it's supposed to be easy steps for absolute novices. they've asked me to do more in the future. Any comments would be appreciated.
Here it is. If you like it please click the link to throw the site a bone.http://www.cheapsters.org/?p=2492
Cheapster's 411 to 911 Situations
By Jeffery Cox
I enjoy preparing for alien invasions and the inevitable resurrection of human corpses as much as the next guy. It’s fun to figure out which steampunk goggles keep out zombie spit and the most effective way to stop a robot (peanut butter flicked from a spoon), but we have a while before these kinds of scenarios will be on our doorstep. In the meantime, steps should be taken to get ready for the little disasters you are more likely to encounter.
By far the best prep is to pay down debt and build an emergency fund. This probably isn’t news for the average Cheapster, so get to it!
Debt reduction is pretty straightforward: throw as much cash at those loans as you can until they are dead. Congratulations! You will have slayed your first monster.
The emergency fund will be in a few places: the bank, on you, and a cashe.
The bank is just for normal situations where access to your money is not impeded.
On you does NOT mean in your wallet or purse. $5 to $50 tucked in a shoe or money belt or key fob and for emergency use only (as in, you were just held up or lost your purse).
A cache is just a secure stash of money for when you can’t access your bank. A few hundred dollars will handle most critical emergencies. Try to have the amount you would need for about three days of living or the price of moderate auto work in your cache. Just add five bucks a week until you hit that total. Break it up and hide it in at least three different, hard to find, places. You may want to put it in zip-lock bags so it doesn’t get funky. Now forget it exists until you need it. If you ever have your debit card hacked, you will be so glad you did this. Trust me.
In the fall of 2011, winds caused a power outage in Pasadena, CA that lasted a week. Water mains blow out all the time. Would these events kill you? No, but the can make life really uncomfortable.
This is why ugly cheepo candles are great to get as a gift. Those big thick ones are good for hours of light. Get a solid plastic box and put four or five of them in there. Store it in a cool place.
Next, a bag of tea candles will cost you $5 for 100. Get some.
Buy a couple lighters and a box of matches (or start collecting packs at restaurants). You can’t have too many matches. A zip-lock is a good idea to keep them fresh, too.
Add a working flashlight and fresh batteries and you should sail through the next blackout. When the electricity goes out, you now have the opportunity to get reacquainted with the printed word.
You also need a way to cook. Cheap, gas-powered burners are available at many stores for around $15. It goes in the box, too. Now get cooking before everything in your fridge rots.
Now you are in trouble. You use way more water then you think. The common wisdom is a gallon per person per day of emergency. For a household of two with no water for three days: six gallons. But that’s just to drink. Add two more gallons for cooking, washing, and flushing the toilet. 18 gallons. Intimidating, right? Unless you feel like treating each bottle with a teaspoon of bleach, start getting a gallon of distilled water each time you go to the grocery store. Once you get it home, find some wasted space. I was able to hide 20 gallons in unused cupboards and under my sink. Try to stockpile as much as possible. Water is another thing you can’t have too much of.
The steps above can be accomplished without any special skills and fairly quickly. While the scenarios may not be as sexy as fighting off undead hoards, they will probably be something you need to deal with at some point in you life.