Tag: emergencies

Tips on Preparing for Natural Disasters!

As I am preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac to hit my area, I wanted to write this post. I live on the Gulf Coast which means hurricanes are something we have to deal with from time to time. There are always items you should have in stock, but especially during times of the year where natural disasters are more common. For us Hurricane Season starts June 1st until November 1st. No matter where you live or a natural disaster is local to your area, there are certain supplies we all should have in our house.

  • Batteries (D for flashlights and AA)
  • Flashlights, candles, lanterns
  • Bottled water
  • Non-Perishable foods (canned & boxed food)
  • First aid kit
  • Weather radio
  • Gasoline
  • Generator
  • Cash

If you have young children, then extra diapers and formula unless you nurse.

What about your house?

Always pick up items that could get blown away like lawn chairs, patio furniture, and such. Also, you might want to board up windows, or clean out gutters. It’s always a good idea to have extra towels if you need to mop up excess water or blankets.

If you know a storm is coming, then charge up your cell phones and laptops ahead of time. You will want to have a charge and texting is a great way to keep in touch with loved ones to let them know you are safe or to contact someone for an emergency.

I have a couple of small fans to run on a generator so I can at least stay somewhat cool during a power outage. I also like to wash clothes before a hurricane hits so I have clean clothes as who knows how long before I have power again. It’s a lot of little things that you forget in the midst of trying to pack up items if you decide to evacuate. Bring toilet paper with you as well as many of those essentials as you can get stuck for hours trying to leave. Know your evacuation route and maybe you can stay with family or friends that are out of the storm’s way. Also, it’s a good idea to keep your important documents in one area including insurance and such so you can grab it. I also like to bring jewelry I can’t replace (I don’t own much) and pictures with me. I have a list of things that I have to take that I can’t replace for the worst case scenario.

The main thing is stay calm, have a plan of action, and know who or how to contact someone during an emergency or extended period of a power outage.

Please share your tips on what you do to prepare before a natural disaster or even after.

Land Lines- Ditch or Keep?


In this digital age where almost everyone owns a cell phone, the question becomes, do I even need a land line?

I have a packaged bundle with Charter which recently ended. My husband and I use our cell phones much more than the house phone. Actually the majority of the people calling my house phone are those pesky telemarketers, but we still receive the occasional call from a relative who doesn’t call us often. Now that I’m back in school all day, I really rely on my cell phone more for text messages and emergency calls from my son’s school.

It seemed obvious it was time to ditch the land line. I called Charter to negotiate my rates when I was told it wouldn’t make sense for me to drop it. It would cost me more to not have it, but I felt like maybe that was part of a scheme to keep me bundled. More money in their pocket. After talking to a couple of higher-up’s, I got a great deal on a new contract and yes the land line is included. I have a great rate for all my services for two more years. It’s not terrible having the land line. It’s probably better to have it for 911 but that’s a decision everyone has to make for themselves.

I know many people are ditching their land lines so you really need to consider all the benefits or negatives like an extra bill. Sometimes it also pays to call the company and negotiate for better rates. You never know unless you try.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #32

I have really missed posting these daily tips. Today’s thrifty tip is have a well stocked pantry. This helped me tremendously after Hurricane Gustav barreled through my area. I had close to 10 gallons of drinking water, canned goods, and many other basic staples like flour, sugar, rice, baking supplies, and such. I was able to feed my family well for several days. We did leave after four days since my mom had electricity at her house. Because I was prepared, we didn’t have to panic about how we were going to eat since it took several days for grocery stores to reopen. There will always be a natural disaster anywhere you live from snow, earthquakes, hurricanes, or something else. It is always a good idea to have at least 1-2 week supply of food in your pantry.

Cold Air is a Must in This Heat!

I know many people say that cold air is a luxury but for me in this heat it’s definitely a must. I live in very humid South Louisiana so no way I could I survive these summers without my cold air in my car. I’m very frugal in many areas but having a working air conditioner is one of the things I splurge on, especially, when the temperature is 95+ on a daily basis.

The air conditioning in my husband’s truck has went out so we are definitely looking into this great site. They offer a warranty on all their parts they sell and Free Shipping! That is a great deal with the high gas prices.

When It Rains It Pours.

This past week has been a very hectic one. I’m just glad it’s over. Last Tuesday my hubby’s battery died in his truck so we replaced it. No biggie. Then Thursday evening the A/C decides to stop working. It’s getting hot here in the deep south. Luckily we have ceiling fans in pretty much every room in the house. The repair man comes over Friday and fixes it less than 5 minutes. It felt great having that cold air again. He isn’t charging us for the repair. So that was wonderful news.

My hubby calls me at lunch saying his glasses snapped in half. So poor baby has them taped with electrical tape so it looks pretty bad and a little funny. His right lens had also popped out. Of course we don’t have a back-up pair. Then our carpenter cancelled for the weekend so we have to wait yet another week to finish our porch remodel. I wasn’t too upset b/c we really need to finish it painting which we did. Hubby got his eyes checked on Sat. and we ordered him 2 pairs from ZenniOptical.com and I paid $70 for 2 pairs of memory titanium frames. These frames are bendable and titanium is supposed to be the new great material that is lightweight and last longer than stainless steel. I’ll give an update when we get them. It was just one thing after another this past week.

The Little Things Aren’t so Scary Anymore…..

Let me start off by saying that hubby & I used to be in financial straits. We slowly climbed out of that mess and am now Debt Free including the house! I don’t share this to sound like a braggart, but I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the last few years. We are still relatively young, early 30’s, so we are looking forward to really building our retirement fund.

Hubby stopped at a store on his way from work today and the truck just wouldn’t start afterwards. So he called me to let me know and even tried jumping it but no luck. He just happened to be near an auto parts store. One of the guys looked at it and told him he needed a new battery. He gets a new battery installed, and it was $70 w/ tax. Not cheap but not as expensive as a new starter or alternator. We had the alternator rebuilt about 3 years ago so he got a little worried.

A few years ago that $70 would have been a big deal to us because we really lived paycheck to paycheck. It really hurts not to have anything in savings for these little emergencies, but it really hurts for the bigger $500-1,000+ ones. I have several books that I really enjoyed reading and my two favorites are The Complete Tightwad Gazette and Total Money Makeover. They have both helped us, and as I said in my title the little things aren’t so scary once you have money saved up for them.