Emergency Preparedness on a Budget
A few years ago I attended a local preparedness fair where I was given a paper with a list of ideas for putting together an inexpensive emergency survival kit. There was, unfortunately, no author credited for the list. However, I felt this short list of ideas was valuable enough to reproduce here:
- Recycle old gear. Put old boots, gloves, flashlights, tools, uniforms, and bedding in your kit.
- Check for backpacks or bags you already have. No need to buy new containers if possible.
- Look for seasonal sales. If new items are necessary, buy items at the end of the season.
- Buy bulk. Stores often have case-lot or bulk item deals.
- Buy with others. Join with friends for discounts.
- Shop at used goods stores. Try Deseret Industries, thrift stores, army surplus stores, or garage sales.
- Shop throughout the year. Buy preparedness items throughout the year in small increments.
- Store water in safe/used containers. Reuse soda or juice bottles once disinfected, but never dairy.
- Request preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family.
- Trade a night out or family activity to fund supplies for 96-hour kit.
- Use common plastic bags with zip closures to store clothes & important personal documents.
- Update contact list. Have current info for family, friends, and neighbors.
- Keep medical contact information on hand & make sure medical records are current.
- Review insurance policies. Know your coverage in advance of a disaster.
Absolute minimum Items for a 96-hour kit:
Food and Water:
- 4 gallons of water per person
- 4 days supply of ready-to-eat, non-perishable food
Can Opener, Dishes/Utensils, Shovel, Radio (with batteries!), Pen and Paper, Axe, Pocket Knife, Rope, Duct Tape
Personal Supplies & Medication:
- First Aid Supplies
- Toiletries (roll of toilet paper–remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
- Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc. Warning: Scented soap might “flavor food items.)
- Immunizations Up-to-Date
- Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children’s medication, etc.)
- Prescription Medication (for 4 days)
Personal Documents and Money—Place these items in a waterproof container
- Scriptures or inspirational books (miniature ones are lighter)
- Genealogy Records
- Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts)
- Vaccination Papers
- Insurance Policies
- Credit Card
- Pre-Paid Phone Cards
Fuel & Light
Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps), Extra Batteries, Flares, Candles, Lighter, Water-Proof Matches
Bedding and Clothing
- Change of Clothing (short and long sleeve shirts, pants, socks, jackets adjusted to the season)
- Rain Coat/Poncho
- Blankets and Emergency Heat Blankets
- Cloth Sheet/Plastic Sheet