Hurricane Irma was a very destructive storm, both physically and mentally. Many people were worried about their homes and loved ones but they were also worried about having enough supplies. How can you afford to buy so much to be prepared? I’ve got some solid ways to get you all prepared to make it through the rest of the season.
I spoke about this topic on Fox on Sunday 9/17/17, watch the replay here:
1. Build Your Stockpile, Don’t Buy It All At Once
To our grandparents’ generation this was a common thing, they jarred and canned things in order to store them to last until the following season when they would make it again. They bought flour in giant sacks.
Nowadays we are spoiled because we have the luxury of going to the grocery store every day if we want. Hurricane Irma had a vacuum effect on the resources in the areas it affected. Causing the local stores not being able to supply the demand and running out of product.
Because of using coupons to shop regularly, I already had 90% of the necessary hurricane supplies: water, canned food, paper plates, paper products, batteries, flashlights, cleaning supplies.
The way you build a stockpile is by watching prices and when it is at the lowest price you stock up. I always use the 12 Week Rule to stock up with what my family will reasonably use in 12 weeks.
2. Set A Stockpile Goal Today
How long do you prepare for being without access to anything? Power? Water? The Dept of Homeland Security recommends having a basic emergency supply kit with enough food and water to last 3 days.
My personal family planned to be without essentials for 5 days. I planned 5 gallons of water per person for a 5 day supply. That is a lot of drinking water (175 gallons to be exact = 7 people x 5 gallons x 5 days). I had it stored in all kinds of containers all over the house (see picture below at bullet point #4).
Purchasing items now, before the panic, allows you to save 50% to 80% below the normal sale price. That means you won’t have to worry about price gouging or stores running out of stock.
Besides storing canned food pay attention to buying and storing shelf stable items that are tastier and packed with protein such as peanut butter, crackers, nuts/trail mix, power bars, granola bars, dried fruit.
3. Don’t Overbuy Out Of Fear
Hurricanes or any natural disaster has the effect of people over buying due to fear because we are worried “how long will are area potentially be out of power?” and that fear makes us overbuy items we might not use or they will go bad before they are able to use them.
Keep your feelings of panic in check by starting as stockpile now so that you will be calm and only need to fill in the missing items instead of overbuying out of fear.
4. Pre-Planning Is The Key
I want you to think about a “Couponer Mentality” which is preparing now for later. For example:
- No Need To Purchase Water – Instead of buying bottled water, fill several containers before the storm is even near your area which will save you over $100 in bottled water. We filled any entertaining water containers (pictured above sitting on my counter, they are actually called a “Beverage Dispenser“), 5-Gallon sports coolers (you know the gatorade ones with the spout), all our rubbermaid containers we use to store food, sports bottles, 2 liter soda bottles, every pitcher in the house and even some lidded pots and pans.
- Cook Meat In Advance – We also cooked several meals in advance, in case we lost power, we wanted to have meat already cooked that we only needed to heat up so we would not have to use our propane grill saving time and propane.
- Wash All Your Laundry – Washing all your laundry and sorting out your old clothes and towels will help you have quick access to use and potentially throw them away if you lost power or ripped them while cleaning up from the storm. If you have no power, the last thing you want to do is dig through your clothing closet for your “work clothes”. Have it out and ready. Same thing with towels, get out the ripped or holey ones that are about to be turned into dust rags in order to be ready to use them to mop up messes.
Check out my specific list of items I had in my hurricane stockpile here to see how I specifically prepared for the storm.
Couponing is a way of stretching your budget and purchasing items when they are at the lowest price, buy at the low price for the future and save on your budget.
I was very lucky and spared any physical damage to my house, my family was blessed due to couponing because we had everything we needed before the storm.