What does it mean to be prepared?

We hear a lot about the importance of emergency preparedness in the news today. In wake of Hurricane Sandy, many families, even some who thought that they were prepared, found themselves without basic necessities.

Family preparednessThe unexpected happens and when it does it doesn’t have to knock us completely over if we are prepared for it. Electricity goes out and we loose the food in our fridge and freezer. Job layoffs can cause a family that was once comfortable financially to wonder where their next meal is going to come from.

With 4 kids at home, one of my concerns as a mother is whether or not I’m going to be able to take care of them, regardless of the situation I find myself in.

I’m not a doomsday prepper. I have no interest in preparing for a zombie apocalypse or a nuclear bomb. Honestly, if the worst of the worst were to happen, I’d rather go out in the first wave. But — I do like to be prepared for the every day emergencies that come up in everyone’s life from time to time.

To me, being prepared takes 3 forms:

Have “food insurance” on hand. – Food is a basic necessity of life. Whether you need it because an earthquake has cut off supplies or because your bills are slightly higher this month and you need to use some of your grocery budget to pay another bill. Whatever the reason, having a store of food on hand is important for every single family.

How much you store is up to you. I aim for having a year’s supply of food on hand but since we make a habit of eating the food we store I never really know how much we have at any given time.

Dave RamseySave money for a rainy day. – We all have unexpected bills that come up from time to time. Having money saved for times when you need a little extra cash is just smart planning. You can do this be earning more money or spending less.

A good goal is to have 3 months worth of living expenses in the bank. If you need some simple tips on budgeting and family finance I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.

Educate yourself – Being educated takes many forms and I’m a firm believer that education doesn’t end when you walk out of a school building. If you were faced with an emergency, the most important thing you can do is arm yourself with information. If you have supplies on hand but don’t know what to do with them they won’t do you any good at all.

I don’t believe that we have to know everything all at once but we do need to be making steps to educate ourselves on the things that will help us provide for our family and help the people around us. Maybe this week you learn a little bit more about finance and next week you practice making a meal out of items in your food storage. Small steps make a big difference.

What does being prepared mean to you?



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