Tuesday, June 16, 2020

100 Super Cheap Preps for the Next Disaster (1-25)

The next disaster may happen tomorrow for all we know (and with the way 2020 is going, that wouldn't surprise me at all).  When the pandemic was starting and people were running out to stores and panic buying everything in sight, you could tell just how many people were not prepared for a disaster.  On the one hand, people can get lazy and complacent and think that nothing really bad will happen and/or the government will take care of them (LOL), on the other hand, there are many people who simply think they can't afford to prepare so don't even try.  While being rich is certainly helpful when it comes to preparedness, there are a lot of things people can do to prepare for a disaster that cost little to no money.  Here are the first 25 of 100 things to do, on the cheap, to get prepared for the next disaster:

  1. Exercise.  This is free and is of the utmost importance during and after a disaster.  Walk, jog, do calisthenics...free exercise opportunities can be found everywhere.
  2. Practice dumpster diving.  Also, know the laws about dumpster diving in your area so you don't get fined for doing this, thus defeating the "cheap" part of dumpster diving.
  3. Buy the stuff you need (clothes, tools, outdoor gear, etc) at the Goodwill or other thrift stores.  Of course, shop sale days at these places to save even more money.
  4. Use other shopping skills (shopping sales, using coupons, etc) to save money on the things you need (first aid supplies, food to stockpile, etc).
  5. Write out a shopping list of all of the prep supplies you need, keep this list with you, and buy the items on your list as they come on sale.  This can save a lot of money over buying everything at once at top price, also this will help keep you from buying unnecessary duplicate items.
  6. Take a Community Emergency Response Team training course.  This class is free, teaches valuable disaster prep skills, and at the end of the course they give you a big backpack of free disaster gear (at least this was the case when I took the course).
  7. Download all of the free disaster preparedness documents and books you can find.  There are a multitude of sources for these free educational sources online.
  8. Consider making your own outdoor/survival gear.  This can be a cheaper way to acquire gear than paying full retail price.
  9. Let friends and family know that you would be happy to take anything they don't want off their hands.  This could include clothing, produce from the garden, old fishing gear, etc.
  10. Learn survival skills from YouTube.  There are a bajillion videos on every possible survival topic under the sun.  Watch, learn, and practice these skills.
  11. Hit up the Dollar Tree and other dollar type stores for useful survival supplies.  You can buy matches, canned goods, bandannas, bungee cords, blue tarps, and a multitude of other items that would be useful in a disaster for only a dollar at these places.
  12. Stockpile multiples of necessary items so that you won't need to restock for a while.  Instead of buying one toothbrush at the Dollar Tree, buy 12 and you will not need to buy more toothbrushes for a year.
  13. When you stockpile food, be sure to rotate it through your regular food supply often so you don't spend a lot of money on food which then spoils because it wasn't eaten in a timely manner.
  14. Learn how to can, freeze, pickle, dry, and otherwise preserve food so that when you have an abundant garden or get a great deal at the grocery store, you can preserve the food for later use.
  15. Grow your own food.  If you have the space and start plants from seed, you can save a lot of money over the cost of grocery store produce.
  16. Take advantage of any free things offered in your community.  Free CPR classes, free smoke detectors, free Master Gardeners classes, etc.
  17. Join your local Buy Nothing group and receive items you want or need for free.  There are similar "freebie" pages on Craigslist, on local Facebook pages, etc.
  18. Ask at local businesses for useful, free survival items like 5 gallon buckets at restaurants, leftover Tyvek at building sites, free wooden pallets, etc.
  19. Learn how to barter.  This is yet another way to get useful survival items for free/free-ish.
  20. Regularly do microadventures to practice your survival skills.  These can range from camping to hiking to picnicking, etc.
  21. Consider buying items that have multiple survival uses.  This saves money, saves space, and gives you multiple options for using an item.
  22. Buy a cheap cell phone (with cash) and get a prepaid sim/plan (with cash) to keep with your survival gear.  There are multiple reasons you may need to use this phone in a disaster.
  23. Shop around for the best price to get your concealed carry license (permit fees are fixed but the required class fee can vary a great deal in many areas), HAM radio license (again, the license fee is usually set but class fees can vary), EMT license (some people pay full price for these classes while others can get free training if they volunteer at the local fire department), etc.
  24. Learn how to cook from scratch.  Learn how to cook food from many cultures.  Learn how to cook/bake a wide range of foods.  These are the best ways to utilize whatever food is on sale, save money over eating out everyday, and make yourself healthier.
  25. Take advantage of every free service you qualify for.  Free or reduced price kid's school lunches, food stamps if you are laid off from work, free vaccinations at the health district, free clinic for physical or mental health issues...if you qualify, sign up!

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