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Everyday Cheapskate: Simple Tips to Ensure Your Safety in Any Emergency

Mary Hunt on

In today's unpredictable world, being prepared for emergencies is not just smart but essential. No matter where you live or what you do, disaster can strike at any moment, and being equipped with the right knowledge and resources can be a lifesaver.

Whether it's a natural disaster like a hurricane or a man-made crisis like a power outage, having a plan in place and knowing what to do protects yourself and your loved ones. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. By taking the time to plan and gather necessary supplies, you can significantly increase your chances of survival and minimize the impact of an emergency.

Having a well-stocked emergency kit is crucial for surviving any disaster. This kit should contain essential supplies that can sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours and be in a place in your house or garage that is secure, and where everyone in the family can have easy access to it. Here are some items to include:

1. Water: Plan for at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes.

2. Nonperishable food: Stock up on canned goods, energy bars, and other nonperishable food items that require minimal preparation.

3. First-aid kit: Include bandages, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers and any necessary prescription medications.

4. Flashlights and batteries: Make sure you have multiple flashlights with extra batteries to provide light during power outages.

5. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio: A radio will keep you informed about the latest updates and emergency instructions.

6. Extra clothing and blankets: Pack warm clothing, blankets and sturdy shoes to protect against cold weather and debris.


7. Personal hygiene items: Include items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wet wipes and feminine hygiene products.

8. Cash and important documents: Have some cash on hand in case ATMs are not operational. Keep important documents like copies of identification, insurance policies and medical records in a waterproof container.

Remember to periodically check and replace expired items in your emergency kit. Customize your kit based on your family's specific needs, including any necessary medications, baby supplies or pet essentials.

Whew! Sounds like a big job, doesn't it? Just take it item by item, and don't allow yourself to be deterred. Stick with it. The peace of mind you will enjoy is well worth the effort.

And that's just the start. You need to get your home emergency-prepared and more resilient. A communications plan is vital to ensure that if your family members are scattered when an emergency hits, you are well prepared to stay connected to one another, stay informed and seek help. And that leads us straight into creating an evacuation plan for every member of the family.

Overwhelmed? Relax! I have put together a simple, comprehensive guide to lead you through each of these areas of preparedness, in a way you can achieve without blowing a hole in your budget! Find it at


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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