How badly would a disaster affect you?

The oceans are rising, the climate is warming. Is your house — literally — in order?

No matter what we do, say scientists, the oceans are rising; anything we do to address climate change won't help until, at the earliest, 2100. And the effects of carbon emissions on the climate lag the emissions by at least 40 years and as many as hundreds of years. In a report that was ironically delayed because of Hurricane Sandy, national security experts say violent weather like Sandy could end up being more frequent, and flooding is bound to become more likely; storm activity is not likely to dissipate over the next decades. The report's lead author, John D. Steinbruner, told the New York Times, “You can debate the specific contribution of global warming to [Sandy]. But we're saying climate extremes are going to be more frequent, and this was an example of what they could mean. We're also saying it could get a whole lot worse than that.”

The best thing we can all do is prepare financially. While the worst outcomes predicted by that recent study would be impossible to protect ourselves against (global famine, failed states, wars erupting over remaining fertile land, and the like), there are things we can do in the short term to at least prepare ourselves to weather a few storms.

First: Where do you live?

If the twin punches of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have taught us anything, it is that living below sea level within spitting distance of a coastline — especially the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast, for hurricane danger, but also the Pacific Coast for tsunami exposure — is highly dangerous. While I'm quite sure that many of the residents of Rockaway Beach and the 9th Ward are, and were, without a lot of financial resources, it's also the case that housing in most coastal areas is more expensive than the equivalent housing inland. Like it says in the Bible (and I'm paraphrasing heavily but the concept is sound), better to build your house on a rock than on the sand.

If you are, indeed, one of those lucky souls who has found beautiful beachfront property, or if you live in an apartment building with sea exposures, my best advice is to move farther inland. If you're the resident of a coastal area, I know this is by far the most difficult advice to take. But, if Steinbruner and his team of experts are right, your chances of losing everything are far too high for my comfort.

No one's saying that a storm will hit in the next 30 days, and with about 20 percent of Americans moving each year, chances are you might be antsy and ready for a move before any dangerous weather strikes your neighborhood. If you are, I'd suggest, find someplace on high (and not prone to mudslides) ground.

It's not just coastal residents who should consider their address. I lived in Charlotte, N.C., in my early 20s, and one of my colleagues had the sweetest starter home… right in the flood plain. Many of the rivers and creeks had been largely paved over, but the water has a way of going where it wants to. The second time she had to put all her downstairs furniture in the Dumpster, she started looking for a new house, one on a hill.

Second: How do you heat your home?

While it's altogether possible to live without electric lights and phone chargers for weeks on end, as Sandy victims are demonstrating, heat is another matter altogether. And electricity systems can be disrupted for the wealthy on their mountaintops and the less wealthy in their riverside neighborhoods in equal measures. Relying on electric heat can be more expensive (and, thanks to all the coal power Americans still use, far worse for our descendants' chances against Mother Nature) and entirely unreliable in a power outage.

In a perfect world, you would have a high-efficiency natural-gas furnace with some ability to get it going in the absence of electricity. The problem of lighting the igniter is worth looking into, if you already have gas. Planning on redoing the heat in your home? You should think about the new high-efficiency wood stoves. They give off a lot less carbon than their forebears, and I can guarantee you they'll work the same without electricity. (This, by the way, is the top of my wish list; if I have a windfall any time soon, it's going to one of these.)

Don't live in a perfect world? Consider buying a propane heater and stocking enough propane to get you through a couple of weeks. While you're at it, a propane cook stove isn't a bad idea, either; and in post-summer sales you can usually pick one up cheap.

Third: Getting around

You probably already know I am a bicyclist, and I have to admit to feeling a sense of self-reliance when I heard about all the traffic in Manhattan post-Sandy; and how the people were taking to their bicycles. No long lines for gas for me!

But even if you would no way, no how, never trust your family on a bicycle for regular trips, it's a good idea to have a working bicycle; or at least a really great pair of walking shoes and some sturdy rubber boots for good measure — in case of emergency. You can figure out how and where you might need to go in an emergency by checking with your local disaster readiness group (another guarantee: that somewhere near you is a group of people who has thought this through). Equip yourself with whatever gas-free mode of transportation is appropriate. You never know, you might decide you want to start trying this alternative transportation once a week… or twice…

Fourth: Emergency fund

Yep. This is probably obvious. You know you should have an emergency fund. I'm working hard to develop one of my own! It's certain that a hurricane hitting your town would count as an emergency, and it could be that your regular work is interrupted — or, if you're like so many people, your paycheck comes from another state altogether, and it could get disrupted in a storm far away from home. Keep some amount of this fund (at least a few hundred dollars) in cash, where you can access it easily.

Fifth: Insurance audit

Another one you could have thought up on your own. But, it's a good idea to do an audit of your homeowner's or renter's and automobile insurance policies regularly. Lots of localities make it hard to get flood insurance, but it can't hurt to ask, and be as covered as you can in the event of a disaster. Think: you'll have to replace everything on your ground floor and basement if it floods. Everything. Even with low-interest government loans offered after disasters, that could get spendy.

Sixth: Stuff audit

I heard an interview with someone on NPR after Sandy, a man who had recently moved his wife's stockpile of stuff from a storage container to their basement to save money. Among this stuff, a collection of ornaments. These ornaments were, obviously, a complete loss.

My best advice (and here again I am not particularly well-placed to give this advice, given my love of books and my reluctance to let any of them go — but I use them! A lot!) is to not buy the stuff in the first place, or, if you have a bunch of stuff that you can't afford to store somewhere safe, perhaps it's time to put it all for sale and fund your emergency fund, or your high-efficiency wood stove fund, or whatever it is would be a better place to put your money than stuff that will be swept away or destroyed so easily.

Seventh: Food and drink

I know: most emergency preparedness guides start here. But I think you know the drill. Keep water on hand, several gallons, and replace it every few months. Stock up on enough peanut butter and crackers and dried fruit to get you through several days. I feel pretty happy about the oodles of canned fruit and jelly and tomatoes and tuna I have; but I would have to remember that, in a truly awful disaster, I would be eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon. That's where the wood stove and/or propane cook stove would come in handy.

Also remember that whatever you have in the freezer would spoil quickly if your electricity were to go out. While I wouldn't tell you to avoid using a freezer (I can't talk, what with all the beef I have down there), I would tell you to consider this as part of your calculations. You're going to have to eat it all fast, or find some brilliant way of curing or drying it, if the power goes out.

Eighth: Skills

Speaking of brilliant ways of curing and drying food: having skills like this could mean the difference between surviving for weeks without power and having to spend your entire emergency fund on restaurants and motels. There are lots of ways to gain skills in everything from making beef jerky to lighting a fire without matches to rigging a shortwave radio. While you don't need to know how to do everything yourself, it's good to find out what your close friends and neighbors can do, and develop complementary skills. Make it fun; some friends organized “Disaster Relief Trials” to simulate how we could bike emergency supplies around in an earthquake that took out most of the city's bridges. My 10-year-old is taking survival skills classes as part of a year-long curriculum that includes lots of magic and role-playing, too (and he will be our family's chief fire-starter and shelter-gatherer in an emergency).

Imagine. Come up with scenarios. Think about what might happen and how to prepare yourself. Make it fun, make it a community effort, get to know your neighbors. It's possible that preparing for a disaster could improve your life, financially, in well-being and a sense of satisfaction — even if that disaster never comes.

And if a disaster happens and you're in my neighborhood, hurry over; we may as well eat like kings and queens on the contents of my freezer while it's still good.

More about...Home & Garden, Insurance, Planning

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Karen
Karen
7 years ago

We live about 30 miles inland from Sarasota, FL (elevation ~40). We’re on 20 acres in a rural neighborhood, near but not in the flood plain of any major rivers. One of the major reasons we chose our area is that it’s relatively out of hurricane paths (we’re out of even the most extreme evacuation zone for our county) and our flood risk is so low that we pay FEMA’s lowest flood rates. We’ve also graded our land to decrease the risk that our pond could flood us. We also don’t need to worry about heating in the winter, as… Read more »

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
7 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Karen, if a big one’s headed this way, can we come crash at your place? Just kidding! =) We are 13′ 4″ above sea level (every extra inch lowered our flood insurance premiums!) and live on a small pond. Flooding is something that we were concerned about when we bought our property (we’re about 1.5 miles inland), so went around asking all the neighbors before we closed. So far, the house has been unaffected by flooding, despite a couple of very big hurricanes that passed right over this area in the last 20+ years. We know it’s a risk –… Read more »

Jon @ MoneySmartGuides
Jon @ MoneySmartGuides
7 years ago

All excellent tips. I especially like the idea of not buying a house on the coast. I have friends that talk about buying a house on the coast and I question it. Not just because of recent history, but even historically. Where I live, a storm comes by roughly every 50 years so you are pretty much guaranteed to run the risk of losing everything in your lifetime. Given the changing climate and the storms occurring more frequently, you are risking even more. I feel for the people that lost their belongings, but at least they still have their lives.… Read more »

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

It is my understanding (looking into the premise of this article) that the earth is heating naturally. So an argument towards “global warming”, “global climate change” or whatever the yearly buzz word is, that over the next few generations people can look forward to a generally warmer climate even without our supposed man-made contributions. I actually think that my offspring will enjoy some south american style weather right here in the good ole USA someday. That being said preparing for natural disasters should be at least a small thought if you live in relatively safe environment and an increasing one… Read more »

partgypsy
partgypsy
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric

Maybe it is your understanding that the earth is “heating naturally”, but it is not the consensus of scientists who have studied this issue for the last 20 years. If anything, that the change is human-caused has become more and more certain.
From IPCC synthesis report: “Most of the global average warming over the past 50 years is very likely due to anthropogenic GHG increases and it is likely that there is a discernible human-induced warming averaged over each continent (except Antarctica). {WGI 9.4, SPM} ”

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml

clara
clara
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric

ditto for partgypsy, but needed to add that the changes due to climate change are expected to be catastrophic: not a pleasant increase in ambient temperature but increased probability of severe drought induced food shortages, increase in tropical disease, catastrophic flooding events, and if not solved, ultimately a massive extinction event.

Peach
Peach
7 years ago
Reply to  clara

…which we’re already seeing. Last summer was really miserable. I’m very concerned!

clara
clara
7 years ago
Reply to  Peach

Yeah, even the world Bank and the CIA are sounding the alarm.

Steve
Steve
7 years ago
Reply to  Peach

Well – I will side on the ‘not man-made’ side with Eric… When I was in Middle School (~1972), all of the ‘climatologists’ were screaming about the impending doom of the new Ice Age that we were entering. So much for the ‘experts’ of that era. I also want to point out that the original North American residents (Indians) had recognized that the weather went in cycles – some longer than others. Plus, through recorded history in Europe, the climate has gone through cycles of extreme cold, to warmer extremes. But back to the point of the article, there is… Read more »

Cgirl
Cgirl
7 years ago

This seems a bit odd for a “get rich slowly” article. I understand the cya (cover your a&#) aspect, but still this seems–not something that I expected or want to read.

Marsha
Marsha
7 years ago
Reply to  Cgirl

I think this is a very good thing to think about if you’re interested in “getting rich slowly.” What’s the point in accumulating wealth if you lose it all because you didn’t adequately plan for disaster? It’s impossible to plan for everything that could happen, but natural disasters are more or less predictable depending on where you live.

Tina in NJ
Tina in NJ
7 years ago

We were without power from Sandy for 7 days. With a natural gas fireplace we were warm enough and we could cook on the top of our gas stove. We had topped off the tanks of both cars before the storm hit. The stuff in the freezers we couldn’t eat was so old we should have gotten rid of it long ago. We did use some old frozen turkeys to keep the milk and cheese cold in the cooler. I would add to make sure you have the right batteries for your lanterns, etc. D cells were nowhere to be… Read more »

Katherine
Katherine
7 years ago

Unfortunately, the people in public housing in NYC don’t get to decide to live further away from the coast.

Peach
Peach
7 years ago
Reply to  Katherine

There was a tv news story about one of the families living in public housing, hit by Sandy in NY, a handicapped mom who couldn’t leave due to the elevator outage, no food, no electricity, dark dangerous hallways and stairways–it was really a story of survival for her and her children. Added to that all the elderly and disabled people who were also trapped without resources. What a nightmare.

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
7 years ago

I think a lot of people think that a list like this is a good idea. And people think, “yeah, I’ll do those things, I’ll prepare.” But then they don’t. You know, becuase “everything’s okay right now. I’ll wait until tomorrow.” And of course, sometimes tomorrow is too late. Get on it, people!

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

I cannot like your comment enough! We have been after friends and family for years to get a small generator (even running 1 light makes so much difference and being able to plug in the fridge is great), a weather radio, emergency food, water, emergency thermal blankets, solar shower, alternate cooking methods, etc. and they all say “yeah yeah yeah” and do nothing about it. They were all without power for 11+ days this time.

DURING a disaster is not the time for disaster planning.

Peach
Peach
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Agreed. I think most people just don’t think it’ll happen to them.

We’re ALL at risk and need to be prepared. What’ll we lose if we never need the stuff? A few dollars. What’ll we gain if we’re prepared? Living thru it.

diane
diane
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Those things would make great christmas presents, that is how I got my fire extinguisher and emergency lanttern, I asked for it from Santa, LOL.

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie
7 years ago

I went to a talk on the economic effects of climate change that noted that Portland, OR will have the best weather in the US in 90 years or so if global warming keeps up. (So if you want your grandkids to be rich…)

Pamela
Pamela
7 years ago

I think risks are everywhere with the changing climate, not just on the coast. I mean, I agree that living right on the water or close to the coast is fraught with risk when it comes to storms. But Hurricane Irene saw serious flooding and damage in Vermont and upstate New York, where there was no ocean! I really think we need to consider the things that could happen and that are happening–the storms are getting much bigger and covering a larger area (like Irene and Sandy). They can affect you even if you’re not on the coast. We’ve got… Read more »

KevinM
KevinM
7 years ago

Global warming hysteria and survival tips on GRS? This doesn’t seem like the place for it. While some of the tips are useful as general advice (emergency funds, insurance audit), the rest of the article is fairly useless.

Moving inland to avoid hurricanes? OK, but don’t mind the earthquakes or tornados, and don’t live too close to rivers. Oh, but make sure you’re not too far from rivers or you could experience drought.

A disappointing way to start the week.

Rail
Rail
7 years ago
Reply to  KevinM

This topic is right at home at GRS. You must be newer and dont remember when Kris would have her garden articles. Besides frugality and preparedness fit hand in glove. Great topic.

Denise
Denise
7 years ago

I live in the midwest – no coastal hurricanes, etc. here. However, the constant threat of tornadoes and living almost on top of the New Madrid fault lines means a different sort of disaster could affect us. We also deal with ice/snow storms almost every winter with rural electricity outages every few weeks. We have prepped to the best of our abilities (money, physical, emotional). So far any of the disasters that have occurred (3 weeks of no power in the dead of winter)have been nothing more than an inconvience (sleeping on mattresses on the floor of the kerosene heated… Read more »

HollyP
HollyP
7 years ago

Natural gas? Really? Given Ms. Gilbert’s interest in health and the environment I’d think she’d be more concerned about the potential dangers of fracking.

Otherwise yes, it is best to be prepared. I wish FEMA would give notice that in 5 years or 10 years they will stop insuring beachfront properties.

Holly@ClubThrifty
7 years ago
Reply to  HollyP

I recently saw the documentary “Gasland” and it was a huge eye opener for me and completely changed the way that I view natural gas. Tap water is not supposed to be flammable!!!

WWII Kid
WWII Kid
7 years ago

The most important effect Sandy has had on me (as a NJ resident) is that I have had to reconsider where to retire. I no longer have any desire to live in a beachfront community anywhere on the Eastern coast. That active retirement community deep in the heart of the Carolinas is looking better and better. Although my part of the state was “lucky” in that we didn’t sustain unbearable damage and “only” had to deal with a week of no power/heat and the gas “crisis”, it has left me feeling vulnerable. My Christmas Club money will now go towards… Read more »

Jill
Jill
7 years ago
Reply to  WWII Kid

Good point about keeping a small bill cash stash at the house. When the derecho came through this area, many of the business that were able to open in our area could only do cash because the credit card machines were offline. Even though they had power, their electronic transaction provider did not.

Denise D.
Denise D.
7 years ago

Great post! I know this isn’t necessarily related to money, but every individual or family should have an emergency preparedness plan in place. Where would you take shelter in event of a tornado? Where would you evacuate your family and pets if you found your home in a hurricane’s path? Do you own a battery-operated radio in case the power goes out and cell service goes down? What about something as simple as flashlights and plenty of batteries? These situations can affect any of us, regardless of whether we live on the coast. I live in the mountains of Virginia.… Read more »

Laura
Laura
7 years ago

I agree that this is an unusual article for GRS, but I really liked it. Almost no matter where you live, there can be natural disasters, and it’s important to be prepared to take care of ourselves. Part of getting rich is being adequately prepared so that if a disaster strikes, it doesn’t wipe out everything you’ve worked so hard to save and invest in.

Carol in Mpls
Carol in Mpls
7 years ago

Living in Minnesota means tornados in the summer (yes, even in the city), and all iterations of snow in the winter. I have thought much about disaster preparedness, particularly after Katrina. With these drought conditions seeming to be ongoing (we’ve had only a day or two of rain in the past several months), a fire in the winter months is a scary thing. If the fire engines can’t navigate the city streets after a huge snowfall, the outcome is not good. I need to take additional steps of my own.

Jamie
Jamie
7 years ago

We just received our 2-person emergency survival kit for home and 1-person emergency kit for my cubicle… As a California coast resident and employee, my work requires that I have an emergency kit at work– Otherwise, I score lower on “Safety” in my annual review. I see a few commentors arguing that this topic is an inappropriate one for GRS, and I disagree wholeheartedly. Emergency Funds are accounts that you prepare in case of an emergency. We are periodically advised to invest in precious metals, in case the value of a dollar drops. Being ready for an emergency is part… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  Jamie

I’ll agree that disaster prep is an important personal finance topic, but I personally could do without the global warming editorializing.

Kate
Kate
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

In a similar way to how GRS encourages us not to have fantasies about get rich quick schemes, I think it is important for us to face facts in all arenas. Unfortunately, global climate change is a fact we have to live with. There is really no argument from any part of the scientific community. This is as helpful a piece of information as the idea that the human population continues to grow and it might have long term financial implications for us all. In the same way, it is prediction – all people could decide not to have sex,… Read more »

Tracy (the other one)
Tracy (the other one)
7 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Oops! I mean, great article, Sarah! Great comment, El Nerdo re solar panels.

BC
BC
7 years ago

This has been on my mind lately as I keep my emergency fund in an online account, so it takes 1-internet access and 2-three days to access the funds. Am thinking about moving some of it in case of a natural disaster-type emergency. Have also been lagging on getting renter’s insurance which takes about 10 minutes to do and is really affordable. In addition to what you’ve listed my emergency kit also includes crank-up radios/flashlights, and generally always keeping our cars full of gas. Unfortunately the heat in our rental is electric but it has an emergency setting where it… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago

Having many friends and relatives affected by Sandy has us deciding to get a generator that runs off our home’s natural gas line. It’s an expensive proposition that may only get used 10 to 12 hours per year (that’s about how much, on average, our power goes out here). We’re looking at just under $10,000 for the generator. My husband and I have decided we are each going to drive our cars a few more years.

I think we’ll be hearing about the stories (and babies!) that resulted from this storm for years to come.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

If you only lose power for 12 hours per year let me suggest something like a much cheaper Honda gasoline generator (about $2-3K new). Yes a gas generator is a much better and solid power plant, but unless you do welding on a regular basis it’s going to be a bit of overkill. For a $10K investment you might want to look instead at a solar electric installation that will not only supply you with sustainable backup energy but also reduce your power bill in the long term (you can sell power back to the utility while you’re not using… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Thank you. We have actually looked at solar panels. We’ve been quoted $30k! Before Sandy, I think we would’ve been ok with the gasoline generators. But the gas lines in NY and Jersey were ridiculous just a few short weeks ago. My sister called me from while sitting in line in her car and said, “I’ve been sitting in line for an hour and I’m hoping there’s a gas station at the end of it.” She wasn’t kidding. For two weeks if you saw a line, you assumed gasoline at the end of it. That day she spent 3 hours… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

It’s $30K if you want to continue living as if nothing happened, with powerline-level power to run anything you want. But you could set up a small 1000W system and cope with emergencies. Things like electric light and TV don’t require a lot of power. Even a freezer will maintain with daytime power only. If you start running toasters and coffee makers and microwaves and electric irons and hair and clothes dryers and an electric stove you’ll deplete your batteries very quickly, but if you ration your electricity during an emergency, a basic setup will keep you going for a… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Thanks El Nerdo! We’ll check it out.

Jenne
Jenne
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Yeah, I depleted a quarter-tank of gas being trapped (literally, on a divided highway) in a 2 hour traffic jam that ended… at a gas station.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago

On a different day I might have read this and said “too much paranoias,” but considering what I’m going to post tomorrow (it’s a “surprise”), I’ll have to agree– disaster will happen, will happen, will happen. If it’s not from rising oceans or global warming it will be from hurricanes or tornadoes or earthquakes or volcano eruptions or riots or epidemics or some other thing we can’t think about. No use giving in to panic, but preparation isn’t a bad thing at all.

Jennifer
Jennifer
7 years ago

I disagree that the article is not relevant to personal finance. This is one of the reasons why we keep emergency funds to begin with, why not take steps to make the needed funds that much smaller? I, especially, appreciate the occasional reminder to do more to be prepared for an emergency. I live in an area unlikely to flood; however, severe hurricanes and tornados have been known to blow through. Natural disasters should not serve as the only reminders to be prepared, since it does you no good if you lose everything first.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
7 years ago

I was in New Jersey (visiting family) when Sandy hit. To be on the safe side, we decided to leave Lakewood, New Jersey the day before the storm hit, to avoid potentially being unable to leave or without power for several days. I got a hotel room for my family in downtown Philadelphia for a few days. My wife and I went out for Cuban food. Downtown Philadelphia was largely unaffected, other than all the stores being closed for a day. We ended up staying a couple extra days, and leaving from Philadelphia rather than Newark, but all in all,… Read more »

Micah
Micah
7 years ago

I’ve tried to talk to friends about this. I consider it another form of life insurance. Don’t complain about how horrible it is when you’re caught unprepared, you chose to be that way and I only have enough for my family. We learned this during blizzards up north.

Kelly
Kelly
7 years ago

The recent disasters and having a growing family have me considering our emergency preparedness so this article was well timed for me. Independent of where you live, it’s prudent to have at least 72 hours worth of emergency supplies on hand for your family. That’s easy to say, and it’s said over and over by every emergency preparedness site but I struggled with where to start. After a few weeks of reading I decided to go at it with these priorities: Water, Food, Shelter, Information, Tools Start with water, it becomes the most critical the quickest. The guideline is a… Read more »

ImJuniperNow
ImJuniperNow
7 years ago

I want to become a “Prepper” now (maybe minus the weapons and ammo). Can anyone direct me to books or websites or even classes on this?

Pauline
Pauline
7 years ago

I think the skills is the most important part. I have 8 hens and a rooster but would be unable to slaughter them, so much for the emergency preparation! In case of a real big emergency, money shouldn’t buy much. Having reserves of gas, food, water can be a better edge against a disaster.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
7 years ago
Reply to  Pauline

If you were hungry enough, you’d figure it out.

Dar
Dar
7 years ago
Reply to  Pauline

At least you’ll have the eggs!

Peach
Peach
7 years ago

I am semi-prepared–we live on a hill, have bottled water, lots of battery-operated light and flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, etc. ALL stored in the BASEMENT, in the same room as the sump pump. So I’m moving everything, including the first aid kit upstairs.

LeRainDrop
LeRainDrop
7 years ago

April Dykman wrote a post for GRS about a year ago called, “Preparing for an Emergency.” It discusses how to create an emergency bag and a plan for the event that you have to evacuate your home quickly. The idea is that you have the necessities available and a written plan to refer to so that you’re not forced to make the critical decisions on the spot. https://www.getrichslowly.org/preparing-for-an-emergency/

Kelly@Financial-Lessons
7 years ago

I’m baffled that people are still trying to dispute the idea of global warming or as I like to call it “global climate change” due to pollution and green house gases. Its clear that natural disasters like Sandy have become more frequent and intense over the past couple of years. Saving up more money in an emergency fund for just such disasters, as well as moving farther inland seem like two of the best pieces of advice.

Eileen
Eileen
7 years ago
Rachel Jones
Rachel Jones
7 years ago

The surprising thing I find about Sandy, is that it almost universally (across party’s) made politicians realise that they are bringing disaster to their back door. AND YET, because the economy is still stuffed, the environment and sustainable energy is on the back burner?

R&D into clean energy can create jobs and help lessen the chances of more Sandys’ but it looks like no one really cares …

Bill in NC
Bill in NC
7 years ago

One can add a propane/natural gas adapter to any gasoline-powered generator.

There are websites where you can even order an efficient Honda inverter generator already adapted for tri-fuel (gasoline/natural gas/propane) operation.

After watching video of all those gasoline lines, anyone with a portable generator should make adding a propane/natural gas adapter a priority.

Jerry
Jerry
7 years ago

Sandy blew our fence down but I was so grateful for insurance because it covered it. Having it definitely leads to peace of mind.

Fred@Foxy Finance
7 years ago

I’ve always been looked at be my friends as being slightly insane for being prepared for natural disasters and end of the world events. I bought gold reserves 10 years ago held on and turned out to be a nice little earner while still keeping enough back for and end of the world currency!

ednasmiley
ednasmiley
7 years ago

I got hit by a tornado, it really helped me downsize. Miss my library the most.

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