Preparing on a Budget

On a Budget? You Still Need to be Ready
By Darryl J. Madden, Director, Ready Campaign


Who isn’t pinching pennies these days? In fact, many of us have been putting things off in order to save money. One thing you shouldn’t put off, though, is becoming prepared for emergencies and disasters. As difficult as it may be financially, it’s something you just can’t turn away from.


September is National Preparedness Month, and in consideration of the many of us who are tightly budgeting our dollars, here are a few tips* to save money and still be Ready.

  • Plan for the types of disasters that can happen in the area where you live. So, if you live in the north, or in the mountains, you may need to plan for snowstorms, but if you live along the coast, hurricanes are most likely to affect you.
  • Create your personalized Ready list. You may not need everything in ready-made kits. Choose the essentials to fit your needs. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car.
  • Shop sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year and you won’t notice the cost as much.
  • Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight.
  • Request preparedness items as a gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.
  • Think ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.
  • Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes—renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.
  • Update contact records. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need.
  • Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.

Above all, start now, take small steps, and before you know it, you will be Ready!


*Suggestions for budget preparedness come from the 2009 Ready Colorado Campaign.