop at (along with the size and quantity of the items) and use this master list to help me know which store offers the best deals on the items I need. This price list is a time and money saver.