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Go, Corrina! Welcome. The lessons that I wish I’d better understood and acted upon at 18yo are financial preparation. It’s not sexy but underpins everything including prepping. I also personally find it very uninteresting. Basic financial knowledge for how to budget, save and invest to make those savings grow is the most advantageous at this point in your life. It will also help you not have to learn lessons the costly way (like I have). In our recent shared event of the pandemic, having savings and manageable debt as well as stores of essentials correlated to how well one weathered it (excluding one’s employment status – it was definitely a different experience with or without an income). Having said that, I’ve found that this site provides really reasonable guidance and advice on where to start: determine the most likely scenarios for you and start there – or what you’re most worried about. These may or may not be large scale disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Think when you last needed or provided help – a car’s flat tire, a minor medical need at work or school (cuts, headaches, stomach issues), needing to use the bathroom while stuck in traffic, injury while playing a sport (sprained or broken ankle, concussion), fire in the kitchen, car accident, being followed (while walking or driving). I’ve had all of these occur at some point to myself or people around me. These are also prepping opportunities that can become prepping victories (see thread here). As for how to afford what will be effective. There are a lot of recommendations in a lot of places on this site including reviews of common prep items like knives, backpacks, lights, etc. The bottom line is to put your funds towards quality and durability. One way I’ve lowered the cost is to seek used quality items from army surplus, ebay, Patagonia (yes, they sell repaired gear) and other second hand sources – sometimes free on Facebook marketplace groups or similar at my workplace. If you know the brand, model and/or size, you can usually find it if you’re patient enough.  Learning the brand/model/size takes time and effort.  I’ve done it on clothing items as well as hard goods like  multi-tools.  

I recently had a couple short power outages – The first for about 2 hours and the second  lasting about 6 hours which luckily has been about the longest in our experience at this home.  I learned a few things: I need some type of electrical supply/generation.   I didn’t know how soon the refrigerators/freezers would need emptying or supplemental energy.  Between the two events I inserted temperature monitors.  I posted about the temp monitors in another thread. I learned that without opening them, our freezers didn’t go above 32F but one got into the 20s in 6 hrs.  This was very useful information to know.  If it lasted for longer, our food stores would have been at risk.  I’ve been paralyzed on the generator decision because we have solar panels and I’d prefer to get sufficient batteries for that instead of relying on a fossil fuel I must keep resupplying from off-property. But this means I currently have nothing.   Battery backups can fail.  During the first event I learned that he battery backup connected to our gas tankless water heater wasn’t working.  Some research showed that the batteries can be replaced for about half the cost of a new unit and they are rated to last about 5 years. I did so for all of ours.   The gas tankless water heater battery backup does indeed work again after the battery was replaced. Because there’s a fan in the unit, it doesn’t last but a few hours if left activated so we power cycle it when we want to shower in a power outage. Having a gas stove and boiling water to bathe does work – large pots help.  The first event was in the morning, my husband took a cold shower and I took a shallow warm bath (with some effort).   Battery backup/UPS  power strips are sooo helpful. Our cable modem and router lasted about 4 hours. I had no estimate for how long that would be before this event. And since it’s a new battery, that’s the max it will be.    Of course my phone didn’t charge properly the previous night, so I was glad to have an extra battery backup/UPS available to do that. Could also use the battery jumper from our truck. Cellular coverage is also susceptible.  The cellular service to our phones reduced from the typical 4 bars to one.  Our closest tower must have also been affected.  In an more widespread event, local cell coverage will likely not be available.  Cold temperatures would add to the needs.  If it were cold, we would have had to bundle up and use our gas fire place and propane Mr. Heater Buddy. I’m probably going to follow Redneck’s Mr. Buddy 30000btu example as I like that it’s portable and can be used in a smaller or different room than the fireplace (sleeping in our bed). We typically don’t have the risk of freezing, but neither did Texas. If it got that cold we would have address both inside the house and figure out how to protect the pipes outside as the main from the street comes above ground then into the house. Candles are so very useful.  We had them in several places- like the bathroom and around the room we were in.  We had headlamps to get around other locations, but the candles kept the battery use down.  It was also more comfortable to have a larger area of ambient light with focused task lights.  Had this run into a second evening, I would have tried out an Aladdin oil lamp which is brighter.   How much we rely on electric kitchen appliances.  My husband apparently has forgotten that you can cook rice in a pan vs. an instant pot.  LOL!  We have a gas cooktop and a propane burner on our grill if necessary.   


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Go, Corrina! Welcome. The lessons that I wish I’d better understood and acted upon at 18yo are financial preparation. It’s not sexy but underpins everything including prepping. I also personally find it very uninteresting. Basic financial knowledge for how to budget, save and invest to make those savings grow is the most advantageous at this point in your life. It will also help you not have to learn lessons the costly way (like I have). In our recent shared event of the pandemic, having savings and manageable debt as well as stores of essentials correlated to how well one weathered it (excluding one’s employment status – it was definitely a different experience with or without an income). Having said that, I’ve found that this site provides really reasonable guidance and advice on where to start: determine the most likely scenarios for you and start there – or what you’re most worried about. These may or may not be large scale disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Think when you last needed or provided help – a car’s flat tire, a minor medical need at work or school (cuts, headaches, stomach issues), needing to use the bathroom while stuck in traffic, injury while playing a sport (sprained or broken ankle, concussion), fire in the kitchen, car accident, being followed (while walking or driving). I’ve had all of these occur at some point to myself or people around me. These are also prepping opportunities that can become prepping victories (see thread here). As for how to afford what will be effective. There are a lot of recommendations in a lot of places on this site including reviews of common prep items like knives, backpacks, lights, etc. The bottom line is to put your funds towards quality and durability. One way I’ve lowered the cost is to seek used quality items from army surplus, ebay, Patagonia (yes, they sell repaired gear) and other second hand sources – sometimes free on Facebook marketplace groups or similar at my workplace. If you know the brand, model and/or size, you can usually find it if you’re patient enough.  Learning the brand/model/size takes time and effort.  I’ve done it on clothing items as well as hard goods like  multi-tools.  

I recently had a couple short power outages – The first for about 2 hours and the second  lasting about 6 hours which luckily has been about the longest in our experience at this home.  I learned a few things: I need some type of electrical supply/generation.   I didn’t know how soon the refrigerators/freezers would need emptying or supplemental energy.  Between the two events I inserted temperature monitors.  I posted about the temp monitors in another thread. I learned that without opening them, our freezers didn’t go above 32F but one got into the 20s in 6 hrs.  This was very useful information to know.  If it lasted for longer, our food stores would have been at risk.  I’ve been paralyzed on the generator decision because we have solar panels and I’d prefer to get sufficient batteries for that instead of relying on a fossil fuel I must keep resupplying from off-property. But this means I currently have nothing.   Battery backups can fail.  During the first event I learned that he battery backup connected to our gas tankless water heater wasn’t working.  Some research showed that the batteries can be replaced for about half the cost of a new unit and they are rated to last about 5 years. I did so for all of ours.   The gas tankless water heater battery backup does indeed work again after the battery was replaced. Because there’s a fan in the unit, it doesn’t last but a few hours if left activated so we power cycle it when we want to shower in a power outage. Having a gas stove and boiling water to bathe does work – large pots help.  The first event was in the morning, my husband took a cold shower and I took a shallow warm bath (with some effort).   Battery backup/UPS  power strips are sooo helpful. Our cable modem and router lasted about 4 hours. I had no estimate for how long that would be before this event. And since it’s a new battery, that’s the max it will be.    Of course my phone didn’t charge properly the previous night, so I was glad to have an extra battery backup/UPS available to do that. Could also use the battery jumper from our truck. Cellular coverage is also susceptible.  The cellular service to our phones reduced from the typical 4 bars to one.  Our closest tower must have also been affected.  In an more widespread event, local cell coverage will likely not be available.  Cold temperatures would add to the needs.  If it were cold, we would have had to bundle up and use our gas fire place and propane Mr. Heater Buddy. I’m probably going to follow Redneck’s Mr. Buddy 30000btu example as I like that it’s portable and can be used in a smaller or different room than the fireplace (sleeping in our bed). We typically don’t have the risk of freezing, but neither did Texas. If it got that cold we would have address both inside the house and figure out how to protect the pipes outside as the main from the street comes above ground then into the house. Candles are so very useful.  We had them in several places- like the bathroom and around the room we were in.  We had headlamps to get around other locations, but the candles kept the battery use down.  It was also more comfortable to have a larger area of ambient light with focused task lights.  Had this run into a second evening, I would have tried out an Aladdin oil lamp which is brighter.   How much we rely on electric kitchen appliances.  My husband apparently has forgotten that you can cook rice in a pan vs. an instant pot.  LOL!  We have a gas cooktop and a propane burner on our grill if necessary.   


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