Being Ready On A Budget

Already this year we’ve seen a snowstorm cripple 70 percent of the state, tornadoes and severe storms break out across northern Georgia, wildfires burn more than 40,000 acres in the state, and now a disastrous earthquake and tsunami affecting Japan has shown people across the globe how vulnerable we all are.

With so many disaster-related stories flooding the news, now is the time to take inventory of your family’s level of preparedness.  You might be thinking that the skyrocketing price of gas and food makes any spending extra tough, but the reality is that getting prepared does not need to cost an arm and a leg.

Here are 10 suggestions for getting ready on a budget:

  1. Save on your three-day supply of non-perishable food and water by buying in bulk at warehouse stores, using coupons and looking for special deals.
  2. Talk to your doctor about generic prescription medications. Some pharmacies offer 90-day generic brand prescription plans for less than $15.99.
  3. Visit a dollar discount store for great deals on flashlights, batteries, garbage bags, children’s games and more.
  4. Instead of throwing out old clothes and blankets, pack them in your Ready kit.
  5. Give thrifting a try. Thrift stores are a great place to find clothes and toys for a few bucks.
  6. Request a free road map from Georgia’s Department of Transportation (GDOT).
  7. Get in the habit of stashing a few dollar bills in your Ready kit when you get cash from the ATM.  ATMs may not be accessible during an emergency and debit cards may not work.
  8. Buy combination items like an all-in-one hand-crank powered flashlight, radio and cellphone charger.
  9. Use everyday freezer bags to store important documents and keep them safe from water.
  10. Add free hotel soaps, toothpastes and shampoos to your Ready kit as your personal hygiene products.

Of course, Ready Georgia’s interactive planning tool is always free to use and will walk you through the steps of getting ready for potential disasters.  You’ll also get a custom checklist of emergency supplies and your family’s emergency plans and contact information.

Do you have your own tips that have helped you save while getting better preparing?  We’d love to share them to help all of Georgia’s residents get prepared at any price.

3 replies
  1. Lauri
    Lauri says:

    Those of us in northern, rural, environs have our own mental check lists that we use since having multiple-day power outages are not a rarity. Large pots for holding drawn water (including a filled bathtub), camping stove/lantern with extra propane canisters, long life emergency candles (one in each main room along with a lighter rubberbanded to it), a non-electric can opener, a stove top coffee maker (check out 2nd hand stores-some of the older corning wear models can be found there). If you have a land line, then a plug in phone is a must. Unless the phone lines are torn down, more than likely you will still have phone service-which may not be the case with cell pones. Also, dollar stores are great for picking up first aid supplies to keep on hand.

      • David Nash
        David Nash says:

        I totally agree with the GEMA article, preparing for disaster does not have to be hard or expensive. I made a list for people starting to get “ready” that spreads out the supplies over several months, so each week you are only spending 5 or 10 extra dollars. It does not hurt the pocketbook as much, but your doing something, and it quickly turns into a substantial safety net.

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