Welcome to part 2 of my Budget Emergency Preparedness series! Today we’re talking about how to be prepared in the case of extremely common disasters that most likely WILL happen to you in your lifetime at some point.
- Power outage
- Water shut off
- Weather emergency (hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.)
- and more!
We aren’t talking zombie apocalypse here (though having some supplies would help in the case of that), I’m talking about basic emergency supplies that so many of us are without until it’s too late.
How many people had even the most basic sterile masks when this COVID-19 situation happened? Those used to sell in a multipack of about 12 for $1 at the Dollar Tree and you could get a giant pack of about 30-50 at Walmart for under $5. And of course the N-95 masks used to cost an average of $1 each, now….
When the emergency hits… it’s often too late to prepare. And if you wait, supplies also get WAY more expensive (see the mask example above. Even the most basic masks cost several dollars each now!)
So I’ve decided to prepare NOW. Or at least get started to utilize what I have available to me and plan to get what I need when I have a chance.
It’s made me feel A LOT more at peace and in control when it comes to all this stuff in the world right now.
So here’s how I’m preparing for any sort of infrastructure or utility breakdown or emergency situation…
A 72-hour -to- 1-week Emergency Food Kit.
I have a whole blog post and video on this with free planner resources and lots of great advice for you. You can make one of these for around $30 or less and at the very least, know that your family has food in case of an issue.
Create an emergency cooking, cleaning and hygiene kit
These kits build on each other, but will help you independently according to what your family’s needs are. Remember that emergency prep should be CUSTOMIZED to your situation! I don’t have kids, so there aren’t any toys, diapers or baby food in my kits. I do have dogs, so I have prepped for them (E-pet kit coming soon!).
A lot of people had concerns in the first part that I didn’t include any way to cook the meals I had in the food kit! This was intentional as I had this second bucket planned. There’s also only so much room in a 5-gallon tub!
Additionally, in the case of a bug-in situation (meaning you stay home and wait out an emergency), you may not need a different way to cook your food. During this pandemic, I’ve been able to stay at home and cook normally with my stove and also have the option of using my propane grill to cook food. This next kit prepares for the contingency of needing alternate heating and cooking or having to leave your home!
I have in this kit a full set of cooking implements including
- pan/ pot
- cooking knives/ silicone cooking instruments
- collapsable cooking stove
- matches/ lighters
- paper towels
- cutting boards
- cleaning sponges and soap
The bucket itself also acts as a container that keeps everything clean and could be used to wash dishes or your person!
NOTE: I’m aware we’re up to two five gallon buckets in this series. Do not panic. There is not a third bucket. 🙂 I found these to be an affordable way to contain your kits that are transportable, keep your items protected and have a myriad of other uses.
NOBODY LIKES TO TALK ABOUT IT BUT WHAT IF YOU CAN’T USE THE POTTY!
Seriously, If your water/ sewage was shut off right now, how would you use the restroom?
If it were just for a day, sure go to the gym or the corner store. But what about in the case of a pandemic or a hurricane, where water is out everywhere?
We. Ain’t. Ready.
Until you are.
Enter the hygiene portion of this kit and another reason I love me a 5-gal bucket. There’s a handy dandy adapter you can buy to make any 5 gal bucket into an emergency toilet. You’re not going to like it… but you’re going to be so grateful to have it if you need it.
Additionally for hygiene purposes, in this kit we’re including:
- toilet paper
- biohazard bags for the toilet
- cleaning gloves
- plastic sheeting
- trash bags
- water purification tablets
Additional Emergency Materials
Let’s think logically about what things you might need in a pinch that would be hard to find in the case of an emergency. If you had to grab these two buckets and leave your home into the world in an unknown state, what would you want in there?
Here’s my list, assembled with recommendations from FEMA/ the CDC and other sources (including my own experience living in hurricane/ tornado prone areas!)
- first aid kit
- bottle OTC pain meds
- super glue
- work gloves (for moving debris or dealing with yuck)
- screwdriver set
- wrench (for turning off utilities)
- duct tape (always useful)
- hammer/ nails
- flashlights/ lanterns and extra batteries
Remember that YOUR family may have different needs. Make a plan that will cover you.
Need some help getting supplies that actually work and are a good deal? Check out my Emergency Preparedness Amazon list with curated items that I recommend! A note that some things will be much cheaper to buy in a big box store like Walmart. Specifically flashlights, headlamps, 5 gal buckets and some other smaller items will be cheaper.
JUST FOR YOU! Here’s a free emergency supplies planner spreadsheet with suggestions and space to add your own needs.
This will also serve as an inventory for your kit (absolutely print it out and tape it to the inside lid of the kit – you’ll forget what’s in there!), and it can help you estimate the costs of anything you might be missing.
You can copy this sheet to your Google Drive and use it for emergency planning for your family. Get it here.
I’d love to know what emergencies your family is prepared for and what you think I might need to add to my kit! I’m always happy to learn more!
Let’s chat! What will you put in your kit?