How to save money during a disaster

Saving money

Written by: Christine Hamilton

My a writer and creator. I'm a small business owner creating books, e-books, templates, designs and more.

January 14, 2024

To save money during a disaster you need to reduce your losses by preparing beforehand and using your money and resources wisely until things get back to normal.

Prior Preparation

 The impact of an event is lessened the more you prepare.  Having a plan, preparing before the event and having procedures to reduce your losses afterwards should save you money in the long term.  With reduced damage or no damage, you can save money by not having to claim on insurance thus no excess to be paid upfront and lesser fee rises hopefully.

Insurance claims take time.  You could be living in temporary accommodation or a partly damaged home for months while they sort out the claim and carry out repairs.  This may cost you more (rent, takeaway food) and disrupt your life.

 Preparing your home and yard could reduce the risk of being sued by a neighbour who got your trampoline through their back wall.  A simple check of the yard can save you money during a disaster.

Have an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit with enough food, water and resources for three to seven days will save you money by – 

  • Not having to buy expensive items that have had the price marked up due to short support
  • Having to buy the expensive item because all the cheap products have already been bought.
  • The portable kit will save you from buying takeaway on the road while you are evacuating.

If you live in a more remote area or an area that gets cut off easily you would want your emergency kit to last for weeks not days.   Remote areas are harder to get to and it takes longer to resupply than urban areas. 

Get your FREE Evacuation Kit Checklist here

Why have a hard copy of your emergency plan?

 

Having a hard copy of your emergency plan in your emergency kit gives you and your family essential information when there is no digital world.  Disasters are very stressful, and remembering the little things is hard.  You are looking back at your damaged home and your partner asks what is our insurance policy number.  It’s somewhere on your desk, but where is your desk?  Having your emergency kits in weatherproof portable boxes with a hard copy of your plan along with the important paperwork saves you a lot of heartache.

And what does your family do if you are not home or injured?  Having a hard copy makes it easy for them to look up emergency contacts, checklists, policy details and the like. 

Even if you have a digital version of the plan, print it out as a backup for when the internet is not working.  Protect your hardcopy version in a plastic sleeve or container.

Have an Emergency Plan

 Work out all the problems your area will have before anything hits.  This gives you time to build an emergency kit, prepare your home, train your family, plan your evacuation and more. 

Disasters are stressful for everyone.  People get upset, and injured and are unable to find the latest information with the power, internet and phone systems down. 

Having a hard copy in your kit saves you trying to remember important information.  Knowing how to prepare your home could lessen the damage.

Prepare your property

 

Once you have worked out what disasters affect your area you can look around your property to assess – 

 

  • Are there any loose items that can become missiles damaging your home or car?
  • What items can blow away or be stolen resulting in you needing to buy new ones?
  • Is your home structurally sound to withstand the event, if not do you have to fix it or consider early evacuation?
  • Are there any natural hazards that can damage your property such as trees near the house, grass and scrub to spread wildfires close to the property?
  • Gutters and drains are cleared of leaves and dirt.
  • What pre-event procedures do you need to perform such as taping windows, tying down bins, and the starting fire management system?
  • Raise or move items that can be affected by flooding.

Delay Activities

 

Disasters affect regions differently.  Roads can be cut, public transport can be down, services may not be available and businesses may not be open.  You may not be affected but the neighbouring community is.  Getting impatient and deciding to drive to the next town to buy something that you could wait a week or two and get locally will cost you more in fuel and travel expenses. 

 Meetings may need to be delayed for the same reason.  Workplaces may not be running at full staff levels as workers are- 

  • At home cleaning up after the event,
  • Cut off by damaged roads or public transport
  • Injured or unwell
  • Without power, they have no electronic money transactions, computers and the like.

 Prices will rise with a disaster as very few resources are available and everyone wants them.  Transport options can be limited to higher-cost providers (such as air cargo) which will drive up prices further.

Plan on living without for a while

 

With the disruption during and after a disaster, you must get used to living a bit tougher for a while if you want to save money.   Ringing up an electrician right after a storm and demanding they come over now will result in either a rejection because they are busy or a ramped-up emergency call-out fee.  If the whole power grid is down, you are wasting money trying to fix your power damage until the grid is ready to give you power.

 If you have a plan and are prepared you will have stand-in resources such as battery lighting, gas cooking, a generator and the like to make life easier until the grid returns.

Summary

Disasters affect the whole community in various ways.  We need to be patient and consider the community as a whole.  Be prepared before the event, listen for warnings and prepare your home and family to reduce the damage the event will cause.  Reduced damage means reduced insurance payouts, less replacement costs and less stress on your household.

 

Damage and disasters will occur but how you react to the event will decide how much extra money you have to pay to maintain your lifestyle.

You can buy my printed

‘Create your own Emergency Plan for Families’ workbook from Amazon or buy a downloadable PDF version here in my shop.  Just remember to print off the digital copy and put it in your kit. 

‘Create your own Emergency Plan for Individuals’ workbook from Amazon or buy a downloadable PDF version here in my shop.  Just remember to print off the digital copy and put it in your kit. 

OR buy both plan workbooks with the downloadable PDF bundle.

Get your FREE Evacuation Kit Checklist here.