One of the first lessons I learned when I moved to Florida was that I had to get prepared for hurricane season.
Right after that I learned that hurricane prep can be expensive.
But thanks to some of my penny-pinching friends and neighbors, I figured out how to assemble some survival necessities without breaking the bank.
With so many folks out of work right now and struggling financially, I thought this is a perfect time to share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the last year.
After all, the disasters are coming, whether you have a steady job or not.
When should you get started?
But don’t plan to get everything all at once.
Pickup stuff throughout the year, as different stores offer different items on sale.
That way, you’re not trying to get what you need when a disaster is on its way – and everyone else is in a panic due to the empty store shelves.
And, as you’re buying items, look to off-brand merchandise to save a few bucks.
Off-brand items, like bandages, bleach, and ointments are often much less than the more popular brands and are sure to trim your survival stash bill.
You probably know that buying in bulk can save you some money on a per item basis, but if you’re a family of 4 or less, or have limited space to store stuff, buying bulk might not be appealing.
That’s when your neighbors can help.
A few families on our block will go in together to buy some essentials in bulk and then split them.
We get the cost savings without having to stash 50 jars of something. It’s a win-win.
You already know that clean drinking water is a must to have on hand in case of an emergency.
Rather than buying a bunch of water jugs at the store, I collect and store my own water in 2-liter bottles.
Since I’m not a soda drinker, I rely on neighbors (and their trash) for the bottles.
One quick ask and I usually have 10 empty bottles at my front door within a few hours.
Keep in mind that water that has not been commercially bottled needs to be replaced every 6 months, so refresh your water supply throughout the year to keep it fresh.
Also, don’t use containers that once had milk or juice in them, as milk protein and fruit sugars are difficult to remove. As a result, bacteria can begin to grow in your water bottles.
One of the biggest expenses I’ve found in building up my survival stash is batteries.
Because so many survival items like flashlights and radios require them.
And they all seem to use different sizes.
Rather than relying on battery-operated gadgets, I look for ones that use the free power source God provides us… the sun.
I’ve got solar powered flashlights, radios, even phone chargers.
And now I don’t have to worry about replacing batteries, ever.
The last few months have shown us that even if you don’t live in a hurricane zone, you need to be prepared for a disaster.
Try some of these tips so you can be ready, without busting your budget.
Stay safe out there.