Okay, before I start I have to say that I am NOT encouraging putting off your preparedness. If anything, I would strongly urge you to have a 72-hour kit and food storage AS QUICKLY as you can. America isn't exactly stable, and all it takes is a national disaster or an economy collapse and our lives our very very different within 24 hours. Sometimes it can take days for response teams to get to you in a disaster, which is why it is soooo important to BE PREPARED.
Now, the reason for the title: Emergency Preparedness By the Paycheck. I am embarrassed to say that my husband and I are just now getting organized and prepared. Why? Because money has always been tight, and we just didn't see how we could afford spending several thousand dollars on food storage and 72-hour kits. DON'T THINK LIKE WE DID. Had we had the mindset of preparing little-by-little, and doing everything we could to gradually have everything we need, we would have it by now. So don't get discouraged. That is the purpose of this post. DO WHAT YOU CAN. Even if that means giving up soda (or whatever it is), for a few months until you are prepared.
So, if you find yourself on a tight budget, BOOKMARK and PIN this page. Come back to it every pay check and find something new that you are going to add to your preparedness. Personally for our family, this is going to be our Christmas: Ready-to-go 72-hour kits and plenty of food storage. We may get something fun IF we have money leftover, but this year it's our priority. I don't ever want to face the day that I have to face my starving (or cold) children because I failed to prepare.
If you are wondering where to start, I have read through the contents of many 72-hour kits and urban survival bags and many of them contain similar items. Here are some common things that should be a part of your preparedness (Update: See a more detailed list in our post What to put in a 72-hr kit):
At home with the kids? Instantly access any of these printable activity bundles to keep them learning!
Let's start with the staple of life. You can't survive long without water, so this might be where you decide to start. It is recommended that you store 1 gallon of water per person, per day. If you have a waterBOB, you can fill it the moment you get warnings of severe weather (just in case of an emergency) and it will hold 100 gallons of water.
In the event that you may have to leave your house, these water packets could also become useful. Young children will not be able to carry their 72-hour kits if they are weighed down by gallons of water. These water pouches are a light-weight and compact alternative to make sure they have some water on hand. Pack as many as they can carry! At a MINIMUM you should have 3-5 pouches per person, per day.
The Life Straw is exactly how it sounds and might be the most important thing you carry if you leave your home. Award-winning and used by millions around the globe, this thing filters water WITHOUT having to use bleach, chlorine or other chemicals.
Other 72-hr Kit Items:
Tube Tent (low cost shelter, also works as a signaling device)
FOOD + The Ready Store Giveaway!!!
IMPORTANT NOTE: While we were happy to do a Giveaway for the Ready Store, it is not the brand I recommend to family and friends for a few reasons. This post was written years ago, and afterwards I spent a year trying all kinds of differents brands before I found the best long-term food storage. <— Read that post for more info
Food is another essential that you can't live without (for too long). If you can't afford to buy a bulk amount of food at one time, start buy just buying an extra few items every time you go to the grocery store. We like to keep some Mountain House pouches in our 72-hour kits along with some energy bars. Make sure that the food for your 72-hour kits are not thirst-provoking and have high calorie.
It is also recommended that you have at least 3-months of food stored up for emergency purposes. Lucky for you, The Ready Store has agreed to do a giveaway for you today!!! We just got their EasyFire, FruitFest and Milky Way buckets. You will LOVE their buckets! They are made specifically for easy stacking and storing and they are square rather than round (which I prefer).
Founded over a decade ago, the Ready Store is a leader in the emergency preparedness industry. With great products at great prices, the Ready Store works hard to serve customers by providing for their needs. From great educational content to food storage, MRE's, water storage, survival kits and more, the Ready Store is helping America get prepared.