Written by: Julie
Once we started to dig into all this life changing information we were overwhelmed. We had to choose a focus. We wrote a growing list of all the things we were learning about and put them in order of what was most important. We concentrated first on what we needed to get prepared for the potential Pacific North West disasters. It was unsettling to be completely unprepared for a possible volcanic eruption, wildfire, landslide, tsunami or an overdue subduction earthquake. We scrambled to get our car kits in order, brainstormed solutions for water collection and learned how to shut off utilities. Making plans was easy for me, but spending money on things we didn’t need at that moment was hard. I rummaged through our things and found that we had more preparedness stuff than I thought. I added it to our bags but my husband still convinced me we needed to make additions to our existing first aid kits.
We went to the local pharmacy and he started putting 2 and 3 packages of gauze in the shopping cart.
I said, “Those are 2.99 each! We don’t even need this stuff! This is a waste of money!”
He said, “Ok, so I guess I’ll cancel our car insurance.”
“WHAT are you talking about?” I replied, getting annoyed.
“We pay for car insurance every month planning not to use it, right?”
“Yes,” I said quietly looking down.
“We understand this is a real threat and could happen at any moment, right?”
“Yes,” I said putting my hand on my cheek.
“So why wouldn’t we buy the things we need for an emergency and hope not to use it?”
“…….ok……we would buy it” I said, feeling defeated.
That feeling of defeat quickly turned to a feeling of empowerment. This is what our ancestors did before the existence of walk-in medical clinics, grocery warehouses and convenience stores. Some animals collect food in autumn because it will be harder to come by during the winter months. If they don’t, they probably won’t survive unless they have a generous neighbor.
Talking with my husband that day at the pharmacy, I decided I want to be that generous neighbor and not on the other end. When I started to look at all this “prepping” stuff as an insurance plan, it was much easier to wrap my head around the whole concept of emergency preparedness.
I thought about all the insurance plans we pay for monthly; car, health, dental, life, renters and for our phones. If you own a home you could possible pay for even more plans. I rented a car and they asked if I wanted to get insurance, confused, I said, “I have insurance…..” Well apparently I could purchase insurance for my insurance so my insurance wouldn’t get charged if something happened. WHAT? This seems a little excessive to me. But I turn back to my preparedness motto, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” I constantly have a back up plan for almost everything in life. Why wouldn’t I have plans incase a serious emergency situation popped up? Suddenly I was able to fit this stuff into our budget and find space for kits in our home and cars.
I believe no matter where you live there is always some sort of potential disaster and everyone can benefit by becoming more self sufficient. Yes, it will cost you some money but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are ways to slowly incorporate this new expense into your existing budget. Small steps worked best for us, dealing with my frugal habits, we didn’t buy everything at once. We slowly reach our goals one package of gauze at a time.
If you are new to preparedness and want to get started, my best advice would be to start slow. Figure out what you and your family REALLY need and look through the items you already own. A great way to find emergency preparedness stuff on a budget are yard/garage sales, estate sales (especially for medical supplies) thrifts stores and dollar stores. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comments below.