How to Spend Your 2020 Stimulus Check
Did COVID-19 catch you unprepared? Use your Federal Relief funds wisely and be prepared in the future!
COVID-19 has proven to be a wake-up call for all of us. Even the most prepared among us never anticipated a pandemic illness to be the cause of a major life disruption. However, it may be a blessing in disguise to give each of us that extra push we need to be self reliant and prepared for any unforeseen disruption in the future. Let’s be grateful that the Federal Government is able to provide some help (certainly it cannot always) and, more importantly, let’s be wise and use those funds to be prepared.
What do you need to be prepared for next time? Well, a checklist provided by the Red Cross is a good start. (https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html) They suggest to store at home a minimum of a 2 week supply of:
Other items they suggest include flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, sanitation and hygiene products, and some extra cash on hand. A healthy savings account should also be a primary objective to endure a 60-day window without income. These suggestions should be considered a minimum amount that you acquire as soon as you reasonably can afford to do so.
Don’t let this overwhelm you! Start where you can! A great place to start is with the food and water. Food should be non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items. The fancy freeze dried meals are wonderful, but very expensive. There are many items at your local grocery store that have a long shelf life without breaking the bank. These include rice, pasta, oats, beans, dried fruits, peanut butter, and many canned and bottled goods. Build up a reserve for 2 weeks, then grow that reserve a little each month. Perhaps set a goal to obtain one extra day’s worth of food per month, in a few years you will have a full months supply of food and growing!
Water is sometimes the most overlooked item needed in an emergency. Why store water when all you need to do is to open the tap? To answer that, simply imagine where we would all be if COVID 19 was found to be transmitted through the water supply? Living in a modern 1st world country, it is easy to overlook our vital daily dependency upon clean water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and washing. There are hundred of potential disruptions to our water supply, ranging from contaminated water to broken water lines. The Red Cross recommends storing a minimum of 1 gallon per person, per day. Water storage can be a painful process. However, there are many products out there to make it simple and cost effective. Water Prepared (waterprepared.com) is a company that is focused solely on making emergency water storage a simple and carefree process. Offering storage capacities starting as low as 55 gallons, they have a kit that is right for you. With their stackable tank design, you can grow your storage along with your food storage. Furthermore, their water treatment supplies and other storage accessories allow you to almost “fill and forget”!
COVID 19 has taught all of us the importance of having a healthy savings account, even in times of apparent personal and economic prosperity. We cannot expect that the government will or will be able to help in every emergency. Maybe COVID 19 is just what we needed to change some of our habits to be prepared for the next “rainy day”. If each of us learn from this experience, the next time we face a personal, local, or world-wide disruption, we will have the peace of knowing that we are prepared!
Be safe out there…and be wise with those relief funds!