Monday, June 22, 2020

100 Super Cheap Preps for the Next Disaster (26-50)

You can check out part 1 here.  Moving right along...

26.  Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.  There are a lot of simple, inexpensive things you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready to bug out at the last minute.  Buying vehicle air filters on Amazon and changing them yourself can save around $50 over the cost of the dealership doing this for you.
27.  Review and update your car BOB.  Make sure the clothing is appropriate for the season, batteries are changed out or charged, food and water is rotated, etc.
28.  Get a HAM radio (and get licensed to use it).  The licensing process is simple and inexpensive, and you can get an inexpensive BaoFeng radio for around $25.  This is an excellent emergency communication system if the cell/landline systems go down.
29.  Get your concealed carry license.  There were so many people, mid pandemic, wanting to buy guns but unable to carry them concealed because the CCW classes and licensing agencies were shut down.  If you want to be able to carry concealed, get licensed now and not in the middle of a disaster.  You will also have a wider selection of classes (and prices for classes) available to you this way.
30.  Buy guns and ammo now.  Ditto the above.  A month before the pandemic, you could walk into a gun store and buy a gun within minutes.  Mid-pandemic and now with the riots, lines at guns stores are wrapped around the block and ammo is pretty scarce.  It seems like the price of firearms and ammo has increased as well with all of the shortages so buying these items when there isn't a disaster happening can be a good cost-saving move.
31.  Buy supplies now and not at the top of the market.  Whenever there is panic buying of an item, the price of that item--when you can even find it in the stores--usually shoots up.  Before the pandemic you could buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol for $1, during the pandemic, I saw a store selling the stuff for $5 a bottle!  ditto hand sanitizer, face masks, wipes, etc.  This can be price-gouging or it can be suppliers increasing the price to align with costs, but either way, it's best to buy the things you need at a time that everyone and their brother isn't panic buying said item.
32.  Do major projects now, not during a disaster.  Like buying survival gear, you don't want to get a major service done when everyone is having the same issue.  If your AC system is on its last leg, it's better to replace the system in the winter and not wait until it dies, mid summer, when AC service providers are backed up and charging premium prices.
33.  Take care of medical/dental/vision/etc services ASAP.  Firstly, you don't want to have to hunt down a tetanus shot during a disaster, you don't want to have a dental emergency when the vast majority of dentists have been closed down as was the case during the pandemic, and if you time all of these services right, one annual deductible can be met and the insurance can pick up the rest of the costs for all of the medical/dental/vision/hearing services you need.
34.  Look into minimalism, zero-waste, anti-consumption, buy it for life, and similarly related consumer lifestyles.  These people generally practice reduce/reuse/recycle skills that can stretch--or even eliminate the need for--many consumer items that the average person wastes money on.
35.  Live below your means.  This is kind of a no-brainer, but the more you can live below your means, the more money you can save for an emergency.
36.  Be debt free.  The only thing worse than suffering through a disaster, is suffering through a disaster with creditors hounding you at the same time.  Get out of debt--including the car and house--and stay out of debt.
37.  Put together an emergency fund of six to twelve month's worth of living expenses.  No one could have predicted that the entire world would shut down for months on end but the people who had fat and fluffy emergency funds weathered this disaster much better than those who were living paycheck to paycheck.
38.  Practice going without important needs/services for a weekend.  Obviously don't go without your insulin or pull the plug on granddad's CPAP, but challenge yourself and the family to go without electricity for a weekend, go without toilet paper for a weekend, only eat dried stored foods for a weekend (nothing from the fridge or freezer), go without the internet for the weekend...basically any challenge that would help you develop your resiliency and survival skills (without putting yourself and your family in actual peril!).
39.  Develop friendships/relationships with family/neighbors/acquaintances.  You don't have to be buddy-buddy with the neighbor but having short conversations with them when you see them outside is a good way to build a community safety net which can be useful during a disaster.  Likewise, strengthening relationships with friends and family can pay dividends when TSHTF.
40.  Recall any issues you had during the pandemic shut down and work on preparing for similar circumstances in the future.  We needed an electric hair trimmer which were sold out during the pandemic (FWIW a beard and mustache trimmer did a pretty good hair cutting job, just took a bit longer).  Eventually they were restocked at Target for $40 but I ended up picking up a complete hair trimmer kit at Ross for only $14.  Similarly, people were panicking about not being able to find yeast during the pandemic.  While I was well supplied with yeast, I did make up some sourdough starter just for the experience.
41.  Summer is a great time to prepare your yard for a disaster.  This means getting your yard ready for wildfire season, preparing your yard for hurricane season, and making your yard more secure overall.
42.  There are also a hundred small tasks you can do to make your home safer overall.
43.  Take some time to fill out a family disaster plan then make copies of this plan available to each family member.  Examples here, here, and here.
44.  Gather all of your important documents, digitally back them up (scanning or photos), then put them together in a secure location.
45.  Consider volunteering at a community organization that will teach you disaster preparedness skills (search and rescue, Red Cross, volunteer EMT, etc).
46.  Every time your insurance--car, home, life, etc--comes up for renewal, call around to other insurance companies for quotes; you may be able to secure insurance at a lower price this way (also ask about bundling insurance coverages together for an even greater discount).
47.  Put some free disaster apps on your cell phone.  Ditto for the family's cell phones.
48.  Dump out your EDC (everyday carry) bag, review the items you have, change out batteries, determine if there are items you need to add or delete from the bag, then repack it.
49.  Dump out your BOB (bug out bag), review the items you have, change out batteries/food.water, determine if there are items you need to add or delete from the bag, then repack it.
50.  Slowly stockpile emergency water supplies.  You can buy bottled water when it is on sale, buy an extra 5 gallon jug of water each week, store tap water in appropriate containers, etc.

Part 3....

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this series of super-cheap preps. Very useful! Looking forward to the next installment.