Updated: Dec 21, 2021
The past couple years have taught us that emergencies can strike at any time, whether it is a pandemic, a natural disaster, job loss, or any number of things that can occur. To be honest I haven't given that much thought to preparing for emergencies, but that all changed when I won Kathi Lipp's book, "Ready for Anything." I actually won 3 books (woo-hoo!) But, I opened this book, thinking I was just going to browse the chapters, but dive into Clutter Free first. Well, boy was I mistaken! Kathi really drove home the importance of being prepared for an emergency.
If you ever read her books they are chockfull of practical tips backed by biblical principles which is why I believe it resonates with so many of her readers. Being prepared for an emergency isn't just a way to take care of our family, it is also gives us margin to take care of our neighbor (hint...love thy neighbor, that little command we are supposed to live by). We are at our best when we are able to be the hands and feet of Jesus and being prepared to the best of our resources and ability helps us do just that.
As a single parent, being prepared in an emergency helps ease our anxiety. It is a practical way to do the right thing for our family especially if you are the only adult in the house! When my daughter was in Kindergarten we experienced Snowmaggden and it was insane! Our power was out and it was freezing in our home. Fortunately, we were able to walk to a hotel and get a warm room for a couple of nights. I had the reserves to get us shelter and food, but if I am being honest, I wasn't intentional about it. We could have easily been in a dicey situation if I didn't have the money to take care of us. I wish I would have had this book then!
I wanted to discuss just a few ways that Kathi's book can help get you prepped! By the way this isn't a promotion, it is just really useful information that is worth sharing! So much in so, that I am giving a copy of the book away (but more on that in a minute!)
Everything is useful in the chapters of "Ready for Anything", but here are a few of my primary takeaways:
A Five Minute Plan: This is all about pre-deciding to be kind to your future self! Think about in terms of what are some of the things you can do in the first 5 minutes of a crisis to bring the anxiety levels down. I personally also thought about it in terms of creating a plan of meeting up in an emergency, texting a code word, so that the person knows they need to answer your text immediately (especially if you have teens who are slow to answer).
Kathi also talks about it in terms of the tasks that you can assign each family member, for example, making sure the batteries in the flashlight work, taking inventory of the food, filling water jugs, etc.
Getting $100 in One-Dollar Bills: This is a simple one! Go to the bank and ask them for 100 in one dollar bills. Cash is king! Sock it away and keep it ready for when you need it. She also gives practical tips on how to save up a $100. For example, empty the change jar, or skip the coffee shop to add up those dollars!
Get to 3-2-3: Have 3 day bag, 2 weeks of a food supply, and 3 months emergency fund. She gives a list of items for your bag that you probably already have or are super doable, for example, clothes, a first-aid kit, flashlights, medication, blanket, emergency contacts, important papers, 3 days of food and water, etc.
Food Supply & Inventory: Take stock of what is in your pantry and start stocking up to have a 2 week food supply in place. She gives great tips on recipes, types of food to have in your reserves, and how to store it for any type of home. I definitely wish I would have done this when the power went out and we had to throw everything out and start from scratch, it would have given me a buffer and saved me money on dining out because the cupboards were bare.
Financial Inventory & a 3 Month Emergency Fund: Take a good hard look at your finances, and don't feel any shame about what you haven't saved, it's okay! Start from where you are. 1st calculate your living expenses (rent, mortgage, car payment, insurance, food, all the basics) and then determine the dollar amount you would need to save to live for 3 months. Kathi suggests having a baseline of at least $1,000.
This number may be daunting, but start where you are and work up to it.
Small steps =progress! This is a great time of the year to think about saving goals for 2022. Listen, I live in a crazy expensive city, so this is the first year, where I have been able to stash away some cash. I have an automatic deduction of $100 a week that goes straight to my emergency fund, and I hope to increase it (right now I have $4,000 saved and still have a few more thousand to go!) But, I have also put smaller amounts away and it adds up.
Create a Water Plan: Did you know that you should have a gallon of drinking water in reserve for each of your family members for at least 3 days, and Kathi suggests have the supply for 2 weeks.
Emergency Binder: I was so on board with this! I used to sell pintables, exactly for this reason. Having everything you need in one place is a God-send. Checklists, emergency number, evacuation maps, insurance information, all of it will give you peace of mind when your mind is racing.
Some of my own personal takeaways! I have already started working on my list and picked up a First Aid Kit from Walmart with over 140 items for $11.98! I also picked up a couple toothbrushes with toothpaste (.97 each) , 2 ponchos for rain only a buck (to keep in the car) and I have my baseline $1000 saved. I am also going to pick up a gas card to keep on hand, and I am putting a small storage box in my trunk with a flashlight, a couple blankets, and extra batteries.
There is so many more nuggets of practical wisdom that I can't share in a blogpost friends, which is why I have decided to give away a copy of this book! (A new copy, because you couldn't pry mine out my hands!) Leave a comment on why you want to this amazing book and you will be entered into the giveaway! I will announce the winner Wednesday. Again, this isn't sponsored and isn't a promotions, I just feel like you should have this book in your hands! So, leave a comment below.
I also did a podcast over at Faith, Coffee & a Kid and you can subscribe leave a comment there as well to be entered.
Leave your comment today!
P.S. I suggest everyone get a copy and give a copy to a friend!