Frugal Ways to Prepare for Bad Weather


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Weather is the one thing you can't control. But you can control how you are prepared for emergencies and bad weather situations. And you can do it frugally.

From flooding and hurricanes to mudslides and blizzards, we all need to be prepared for disasters. You don't have to spend hundreds or thousands to become prepared.

First, you should stay educated. Know what the possibility for disaster in your area is. Some areas have fewer disasters than others. But there are always surprises. In the winter, you may live in an area of the country where you should keep your eye on the weather report for snow conditions. Some people must worry about hurricane or tornado seasons.

Learn the basics of food storage and useful crafts. You will be able to get through a disaster if you know how to make things work. In fact, you will find that a lot of frugal tips are essentials during disasters. You may need to know how to make things from scratch or make do without electricity. Learn the things that will help you survive.

For example, if you know that your electricity could be disrupted in the event of a disaster, you could learn to build a solar oven for cooking without fuel. Or you may have a wood stove in your home that you could cook on. You might even consider shopping around for a generator on sale to run your fridge and deep freeze on to keep your food fresh.

If you do have a wood stove or fireplace, make sure that you have wood and pots and pans that can be used to cook in. Cast iron cookware is best, which you can often find at yard sales or second-hand stores for a reasonable price.

Make sure that you always have at least a month's worth of your prescriptions on hand. You should also have a well stocked medicine chest, with pain medicine, bandages and other first aid items. Take inventory of it often and replace the expired items as needed.

Many disasters or emergency situations leave you without water. It is a good idea to have a few weeks worth of water stored. You should rotate your water regularly so that it remains fresh. I buy bottled water on sale, but you can also fill containers from your tap.

Food is a primary issue. You should have a stocked pantry at all times. One year, my husband and I were snowed in unexpectantly. We had very little food in the house as we had planned to spend the holidays with our family. We actually opened and ate a few Christmas gift sets we had bought for others.

Since then, we are fully prepared for being stranded at home. Stock up on dry and canned foods when they are on sale. Buy things that you will know how to prepare. Canned meats and spreads that can be eaten cold are an excellent addition to an emergency pantry. Don't forget to include plenty of vegetables, fruit and grains, not just meat and powdered milk. Soups are often a good addition as well.

You may need to keep some extra cash on hand for emergencies. Many banks or financial instituations may be closed during a disaster, so you will want to have access to a small amount of money.

There are many ways to prepare for emergencies. You don't have to go out and buy everything at once. Make a list of the necessities and start stocking up on things a little at a time. Before you know it, you won't even have to make that last trip to the store before the snow hits. You will be ready.

Martin Lukac , represents , an Internet consumer banking marketplace. is a destination site of personal finance, investing, taxes and mortgage rates. provides mortgage guides and financial rates and information. also operates a financial portal #1 American Financial, found at


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