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  • 4 Things Everyone Should Do to Prepare for an Economic Recession

    Some economists are suggesting an economic slowdown is imminent. Others say the next one is probably a while away. Either way, it’s wise to prepare financially now for what’s to come.

    “The key to keep in mind is that anything can happen. Therefore, always prepare for any possible emergency,” said Kaylee Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah Personal Money Management Center, in an e-mail.

    Chen recommended four steps to prepare for an economic downturn: Have a savings, have necessities like food storage, learn a new skill and mentally prepare.

    Budgeting for the Recession Start saving now for the next recession.

    First, have or start a savings.

    Peter Dunn, a financial columnist for USA Today, suggested that more people have been saving since the 2008-2009 recession because they’re thinking about it. Chen said she hadn’t necessarily been seeing that.

    “People are definitely more aware of the idea of saving. However, following through and acting on it is a different situation,” she said. “I find a lot of people are still spending.”

    She suggested budgeting based on the 50/30/20 rule. Fifty percent of income should go to fixed expenses. These are expenses like a house payment and utility bills that must be paid.

    Thirty percent of income should go to discretionary expenses. These are more flexible expenses like groceries, gas, and entertainment that can be adjusted.

    Twenty percent of income should go toward investing or financial goals and saving for emergencies. Chen recommended women put 12 percent of their salary in long-term investments and men 10 percent.

    “The reality is that women live longer and make less income than men,” she said.

    She recommended people talk with a financial planner yearly.

    “They will work with you to plan for children’s college, travel, or retirement,” she said.

    The important thing is to start saving.

    “Even as small as setting five dollars aside, it’s still a start,” she said.

    Homemade Year Supply - Recession Food might be hard to come by during a recession. Prepare while you can by obtaining an emergency food supply.

    Second, keep some necessities like food storage.

    In any emergency, whether it be short-term or long-term, it’s important to recognize nobody can do everything by themselves. Therefore, one of the necessities to build is a list of resources. These can include a church or non-profit organization. It’s also useful to network to develop a list of where to go for extra help in case of job loss or other emergency.

    A column making the rounds online that was said to have been written by a man who survived Hurricane Sandy pointed out that networking is useful for many aspects of emergency preparation.

    “Quote, ‘A man with a chainsaw and knows how to use it is a thing of beauty.’”

    Learn camping skills -  RecessionThird, Learn new skills. Like chainsaw wielding.

    These can translate into side jobs for additional income. Chen used the example of a piano teacher. Secondary skills can be useful when a person is younger because it helps them faster achieve their financial goals. When a person is older and around retirement, a side job can help them with retirement savings.

    Finally, mentally prepare for bad things to happen.

    One key to mental preparedness is to get out of debt. Chen encouraged a budget or lifestyle change. Dunn suggested decreasing spending by 10 to 15 percent over time.

    “You’ll tighten the budget before you are forced to tighten the budget,” he said.

    Another is to practice caution in an investment portfolio.

    “When the market goes down, many people get scared of the market and take out their money. You do not want to buy high and sell low,” Chen said.

    KiplingerStock Market - Recession, a finance education web site, pointed out that markets quickly recover. Since 1945, the site said, markets that have lost 10 to 20 percent have rebounded in just four months on average. Bear markets, with losses of 20 percent or more, have had an average recovery time of just 25 months.

    “If you’re in middle age, consider making a portfolio less aggressive,” a Kiplinger column said. “No single sector should claim more than 5% to 10% of your holdings.”

    Very few people can affect global markets. But they can take care of themselves and their families.

    “Understand that you have no control over the economic downturn,” Chen said. “Honestly, all one can do is to wait.”

    And, she added, a person can start taking these steps even during an economic downturn.

    “It’s never too late,” she said.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Recession

  • Introducing Mountain House Multi-Day Emergency Food Supply Kits

    All KitsLet’s face it – you need to eat. It’s not only a necessity, but it’s something you actually enjoy doing! After all, what’s life without food? Sometimes, though, finding good food for an extended period of time can be difficult. Fortunately, Mountain House has developed a way to keep you fed in a simple, convenient manner that will blow your taste buds away. So without further ado…Mountain House Just-in-Case Emergency Food Supplies!

    There are many kits to choose from, but the concept remains simple. Each kit comes with a certain number of Mountain House food pouches – enough for two or more days, depending on the kit chosen. That means if you only need four days’ worth of food, all you need to get is the 4-Day Emergency Food Supply. Simple enough, right?

    But that’s just the beginning! By mixing and matching these kits, you’re able to get yourself even more days that what it says on the boxes. For example, if you need a week’s worth of food, your options include a 4-day and a 3-day, or a 5-day and a 2-day. Need food for two weeks? Why not get one of each!

    The benefit in getting different kits to reach your meal count is that each kit contains different meals than the other kits. That means each 3-day kit has the same meals for that day count. Similarly, each 5-day kit contains the same meals for that kit. So, each meal you find in the 3-day kit won’t be in the 5-day kit, and vice versa. This is especially useful if you want more variety in your food storage.

    2-Day ExplodingInside the kits are pouches of freeze-dried meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for however many days you choose. One of the perks of pouches is their small, personal-sized contents. If you’re out on a camp out, you may not want to haul around a #10 can of your favorite entrée. Pouches allow you to pack and prepare your food in convenience. By using the pouch, you can reconstitute the contents inside without even having to pour it into a separate container. This makes it so you don’t have to carry any plates or dishes around, either. Then when it’s ready to eat, the pouch is now your serving dish. Convenient indeed.

    But what about taste? After all, that was one of the very first things mentioned above as something crucial in our meals. Not to worry! Mountain House has some of the best-tasting freeze-dried food around. They have professional chefs create their meals from scratch, so you know the food you’re getting is quality. Mountain House also offers a Taste Guarantee, in which if your pouches don’t taste like they did they day they were freeze-dried in 12 years, then they will send you a replacement straight up. That’s how confident they are. Third party tests have also declared Mountain House the best of its competitors in taste, appearance, and other categories.

    If you’re looking for great tasting, convenient emergency or camping food, look no further than these Mountain House multi-day emergency food kits. Just grab a kit and you’re good to go for up to five days. Add more kits and you will have as much food as you need for as long as you need without having to figure out the math behind it all.

    Being prepared with great food can make a huge difference in your camping and hiking trips, and especially during an emergency. Mountain House makes it easy for you to continue eating flavorful, home-style meals when traditional methods of cooking are no longer available.

    Visit http://beprepared.com/just-in-case.html to get your Mountain House Multi-Day Emergency Food Supplies!

     

    What's in your ideal emergency food supply? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Prepared with Prescriptions: 5 Tips to Being Medically Prepared

    Prescription

    Karen LuBean, of East Wenatchee, Wash., remembers when her pharmacist could provide a year’s supply of her prescription thyroid medication. It cost between $250 and $300, and she kept unused medication in the freezer.

    Insurance companies usually won’t allow that anymore. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests ways you can prepare if you take medicines daily or use medical equipment.

    First, if possible, keep at least a week’s worth of medication on hand. This includes all prescription medications and anything you need for treatments.

    Here are some ways to do it.

    FEMA recommends you refill prescriptions on the first day you can do so, not when you run out. Some insurance companies will allow refills a day or two before the date on the bottle. Over time, those early and on-time refills can add up to a decent emergency supply.

    Some pharmacies will allow you to get a few days’ supply of your prescription before the insurance company’s time limit if you pay the full price. My family learned this when I accidentally destroyed a bottle of my daughter’s prescription medication. Be warned: this can get costly. We had to pay $20 a pill for an inexpensive generic drug.

    Shelly Robertson, of American Fork, Utah, can’t get an emergency supply of medication because of insurance limitations. So she keeps all her prescription medication near her front door. That way, she can quickly grab them if she must evacuate her home.

    Second, FEMA recommends you keep written copies of prescriptions, over the counter medicine and orders for medical equipment in an emergency kit. Note dosage and allergy information as well. This information is also handy when you’re seeing a new physician, have to go to an urgent care clinic, or are traveling and don’t have access to your doctor’s records. Consider keeping an electronic copy on a flash drive.

    Medicine - perscriptionThird, rotate your stock. This goes for prescription medicine and consumable medical supplies, but also for first-aid kits. Did you know that sealed alcohol-based wipes dry out after a few years? I learned the hard way. If you have a first-aid kit in your emergency supplies, update it at least yearly. Also, pay attention to prescription expiration dates. Liquid-suspended antibiotics, for example, last only a few weeks.

    It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to build a first-aid kit. Robertson buys most of hers at a dollar store.

    “I got aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, Excedrin, all those little bottles of hand sanitizer and petroleum jelly,” she said.

    She bought hard candies and throat lozenges for her children to suck on if they have colds. She found BurnFree pain relieving gel for under $5 at Emergency Essentials.

    “That stuff is like a miracle,” she said.

    Fourth, if you get routine treatment at a clinic or receive services like home health care, treatment or transportation, discuss emergency plans with your service provider. They may provide a list of backup providers.

    Fifth, remember other personal needs. If you have glasses, make sure you’ve got a backup pair in emergency supplies. If you use a hearing aid, keep spare batteries.

    If you use powered medical equipment, make sure you’ve got batteries and a backup plan. As the U.S. Department of Energy pointed out, after a disaster, you will not be highest priority of government and utilities. They’ll be getting power plants online and making sure medical facilities and first responders have the electricity they need.

    That being said, utilities can put a higher priority on restoring power to your home if they know you have a medical power need.

    It takes effort to prepare for emergencies when you have medical needs. It takes extra time to check dates on bottles; to make lists of prescription medication; to coordinate with caregivers and utilities; to rotate supplies and prescriptions. That doesn’t matter to LuBean. Since she must take her medication daily, keeping it in her emergency supplies is a “number one” priority.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - perscription

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