There are plenty of reasons people “prep”, or invest to prepare for future emergencies. From anxieties about perceived political unrest to considering it a part of a rural homesteading lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Of course, if you’re thinking about becoming a prepper yourself and you haven’t struck it big at the lotto or in any online casino recently, it can be easy to be intimidated by a lot of the initial investment. But with a little creativity, planning, and resourcefulness you can start assembling your emergency stash without worrying about breaking the bank.
A Head Start
If you’ve decided to start putting together your preparedness gear, you may have already put a lot of thought into how you want to go about it. If not, don’t worry–it’s not too late to start planning. This is the first and most important step.
Although it may feel more vital to construct your emergency prep kit or space as soon as possible, you should take some time to decide what you need the most. There are those online who have devoted their time to documenting their prepping journeys, and you can check out reviews and checklists they’ve created to help create your own prep plan.
Be Realistic About Your Needs
It’s also important when building your fall-back plans to think realistically about what kinds of specific situations you might need to prepare for.
Will you actually need to evacuate your family and friends to an underground bunker in your backyard? Or is it more likely that you’ll need to keep a small stock of 2-3 weeks of canned food in your pantry for times when you may be stuck at home and unable to go to the grocery store?
It might be exciting to think about worst-case scenarios, but be practical and it will help you make money-conscious choices when you’re ready to start buying.
Take Your Time
You never know when an emergency will strike, but there’s also no use in panicking or extending yourself beyond what you can immediately afford. If it takes a few years to create the perfect emergency prep kit or disaster stash, don’t sweat it.
The whole point of preparedness is trying to deal with what we can in the ways that we can. So make a plan, spend responsibly, and don’t let what is out of your control cause you anxiety or stress.
Look at How You Invest
Part of prepping for you might involve taking a look at where and how you store your money. Cryptocurrency and online banking have started to grow in popularity, especially in those who have fading trust in larger banking institutions or want to take a gamble at growing their investments quickly.
Many places have even started to accept Bitcoin as a direct form of payment, from online casinos to vending machines.
As far as what to plan on buying, your basic physiological human needs are probably a good bet. The list can vary, but food, water, and shelter are the categories that will encompass most of your day to day needs. Try walking through your living space with a pen and a notebook. Take inventory of the things that you use most often or need the most.
For example, in a household of three adults and two children, how much food would you all need if you suddenly couldn’t leave your house for 2 weeks? How would you prepare it if you didn’t have electricity? What about water or hygiene products?
Do any of you take medications that would need frequent refills? Are there any comfort items you or your children just can’t be without? You can adjust your list of things to buy based on what you think your specific household will need.
Necessities and Fantasies
Again, it’s important to be realistic while you’re doing this. Think about the potential situations you may find yourselves in, but don’t let your anxieties or imagination run wild and use your better judgment. A fire blanket is probably a better first buy than a fire ax.
You can also take advantage of things that you already own and upcycle or take account of them in your prepping plan. You may not have the money for a plastic tub liner that stores drinking water in case of emergency right now, but you can read up on how to drain your hot water heater as an emergency water source.
First Aid First
Another easy way to first start investing is a first aid kit. A lot of first aid items are relatively inexpensive or already assembled into easy to buy kits and you’ll most likely benefit from having a first aid kit more immediately than other, potentially more costly prepper purchases.
You can supplement any first aid kits with information about your household’s medical needs so that if there is an emergency, medical personnel can refer to your first aid kit.
Home first aid is in no way a replacement for professional medical care, but there are lots of ways we can care for our bodies at home that can prevent minor wounds and conditions from later worsening.
The Bigger Picture
When you’ve finally started to get to a point where you’ve got the basics and you’re starting to feel comfortable in your preparedness, take a moment to turn to your friends and neighbors. They may not take your prepping very seriously, but someday they may find themselves in need of things they don’t have or simply can’t afford in an emergency.
If you’re looking for the next step or trying to figure out what else you could possibly need, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can help them and others around you be more prepared.
It’s easy to look out for ourselves in emergencies, but we’ll all need a little help at some point in our lives. At those points, it’s better to be prepared and able to offer a hand than to shutter our ability to help. Don’t be afraid to build a community that can help each other prepare for emergencies so that no one is left out when the unexpected happens. Good luck, and happy prepping!
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