Be Prepared For An Emergency on a Budget – Part 1

Emergencies 1 - Budget -

It might seem difficult to prepare for an emergency when you’re on a budget. Rest assured there are various routes you can take when preparing yourself or your family and still save money. Of course, the general rule is the earlier the better (easier to spread out a budget). However, if you want to get the recommended 72 hour survival kit going at this very second, here are some tips to get you prepped and stocked.

1. Dollar Store, Dollar Store, Dollar Store

Dollar Tree’s, Dollarama’s and other discount stores like Giant Tiger and Red Apple are a great place to start for containers, carrying supplies, candles, matches and maybe even canteens. You might even find bottled water and canned food but check the quality and expiration, as that matters most (for all required supplies!).

2. Military/Army Surplus Stores

If you’re lucky enough to be near a military surplus store but have never gone in, this should be your first place to stop when preparing for an emergency. Why? It’s a double-win as you will find your supplies very cheap and in abundance, but also the in quality you want. You’ll find batteries, water-proof matches, emergency whistles, cleansing supplies, cold and hot packs, bandages, compresses & compasses – you name it. It’ll be there. It’s also a great place to find camping supplies which double as survival/emergency supplies (cookware specifically). Not sure if you live near one? Google “Army Surplus Store” + your province or city to find out.

3. Thrift Stores

Want to create sturdy bandages, make-shift tourniquets and slings? Flannel fabric and leather belts are common finds in a thrift store. They’re cheap, easy to clean and strong for those desperate but on-the-move injuries. You might also find medical bags or backpacks/duffel bags to carry your supplies in, flashlights and can-openers, too!

4. / Craigslist

Need a crank radio? What about a generator? An emergency cell phone? Take to a second-hand website like Kijiji for these items.

5. Your Grocery Store

Are you a couponer? You might want to become one while you stock your cellar/basement/garage with food supplies. Take advantage of coupons for water, zip-lock bags, canned food and kitchen supplies that operate manually (can opener, battery operated hot plates, etc). Additionally, save a lot of plastic bags for re-use to either carry items in a hurry or to help keep things dry.

6. Your Mailbox & Your Backyard

Do you get a lot of newspapers that you don’t read and put into the recycling? You might want to keep a good stock nice and dry in your kit. Newspaper makes excellent kindling for starting a fire (either inside in your fireplace or as a bon fire to cook/stay warm). Alternatively, if you have pine trees or live near a park that drops pine cones, grab a friend or a family member and go picking! Pine cones make even better kindling than newspapers for fire-starting. Make sure to keep them in a cool and dry place, though. Remember to use proper fire safety methods when using these items!

Want up to the second information? Get connected to the Government of Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Service on Twitter!

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