Finance Blog

Family Money: Basic Principles of Emergency Preparedness

Written by Miranda Marquit on October 9, 2012 in Family Money  |   No comments

You never know when some type of natural disaster will befall you—one can strike at any time. If you want to get through an emergency as smoothly as possible, you need to be ready now. Following basic principles of emergency preparedness can ensure your family…

You never know when some type of natural disaster will befall you—one can strike at any time. If you want to get through an emergency as smoothly as possible, you need to be ready now.

Following basic principles of emergency preparedness can ensure your family is ready for whatever happens—or at least is a little less flustered if faced with a serious event or problem.

Know what you need in an emergency

In an emergency, you want the items you require close at hand. Plan to have needed medication nearby, as well as other basic items, including:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Source of light
  • Blankets/source of heat
  • Source of information (such as a crank radio that doesn’t require batteries)
  • Way to signal for help
  • First aid supplies
  • Water purification tablets

In many cases, you can put together a 72-hour kit that includes these necessary items. Try to keep your 72-hour kit in a place where you can easily access it, whether you are trapped in your home or you need to grab it quickly on the way out of the house.

Also, consider what your needs might be if you do not have access to stores or other conveniences for an extended period of time. Start now to store non-perishable food items. You can also store water, just in case running water becomes scarce during an emergency.

Don’t forget, too, that keeping your car ready with gas is important. What if you have to go somewhere and are stuck in long lines? Keep your tank at least half-full at all times and you’ll be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Rotate supplies

Once you have your emergency preparedness supplies together, make sure you rotate them regularly so that they will be ready for you when you need them. Food spoils and batteries die. Check expiration dates, make sure that you use any supplies you can before they expire, and then replace them with newer versions.

For crank items, such as flashlights, lanterns, and radios, pull them out every three months and crank them to keep them in best working order.

If you have children, rotate the clothing in their 72-hour kits, and consider what other items need to be changed out regularly. Don’t forget to rotate other supplies as well.

Build a little at a time

Before you rush out and fill your pantry or buy expensive equipment, realize that you don’t have to get everything all at once. Buying all your emergency supplies at the same time can wipe out your budget. I’ve known people to rack up large debts in the name of emergency preparedness.

Instead, take stock of what you need. Then, start with the most important things on your list. Break it down so that you buy something different each week, or save up a little each week to buy the more expensive items. If you plan it all out, you’ll be able to build in a way that is manageable and financially responsible.

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the co-author of Community 101: How to Grow an Online Community, and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter