Be Prepared!

Tuesday night, my husband and I went to bed, talking about how we were ready for something different, not just the same day-to-day stuff. Well, Wednesday morning certainly delivered! Our house flooded! Due to a clogged drain and a sink that was left on a trickle, all 3 floors in our house received damage. This was quite the adventure, to say the least!

While this may have been an absolutely devastating experience for some, I’m so grateful that my husband and I have always tried to be prepared financially. We follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, and that has saved us so many times- this being one of them! It changes an experience like this from an emergency into an inconvenience. A lot of moving stuff around and staying out of the house and keeping kids away from tools and carpet tack- but nothing we can’t handle!

This can apply to food storage as well. As we saw in March, there are no guarantees! How many of you had to go without toilet paper or yeast, or some other basic essential?

Sometimes our house floods. Sometimes, the stores can’t keep toilet paper in stock. One never wants to be caught in a situation that becomes an emergency, when it could have been avoided with a little preparation.

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and, at the beginning of October, we had our General Conference, a worldwide conference in which we listen to our religious leaders give us counsel. I felt like one thing that was commonly talked about was being prepared (for example, the church President shared this message)! I have seen the blessings many times in my life of being prepared, and this week is just one example.

Being prepared really is a way of life. You’re never “done”, it’s a way of thinking and living. And sometimes the hardest part is just getting started! It can be overwhelming when you’re first starting, so the key is to start simple- it doesn’t need to be anything grand, just take the first step!

Regarding finances, Dave Ramsey’s first baby step is to get a $1,000 emergency fund. Do anything you need to get it- sell stuff, pick up a temporary side job, do all you can to get that $1,000 as fast as you can- and then don’t touch it! It’s there for emergencies- the car breaks down, someone needs to go to the doctor- or your house floods. Eventually you’ll build up a bigger savings, but having this $1,000 cushion can be life-changing. Most emergencies are turned to mere inconveniences, and as Dave Ramsey often says, emergencies just seem to disappear when you’re financially prepared. It’s not that bad things don’t happen- it’s just that they don’t become emergencies!

Regarding food storage, ideally you want a year’s worth- but that seems like a lot to tackle at once! So again, start small! Every time you go to the grocery store, go with the mantra “one for now, two for later”. Keep an eye on sales, and buy one or two extras of things you regularly use when they go on sale. Write the dates on things so you know how fast you go through them, and make it your goal to have 3-6 months worth of food that you regularly use and won’t go bad (cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, etc). Once you have that established you can focus on more long-term storage, but having that 3 months worth of food on hand will give you so much peace of mind! This applies to other consumables such as toilet paper, diapers, and shampoo.

It’s also good to be prepared mentally. Life can throw some hard things at us. You can handle those things so much better if your mental health is in order! Read good books, meditate, establish good habits, practice daily affirmations, exercise, and do those things that will help you be your best self that you can handle the things that come your way!

Being prepared takes a little extra effort- but it is so worth it. What tips do you have for someone just starting their preparedness journey? Share with us below!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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