Emergency preparedness on a budget may sound like a fairytale for some. After all, it takes a lot of time, but most importantly, a lot of money to be prepared. Facing a disaster is not only a matter of knowledge, but it’s also a matter of resources.
Any survival book worth its salt will tell you that preparation is your first priority. Yet most of us are not quite prepared to survive. There are some loose ends here and there to the plans—loose ends that could be just enough to make the difference between life and death.
It’s all about the money
The reason for this deadly lack of preparation is simple: most survivalists cannot afford to survive. When you add up the cost of a good retreat, tools, rifles, handguns, and ammunition in proper quantities, food fur long-term storage, extra clothing, medical supplies, and properly equipped escape vehicles, the expense is staggering. For a family of five, it’s almost defeating.
As a survivalist, the first thing you have to learn is to look at a problem realistically, and without prejudice. Let’s face it, for the 40 hour-a-week survivalist, trying to prepare for total independence can be a real challenge, one that calls for your most important piece of survival equipment—your brain. The brain doesn’t cost a cent. Why wait till the bubble breaks to use it?
Rev up now to trim the fat from your budget, and increase the efficiency of your expenditures. The following basic blueprint should be regarded as a general emergency preparedness on a budget guide which you can tailor to your individual needs.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Essential Planning
The first thing you need is a realistic plan. Factors in making this plan are your spendable income, health, age, family composition, present location, and retreat location, etc.
You may say that your plans don’t call for a retreat, but whatever space on this earth you intend to occupy when disaster strikes, is your retreat. Your plan should provide for escape and evasion of hostile situations, during both the immediate panic and the long-term situation. This escape and evasion plan should be both by vehicle and foot, because vehicles can easily be disabled, and roads may be impassable.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Subsistence Survival
Your retreat plan should he multi-phase. The first phase should be subsistence level survival. It may not be much, but it can be accomplished at little cost. Once this level is in place, it can be improved periodically as time, labor and cost will allow.
The big problem is the land purchase, which will be addressed later. Anyone can plan. It may be tedious if you are inexperienced at that sort of thing, but it doesn’t cost anything more than paper, pencil and time. For ideas, you can talk to other people who have already done it. Or, if you are totally inexperienced in this matter, read various articles on our website. It provides a good basis for emergency planning. What you need is a balanced approach that will fulfill your needs.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Group Rates
You must economize these expenses in the specific order so that you can achieve the general objective. The goal must be reached, or all is lost.
One of the ways you can go about this is to start or join a group. After all, why should you pay the entire bill yourself when you can share the costs with other people and gain some valuable skills for free. The survival group, in theory at least, is the best way to go. It can be the best way in reality, too, if you take the time to do it right. The first thing that is necessary is for you to find people with whom you are compatible. Someday you may have to live and work with them. If you can’t do it now, you won’t be able to do it later.
Related reading: How To Form A Survival Group
You must plan together. Set common goals and rules that you are willing and able to accept. The advantages are obvious. Take tools, for example. As 10 individual families, you would have to buy 10 sets of tools, a considerable expenditure at today’s prices. In contrast, a survival group may have to buy only one set of tools to do the job.
This is quite a saving that is better spent elsewhere. The division of labor and individual expertise can be strong factors in deciding to join a group. Even if you start with a subsistence level retreat, 10 families building a cabin or underground shelter is a lot easier and less expensive then members of one family trying to do it all by themselves.
Another excellent reason for joining a group is to provide for a common defense. Defense could be particularly difficult when you are ill or injured. A group can be a tremendous advantage. There are also disadvantages, but a group can make your survival preparation much more practical and less expensive.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Practical Weapons
As a group or individual, you must still buy equipment. One of the foremost items in terms of expense is weapons. To outfit one family with state-of-the-art assault weapons, and what most experts concede is enough ammo, can cost about as much as a new car. This is just for openers! This doesn’t account for the large-ticket items yet.
As you can see, if you spend all your money on weapons, you may suffer badly in other areas of preparation. There is some agreement that rifles chambered for the .308 round are fairly practical for certain types of defense plans. After adding up the cost, you may decide to plan around weapons chambered for the cheaper calibers in order to provide sufficient weapons and ammunition.
Adapt your defense plans around what you can afford. The question is whether you can adequately defend your family now! If time permits, you can always upgrade the quality of your equipment, either using the equipment you have now for backup or selling it to purchase a better grade of weapons. You are better off to be prepared now and to upgrade as time, money, and priorities permit. Bade Food
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Storage
The same thinking applies to your food storage. Say your scenario is for three years. Consider freeze-dried food that possesses quality protein at 2,000 calories per day, which is necessary because of stress and/or combat. You can easily see what a burden the cost of this would be on the average person.
Gather it little by little. In the meantime, store water, wheat, powdered nonfat milk, salt, honey, dried beans, and rice plus condiments. It’s not an exciting diet, but adequate. There are several books that tell you how to provide this type of diet adequately.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Medical Supplies
The best piece of medical equipment that you can have is knowledge. Without knowledge, your equipment is useless. Many community organizations offer free basic and advanced first aid courses, including CPR training.
The next step would be to take the Emergency Medical Technician course. It may cost you, but it is one expense you will never regret. You don’t have to buy an off-the-shelf medical kit. You can save by taking these courses and have a better idea of your specific needs. Then you will be able to determine the most efficient use of your medical expenditures.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Yard Sale/Surplus
Make a list of equipment that you need. Many of these items can be found at yard sales, flea markets, second-hand stores, etc. The items are out there, so get up and go get them. This is an excellent way to obtain all the extra clothing you will need. Remember, it’s not style that counts, it’s the function. Don’t forget the extra walking shoes and boots. These go on-site, don’t leave them at home.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – U.S. Vehicles
As for vehicles, if you can afford to buy and equip a new one. It will do you more good. If you can’t afford an extra vehicle sitting at the ready all the time, try to make your family vehicle as close to what you need as possible. If you are in a group, it is possible that more than one family can use the same vehicle. If you don’t have a mechanic in your group, get one.
Don’t buy the first thing you see, take your time to shop and compare. You can get some amazingly good deals from State Government sales, local auctions, etc. Use that same ability you need to survive to complete your preparations.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Low-Cost Housing
Housing can be provided in many different ways. There are many ways to build a house with very little money. For example, there are stack log, rammed earth, stone, foam, 2×4 stack, adobe, sod, etc., all at a minimal cost.
If you live in the right area, a log cabin can be constructed. It is not the optimum structure, but it will do for starters. If you look around, there are a lot of free building materials. There are 2×4 and 2×6 lumber from places that prefabricate roof and floor joist. Bricks and old windows from buildings that are being torn down can come in handy, as can concrete block from trailer owners, with permission of course. Even tin cans can be cut at the seam, and I flattened out, to be used as shingles. Come on, use some of that ingenuity. Anyone can do it,
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – Trade
Barter is a skill that you can develop now that will serve you welt later. Nobody’s perfect. It is almost impossible for you to foresee every hardship that may come your way in a survival situation. You can make all the plans you want, and it is still possible for something to go wrong. Improper packing may have destroyed some of your food supplies. Local raccoons may teach you a lesson on the integrity of your storage facilities. You may find out the springs in your favorite rifle are not immortal. It could be bad, really bad, and you may have only one way out.
You have to plan for the unexpected. If you have planned properly, you will be able to trade for what you need. Oh sure, you may try to take what you need, but that may put a bigger hole in your plans that you anticipate. That hole may be equally hard to deal with.
Related article: The Philosophy on Bartering Post-Crisis
Barter could provide much better results. It may even provide some lasting friendships and alliances. If you’re smart, you will have layed up a good stockpile of cheap, usable items—articles that people don’t usually associate with survival, things that are common and plentiful now, that will be hard to manufacture later. Little luxuries will be much in demand. Take fire starters, for example. They are so common and cheap now that no one gives them much thought, but they will be in big demand when there are no more.
Other tradable items are safety pins, needles, thread, used clothing, socks, underwear, gloves, mirrors, nails, screws, hinges, books, games, sheets, blankets, glue, string, and many other items.
Sanitary napkins can be bought in bulk at places such as restaurant supply houses, and 50 percent of the surviving population will need them. Take a lesson from history, read about the world wars, the great depression, monetary failures, etc. Some things will surprise you. The more you learn, the better you will be able to determine what you will need for trade goods in your situation.
Emergency Preparedness On A Budget – The Big Ticket Item
Now for the big-ticket item—land. Your cost here will be determined by what type of scenario you envision, where and what you buy. You are best advised to go with a group: it is much cheaper. There is land for sale all over the country.
Decide the general area for your retreat. Then call the agents listed online for properties in that location that meet your requirements and price. Tell them what you are looking for. They may have other properties of that nature. Once you have selected the properties that sound good, go look at them. Never buy properties you have not seen.
Pay a small price to another realtor to ask questions about zoning laws, or whether or not the property will suit your needs. After all, you will probably be in a strange place, and the person who sells you the property will work for the seller not: the buyer. In a choice of this magnitude, you will need all the competent advice you can get. Once you have made up your mind that the property suits your needs and is within your price range, buy it! Don’t wait. Your other survival plans, at least a good part of them, hinge on this purchase.
Preparation for survival is nothing more than priorities. You can buy a lot of food for the price of a good set of golf clubs, or a year’s membership at the local country club. The same holds true for reloading supplies vs. the price of a new big-screen TV, especially when the old one will do. You can complete your survival plan now when it will do you some good. It’s up to you!