How to Prepare for a Pandemic When You’re Broke

Prepare for pandemic when broke

I attended a symposium on poverty last year and it was a real eye-opener. I met people who every single month, had to choose to pay their rent, the electric bill, or the water bill, but not all three. That doesn’t leave much room for prepping for an emergency!

The coronavirus is slowly inching our way and you’re worried, but there’s no extra cash for supplies. So, what can you do?

Make A Plan

It’s much better to decide what you’ll do in case of an emergency before you’re in the middle of the actual emergency! Will you stay in your home or head to another location? What is your evacuation route? If you’re leaving, what will you need to take and how will you get there? What if you’re at work and have a child at home by themselves? Are there pets in the home? Where will they go in case of an emergency? Make a list of all essential phone numbers, family, doctor, etc. and pass them around. Situations change in an instant, so have a plan in place, and talk it over with everyone in the household. You’ll rest much easier.

Stock Up Now

Money is tight and you’ve got empty shelves in your pantry? Visit your food bank. Most every city has several, but there are lots of churches that collect items to give away. Ask now before things get really serious and everyone else has the same idea.

Grab Free Everything

Look for free. I know it’s crazy, but think of the free things you get routinely and you never give it a second thought. Peppermints at the checkout register of your favorite restaurant are good for an upset stomach. Matches from the bar could come in handy if the electricity goes out. Some bakery departments in grocery stores will give you free buckets. They don’t have to know it’s going to become a makeshift toilet! Pick up condiments and napkins from your favorite fast food place.

Contact Your Local Pregnancy Center

If you have young children, call your local crisis pregnancy center. Many of them keep children’s clothing, diapers, blankets, and even formula and they give them for free!

Make It Easy for People To Help

If you need money is there someone who can help? How would they get the money to you if you’re not able to leave a quarantine zone? If you have a bank account they can send you money electronically via PayPal or Venmo, or even through Facebook. It’s free to set up your account on those platforms. You just attach your debit card to the account and they can zip you money fast and easy.

Pool Your Resources

Community can be a source of survival. Make a list of what you have and what you’re lacking. Does your neighbor have what you need and vice versa? Get your plan together and divide the list. She can grab the 20-pound bag of rice and you can get the beans, etc.

Shop Smart

If you need a lot of one thing, buy in bulk. You’ll get a cheaper price per ounce that way. I’ve found that Walmart or Amazon has the best prices in this situation. Stores like Costco and Sams are great but require a membership. If I need a few things, I go to the Dollar Tree. Say you have $10.00 and need Ibuprofen. WalMart is the best buy because you can get a large bottle that will last a long time. But if you have $10.00 and need Ibuprofen, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, milk, paper, and socks – Dollar Tree is your answer.

The sad truth is that the less you have to spend, the better prepared you need to be. Girl, get going!

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