This morning, my roommate and I were discussing storm preparations. It all started when we commented how lucky we’ve been with power outages. We had a big storm Sunday night, and while some areas were without power for 24 hours or more, ours was back within a few hours. In previous storms (while we were still in the apartment), we also lucked out and were never without power for more than 6 hours while some people in the area went days.
We got onto the topic of supplies in case of a power outage. While we don’t have a specific “disaster” food store, we easily have enough food to keep us going for a week or more. Of course, it would be much easier if we still had water and gas so we could cook things like rice and pasta on the stove. But we’d be okay. We also keep a case of bottled water in the basement and I have a 2 person 3 day “survival kit” that has what are probably very delicious (riiiiight) food bars and water pouches. I’ve got a smaller survival kit in the car, and really should have something in the office too.
I’m fascinated by the people who manage to have a year’s worth of food stored up. For some, I know that having 3 months is part of a religious belief. I find that pretty amazing. Three months worth of water! I can’t imagine how much space that must take up. But at the same time, it’s got to be a very reassuring feeling. Not just in case of natural disaster, but also in the event of financial disaster. Of course, you have to be sure to not lose your home, but you won’t need to spend money on food.
For this winter, I need to stockpile a bit of wood. We have a wood-burning fireplace which I have no plans to use. It’s been inspected and safe to use, but I’ve found that wood fires just seem to suck the warm air and moisture from the house. I want to put in a gas fireplace, but that’s going to cost some money that I don’t have just yet. However, it makes sense to have the supplies necessary just in case we do need to start a fire. DC has had some major power outages over the past few winters, and I would prefer to not spend it freezing! Unfortunately, this also means I need to pick up a fireplace grate and some fireplace tools as well.
So that’s my next step in disaster prep. How’s your disaster prep going?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.