Are you ready for our Summer 2013 theme and focus around here on The Thrifty Couple??
As you may know, we post a little bit of everything each week, while at the same time posting a lot of information about one theme at a time too!
This next theme is a VERY important one….. It is
BE PREPARED WITH THE THRIFTY COUPLE!
Be prepared for what?!?!
Well….. anything and everything emergency related! This is an extremely important topic and an extremely important life habit to create. You will want to be prepared to be able to take care of your family for any type of natural disaster or emergency. Can you imagine a life without any insurance for any category – no home insurance, no car insurance, etc.? Thinking about not having insurance on anything probably leaves and unsettling feelings in your stomach.
Well, think of emergency preparedness the same way…. we hope and pray that we don’t have to use it for those purposes, but what if we did?
What kind of emergencies are we talking about??
Well… any kind really! We live in earthquake country and are well overdue for a large earth shattering quake. If we lose power, ability to transport, ability to communicate and life as we know it stops for even just a few days or weeks…. our lives could be at risk if we do not take care of ourselves!
Think about Hurricane Katrina, tsunami in Japan, the recent tornadoes throughout the midwest, Hurricane Sandy (which affected people of many months after) or what about even something like a 9/11 in your area? As awful and as difficult as it is to talk about these possibilities, what would be even more awful is if you and your family didn’t make it through – even something relatively minor – because of lack of preparing? What if something major happened?
There is a real risk of not only natural disasters, but economical disasters too! Honestly, we don’t know how realistic an economic collapse, food shortage, fuel shortage, a pandemic, another Great Depression or any of those things could be…. but we also don’t want to take a risk even if the possibility is a very low percentage.
So think of being prepared as like an insurance that we feel EVERYONE needs…. no matter where you live, you can prepare!
We have been preparing for a couple of years, but 2013 has been the year that we have done the most to prepare – and we are only half way through the year and want to take you on our journey to prepare with us!
The more citizens that are prepared, the better a community or even the country will bounce back from a disaster or emergency. So we want to help as many as possible be prepared!
The other thing that we feel, when it comes to preparing…. we want to find ways in which most everything we purchase or make for a disaster/emergency, we can use now (which will allow us to know how to use it when the actual emergency hits too)! We’ve always had a hard time with unusable food storage (like MRE’s) or unusable sources of power, heat, etc.! Why not be preparing, but using those things now and saving money now?!?!
For example, we’ve been working on our food storage….but instead of sealing up my 100 lbs. of brown rice for an emergency…. I am using it now! Instead of having solar panels waiting in storage for when this supposed earthquake hits and knocks our power out… why not use them now and save money on power? I think you get what we are trying to get at! A very sustainable, useable, practical preparedness plan. But, there are some things you only use in emergencies – that’s unavoidable, we just want to increase the usage of as much as possible!
Well…. we want to even find ways to prepare using a small amount of money too!
Anyone can do this no matter where you live, but it will also naturally lead to a more frugal lifestyle too!
First, we do want to explain that we are not experts and so we want to encourage, ask and plead with you that if you know something about an applicable preparedness topic, please share it with all of us! We will get the ball rolling, but we want to hear what you are doing, what you have seen or heard or desire to do too! The more ideas, the more able others are to prepare with the resources available to them!
Second, we are going to cover these topics in this theme to help you be prepared in each area of life! You can’t just live on water, or just food, etc. There is a lot, but we will get through it!
Here’s the categories and topics we will be covering (if we are missing a category, please share so we can add it!)
- Fuel and or Transportation
- Bug-out plan (I HATE thinking about leaving my home, but if our home is unlivable for a time, we need to think about where to go and what to take with us – while at the same time I hope and pray we never have to leave!).
- Helping others outside of you/your family (the first being to encourage your neighbors, church members and community members to join us in preparing because again, the more that are prepared, the easier it will be to survive and recover from any situation)
These categories are designed to provide options in most any type of disaster or emergency. If we could for sure say all we need to prepare for is an earthquake that will have devastating effects for exactly 2 weeks and guarantee that this is all we will have to deal with, it makes planning and preparing easier! But obviously, this is not possible to determine, predict, etc. So we are trying to form this plan to make it through most anything!
Also, if you want our opinion on what a minimum amount of time to be prepared for is, then we will tell you an absolute minimum of 3 months! Why? Well, we know that FEMA says 72-hours. But think about many crises that have happened in our lifetimes, 72-hours is NOT ENOUGH! Even Hurricane Sandy had devastating affects for 3+Months for many people!
Also, being prepared for 3 months add an extra layer of protection for a few things:
- If you or the financially supporting family member loses a job… do you think food for 72 hours will hold you through a new job search? It would be nice to find a job and start getting paid in 3 days, but it probably will not happen.
- What if we suffer from both an Earthquake and another emergency withing a few weeks of each other?
- What if our disaster/emergency lasted for as long as the devastation for many during Hurricane Sandy or other natural disasters? 72-hours, even several weeks wasn’t enough!
- If a disaster situation lasted 7 days, well with a 3 month plan, you can help others live through that awful week!
We are seriously telling you…. 3 months is the absolute minimum we would recommend.
BUT….. if resources allow, we would suggest preparing and planning for longer than 3 months.
Also, we are going to share many frugal and thrifty tips (and REALLY, really want you to share yours!) and we are also going to be proposing a $100 solution for each of the categories above. NOW…. we can’t say that every category will be covered 100% with $100, or that $100 will be enough for some categories, while others, it will be quite sufficient. But, if you were able to set aside $100 each month for preparation purposes, you will get quite far with our suggestions and in a short time, have many bases covered with our proposed $100 solutions!
Maybe $100 sounds like an overwhelming amount to you…. so go through your bills and cut where you can to free up $100 each month. And/or find ways to bring in extra income (check out how to find $780 right now article HERE which will give you a very nice preparedness nest egg) and for another option, consider donating your plasma which can earn you $200-$250 per adult in your household each month! If this is what you needed to do to get these preparedness tasks done, remember that these sacrifices are just for a short time, but then you can be better prepared and have peace of mind!
Finally, this is a topic that I don’t like discussing and I don’t like thinking about. But not discussing or thinking about it doesn’t make the possibility of a future emergency go away. It will still happen even if I don’t think about it! So really what’s worse is if I refuse to think or discuss it and then our family suffers devastatingly because I was too immature to deal with it! As much as I hate thinking about it, I hate not making it through even more!
We are actually going to start this theme in the beginning of July! I know, today is the first day of summer, but we are unplugging next week to spend time as a family and get some well needed family time. It is important to take these times with your family too and unplug for computers, T.V’s and more media and get to know one another again. You probably know of us doing this a few times per year if you have been reading our site long 🙂 Yes we do, and next week is that scheduled “unplugged” time. So watch for this to all start in July!
In the meantime, we want to get your thoughts and would love for you to take these polls so we can gauge your thoughts too!
THANK YOU for completing our polls! It helps us to know you and your needs more!