Why Bother to Prepare for an Emergency

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Do you prepare for emergencies? If not, you should and I'll tell you why!

I know what some of you are thinking, “It Can’t Happen To Me.” and you may be right. Then again I’m pretty sure some of the residents of New Orleans said that in 2005,  resident’s of Southern Florida probably said that in 1992, I know for a fact that some resident’s of Bastrop, TX said that in 2011, (I actually heard someone say that statement, not one week before their home was burned by the wild fire that displaced many people and destroyed more homes, and more sq. miles than I can truly fathom). So when you think that it can’t happen to you, you might be right. Then again, there is always a chance some kind of disaster can leave you without water or power, leaving the roads closed so you can’t get to the grocery store, and even if you could, the trucks that supply that store may not be able to get through. So let’s look at some of the most likely things that can happen to leave you without these particular amenities.


Bastrop, Texas Wildfires 2011
Photo Credit: Wondering Cobb

Odds are it’s going to be weather or financial related. A big thunderstorm comes through and knocks out power in the summer or maybe some freak winter storm knocks the power out and freezes your pipes leaving you without water and without power. Your company decides to downsize and suddenly you’re without an income and stressed over paying the bills. How do you handle it? What can you do?

Honestly, there is no way to truly prevent these things from happening.  You can’t control the weather. You can’t control other people.  You can however, keep enough supplies to last you and your family through the clean up process and so that you’re relatively comfortable. You can save enough money to put aside to handle a loss of a job. You can stock more than a couple days worth of food. You can make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit…just in case the unthinkable happens.

When people ask me why I prepare, I tell them it’s because I’ve been there…more than once. In 2008, Iowa flooded. The town I lived in at the time kicked it all off. Had it not been for FEMA bringing in bottled water and portable potties, we’d have all be in a really bad spot. I decided right then and there that I’d never be put in that position. Then in 2014…yes, as recently as that. My family had a huge drop in income losing thousands of dollars per year. Had we not had that year of food I like to keep stored? There would have been times where we would not have eaten. I’m so grateful for that food I thought to stock up on. Because we had that selection though? We ate…and not all that differently than we normally do.

The simple truth is that you can never know what will happen. That in itself should be enough reason for you to put together a 72 hour bag or to stock up on some extra food. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. It doesn’t mean you wear a “tin foil hat.” The only thing it means? Is that you’re smart.


As the old saying goes, I’d rather have and not need…than need and not have.


Stacy Ott
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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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Stacy Ott
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