preparedness http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10785/all en-US 5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For (and 5 You Can Ignore) http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house-73271468.jpg" alt="flooded house" title="flooded house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Prepping&quot; is a term that defines the process of getting ready for a catastrophic event. While the word used to have a negative connotation, reserved for folks who take preparation to an extreme, many more everyday people today are using a common sense approach to mitigate damages from a variety of tragic events. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster?ref=seealso">How to Prepare Financially for a Natural Disaster</a>)</p> <p>The key to keeping your preparations realistic is to weigh the possibility of a particular event actually happening against the amount of work needed to prepare for it. Some events may almost certainly never arrive, while others could happen more than a few times during a person&#39;s life. Many are ridiculously expensive to thwart, while others require just a few dollars a week in extra supplies.</p> <h2>Realistic Preparation</h2> <p>Given the likelihood of a disaster happening, and the possibility of being ready for it, let&#39;s look first at the five disasters you should prepare for.</p> <h2>1. Catastrophic Weather Events</h2> <p>Nebraska and much of the rest of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. recently experienced what scientists have called a &quot;vortex&quot; of cold weather. Temps reached below -50 degrees F due to wind-chill, and this caused a number of issues beyond your typical cold-weather inconveniences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters?ref=seealso">Safest Cities in America From Natural Disasters</a>)</p> <p>Most Nebraskans, however, weren&#39;t caught unprepared for such an event; we are, after all, accustomed to very cold weather. The same can be said for tornadoes, which happen annually, blizzards, and drought. Each area of the country has its own pattern of weather-related extremes, but since their possibility is no surprise (only their timing and severity), you should be taking appropriate steps throughout the year to have an adequate supply of food, water, and essentials on hand for any disruptions weather may cause.</p> <p>What do we consider &quot;adequate&quot;? While it may vary according to your location, size of family, and stage in life, this basic list from <a href="http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit">Ready.gov</a> gives a good basic starting point. A bare minimum of what you would need for your basic comfort and biological needs for 72 hours is a great place to start. This will include:</p> <ul> <li>Food (and items to open, prepare, and serve it)</li> <li>Water (one gallon per person per day for drinking plus what&#39;s needed for food prep, cleaning, toileting, and washing)</li> <li>Medicines (both prescription and basic OTCs) and first aid supplies</li> <li>Sanitary supplies (diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, wet wipes)</li> <li>Communication devices (cell phones and solar or handcrank chargers)</li> <li>Radio with weather alerts (plus batteries or a means to charge them)</li> <li>Flashlight, LED lantern, or other lighting</li> <li>Basic tools (hammer, wrench, etc)</li> <li>Entertainment (cards, chargers for iPads, games, or books)</li> </ul> <p>Many pre-made kits will contain other &quot;must-haves,&quot; but only you can assess if these items are truly necessary. Putting together your own kit ensures you have only those items that are appropriate for your particular needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit?ref=seealso">6 Items to Add to Your Emergency Kit</a>)</p> <h2>2. Loss of Power</h2> <p>Most people take small steps to guard against the complications of having a power outage, and expect that they could happen during weather events. But what about those power outages that take everyone by surprise? Disruptions lasting a few minutes to a few days can happen for a variety of reasons, including freak accidents and scheduled repairs. Waiting until you&#39;re in the dark is too late to come to terms with the chance of a blackout. Stock what you need to go without power for 2&ndash;3 days, at a minimum. It likely will happen at least once every two years.</p> <p>In addition to all the items needed in the basic preparation list above, you&#39;ll need alternative ways to heat food and charge electronics. Camp stoves can be handy for this purpose, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DD6B9IK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DD6B9IK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">solar chargers</a> for a cell phone or radio can be purchased for as little as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00449U3K0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00449U3K0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">$20 online</a>. If you have access to a gasoline generator, operating one safely may be a blessing to your home and your neighbors! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-to-have-on-hand-for-power-outages?ref=seealso">20 Things to Have in a Power Outage</a>)</p> <h2>3. Loss of Income</h2> <p>Whether you lose your job, or you take a drastic cut in pay or hours, having less to live on is a reality for most everyone at least once in a career. Most established families have (or should have!) some kind of emergency fund to live on, typically three months income, but having extra essentials on hand may prove to be more useful. (Consider how affordable it may be to stock up on extra non-perishables when they are on sale versus trying to come up with an extra $100 in grocery money down the road during a layoff!) Take into consideration expenses that are slightly &quot;irregular&quot; when you save, as well. Having your annual property taxes due after losing a job can be devastating to an unprepared household. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">How to Create Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>4. Sickness</h2> <p>Whether it&#39;s a ruptured appendix or a terminal case of cancer, illness can rock the worlds of both the patient and their loved ones. In addition to added medical bills, there can be loss of income, an increase in time spent traveling for treatments, or even a major move in school or home location. Being prepared for the worst through illness can be as simple as securing extra coverage on a life insurance plan or getting your advance directive in order before you fall ill. Take time to consider the possibilities of how illness can change things, then work methodically to address each obstacle one by one &mdash; before it happens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-hit-with-a-huge-medical-bill?ref=seealso">What to Do If You Get a Huge Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>5. Fire or Flood (not Weather-Related)</h2> <p>Our family has a tendency to breathe deeply once tornado season is over. The thought of having our home (and all the contents) completely destroyed is a terrifying one, and tornadoes make it a very real possibility. But what about the other ways someone could lose their house? Fires and floods are common, as well, and can happen at any time of year and in any location in the U.S. or around the world. If you don&#39;t already have adequate insurance coverage on your abode and possessions, the time to do that is now. (But be aware; flood coverage is not automatic on home policies. Check your policy language and ensure that you have a separate plan in place.) You&#39;ll also want to take inventory of all of your belongings so that they can be replaced when it comes time for that claim.</p> <h2>Disasters You Probably Don&#39;t Have to Prep For</h2> <p>So what about those situations that aren&#39;t useful to prepare for? While there is no harm is doing some of the legwork for the following disasters (especially those steps that are identical to preparing for other disasters), spending a disproportionate amount of time and money preparing for these events may not be worth the trouble.</p> <ul> <li>Nuclear fallout</li> <li>Electromagnetic pulse (EMP)</li> <li>Collapse of the economy</li> <li>Worldwide pandemic or plague</li> <li>Zombie Apocalypse (yes, there are those who believe)</li> </ul> <p>While the possibility of these five are very real (for some of us, anyway), preparing for each one, specifically, can be costly and may not do much to help you escape the outcome. By starting small, you can be in compliance with my favorite prepping rule: prepare for what makes sense. As times change, the threats will also, but the necessities needed to survive likely will not.</p> <p>(For more information on following common sense prepping rules, I highly recommend &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616083875/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1616083875&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">The Disaster Preparedness Handbook: A Guide for Families</a>&quot; by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators">The 5 Best Generators</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-preparedness-for-your-freezer">Emergency Preparedness For Your Freezer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks disaster disaster supplies emergency emergency supplies preparedness Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:36:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1112799 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Generators http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-generators" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/generator-117957537.jpg" alt="generator" title="generator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Electricity powers most, if not all, of our important daily necessities and has become an essential resource sustaining our lifestyles, which is why when the power goes out, it can be quite distressing. Fortunately, a solution can be found in the form of an electric generator, which can help keep the power flowing in the event of a power blackout. Wise Bread is here to help you find the best generator to keep your power going with our top 5 list.</p> <h2>What Is a Generator?</h2> <p>A generator is a gas-powered machine that converts mechanical energy into electric energy, which can then be used to generate power in areas or in situations where no power is readily available. There are three main types of generators: stationary, portable, and inverter generators. Depending on the size of their wattage output, a generator can power everything from home appliances to entire houses for hours or days at a time. Inverter generators specifically provide a stable electrical current that's safer for powering delicate electronics, such as TVs and computers. Before buying a generator, it's important to consider what you intend to power with the machine to ensure that you get the most appropriate model for your needs.</p> <h2>Best 5 Generators</h2> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q0KJII/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q0KJII&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gen-kohler.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 227px; float: right;" /></a>Kohler 14RESAL</h3> <p>A top pick from Consumer Reports, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q0KJII/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q0KJII&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Kohler 14RESAL</a> is a powerful stationary generator with myriad reliable features that can power you through an extended blackout whenever it happens.</p> <p>Whether you're home or not, the 14RESAL automatically starts up immediately when the power goes out, thanks to its automatic transfer switch. From there, it can quietly generate a whopping 12,000 watts of smooth electrical power using natural gas, or 14,000 watts using propane, that can power everything in your home for virtually as long as you need it to. Its air-cooling design includes a useful low-oil shutoff feature with a warning light that helps keep the generator from overheating. The 14RESAL also comes in a corrosion-proof enclosure that effectively protects the generator from the natural elements.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q0KJII/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q0KJII&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $3,615.00 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C2LV4H8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C2LV4H8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gen-generac6237.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 229px; float: right;" /></a>Generac 6237</h3> <p>Don't let the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C2LV4H8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C2LV4H8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Generac 6237</a>'s smaller size fool you. This stationary generator is another recommended choice from Consumer Reports that is just as capable and reliable at powering your entire home in the case of a blackout and comes at a much more affordable price.</p> <p>A transfer switch and electric start mechanism allows this generator to automatically turn on when a power blackout occurs. The 6237 can generate a hearty 7,000 watts of clean electrical power on natural gas and 1,000 more watts on propane, and it can keep the power going for days. The 6237 comes pre-wired and connects to your home's existing natural gas or propane supply to automatically fuel itself, thus making the generator incredibly hassle-free and easy to operate. An automatic low-oil shutoff comes standard on this model as well for added safety.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C2LV4H8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C2LV4H8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $2,093.80 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00372TPCC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00372TPCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gen-briggs.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Briggs &amp; Stratton 30470</h3> <p>Both a Consumer Reports and Consumer Search top pick, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00372TPCC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00372TPCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Briggs &amp; Stratton 30470</a> is heavy-duty portable generator that can produce up to 7,000 watts, which many users say can easily power an entire house and is especially effective at powering well and sewage pumps too.</p> <p>This generator also comes with automatic voltage regulation, which is a nice feature that allows it to provide surge-free power to smaller electronics. Other notable features on the 30470 include an electric start mechanism that effortlessly powers on the generator and a very helpful fuel gauge and hour meter. Users have also said that this hefty generator is quite easy to move around despite its slightly bulky design.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00372TPCC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00372TPCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $879.00 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BXE9S0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BXE9S0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gen-generaclp.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Generac LP3250</h3> <p>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BXE9S0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BXE9S0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Generac LP3250</a> portable generator is a superb basic generator option that's been praised for its convenient features and impressive energy output.</p> <p>The LP3250 is fueled by liquid propane, which is more accessible and environmentally friendly than gasoline. A handy fuel tank holder is also integrated into its lightweight design, allowing you to easily transport the generator and its fuel supply as a single unit. Its 3,250-watt power supply generates enough electricity to keep several home appliances running simultaneously and can provide over 9 hours of power on just half of its fuel tank. Many users also appreciate the LP3250's surprisingly quiet performance as well as its automatic shutdown feature that triggers at low oil levels.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BXE9S0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BXE9S0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $609.00 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RWK9N2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002RWK9N2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/gen-yamaha.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Yamaha EF2000iS</h3> <p>With a 4&frac12; star average rating from over 200 customer reviews on Amazon, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RWK9N2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002RWK9N2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Yamaha EF2000iS</a> is a great choice for an inverter generator that has many users impressed by its quality performance.</p> <p>With a continuous surge rating of 1,600 watts, the quite compact EF2000iS can adequately power basic appliances and expensive electronics, but it is possible to daisy-chain two EF2000iS units together to produce more power if desired. This inverter generator is also quite the fuel workhorse, one that's capable of providing 7-10 hours of power using just a quarter of its 1 gallon gas tank, all while never sounding louder than the volume of a normal conversation. While it doesn't come with an electric start mechanism, users say that one pull of the ripcord is all it takes to get this machine up and running.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RWK9N2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002RWK9N2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $989.10 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best generators. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore">5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For (and 5 You Can Ignore)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops">The 5 Best Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-wine-openers">The 5 Best Wine Openers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Buying Guides disaster emergency generators power blackout preparedness product reviews Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:24:49 +0000 William Tran 1113808 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Items City-Dwelling Dudes Should Keep in Their Bags http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mikey_man_bag.jpg" alt="Man wearing a bag" title="Man wearing a bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every urban guy who counts on public transportation &mdash; and his own two feet &mdash; to get from point A to B knows that a good satchel is essential.</p> <p>Granted, carrying that bag around day in and day out can be a nuisance, but it&rsquo;s required, if only because we no longer have the luxury of junking up the back seat of our SUVs like our suburban buddies.</p> <p>Which type of bag you choose &mdash; backpack, one-shoulder, murse &mdash; is up to you, but the contents should remain the same: practical, no-nonsense items that can stop the bleeding, feed the beast, and help you avoid the walk of shame. Even in the rain.</p> <h3>Umbrella</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve been caught in a storm plenty of times, and it never fails that I forgot my umbrella. Frankly, that's the last thing I think to bring along when I&rsquo;m cross-checking my bag. Having learned my lesson again and again, now I keep a small pocket umbrella tucked away in the bottom of my attaché. Better safe than soggy.</p> <h3>Dining/Activity Coupons</h3> <p>This might sound silly to some, but I keep a whole slew of <a href="http://www.restaurant.com">Restaurant.com</a> gift certificates and clipped coupons from the <a href="http://www.entertainment.com/discount/home.shtml">Entertainment Book</a>&nbsp;on hand. It&rsquo;s very convenient to choose a place to eat or relax after a long day of traveling the city when there&rsquo;s 50% off or buy one, get one free at my fingertips.</p> <h3>Snacks (Non-Chocolate, Non-Crushable)</h3> <p>You&rsquo;ll save money if you pack your own snacks, because you won&rsquo;t be tempted to indulge as you pass the newsstands or convenience stores on every corner. A dollar here and a dollar there really adds up. Hard and gummy candies and other sturdy snacks (they should be able to withstand the wear and tear of travel) are also great while you&rsquo;re waiting, like in the doctor&rsquo;s office or, say, when the subway shuts down and you&rsquo;re trapped for a few hours. It happens &mdash; and you&rsquo;ll never be hungrier than in those ostensibly life-or-death first moments.</p> <h3>Pens/Pencils</h3> <p>Seems obvious, right? It is. Which might be why I pull my hair out every time I can&rsquo;t find one. The worst is when I get to the ATM to make a deposit and all the chained-to-the-desk pens are missing. Now I store five or six at a time in my bag. Gotta put that money in the bank, folks.</p> <h3>Clean Underwear</h3> <p>Two reasons: A) after the gym, and B) the morning after. We never seem to think those situations through, do we?</p> <h3>Business Cards</h3> <p>An extra stash means that you won&rsquo;t miss out on important opportunities, potential new clients, and impressing that hot guy or girl you&rsquo;ve got your eye on at the end of the bar. Think about it this way, too: You come across rather unprofessional when someone asks for a card and you can&rsquo;t come up with one. Makes you look like an amateur in a room full of power players.</p> <h3>Antibacterial Wipes</h3> <p>Roll your eyes all you want, but I promise you this is the single most important part of a properly packed carryall. I use mine after meals, when I&rsquo;m sweaty, and to sanitize after a subway ride, among other things; they instantly make me feel fresh and clean when no restroom is available to wash up. I buy mine in packs of five 48-count cylinders for about $10 at my local wholesale club, but space-saving options (smaller packs) are available at your nearest convenience or grocery store.</p> <h3>First-Aid Supplies</h3> <p>You&rsquo;d be surprised how many situations require rubber gloves and Band-Aids. I&rsquo;ve been in circumstances where people are bleeding, and I often need adhesive bandages to relieve the chafing that the backs of my shoes cause when I don&rsquo;t wear socks. It&rsquo;s just good form to be prepared. Your first-aid kit doesn&rsquo;t have to take up a lot of space, either. Just throw a few necessities in a Ziploc bag and tuck it away. Hopefully you&rsquo;ll never need it, but if you do, it&rsquo;ll save the day.</p> <h3>Extra Phone Charger</h3> <p>My phone dies at the most inopportune times &mdash; like right when I&rsquo;m supposed to meet my husband at a crowded place &mdash; so I&rsquo;m sure yours does, too. It&rsquo;s the one thing that throws me into a panic because I don&rsquo;t want people to think I stood them up, or worse, that something has happened to me. Now I keep an extra USB charger in my bag, so I can plug in wherever I&rsquo;m at, and I carry a rechargeable battery to juice up even quicker. Expect your friends to pat you on the back too when you save their hides from lack of power. What a guy.</p> <p><em>What item(s) do you keep in your bag at all times &mdash; and why? Let me know in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-junk">How to Get Rid of Your Junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-in-a-big-city-on-a-small-town-budget">How to Live in a Big City on a Small-Town Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/city-shopping-finding-your-new-frugal-home">City Shopping: Finding Your New Frugal Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Organization bags city life preparedness Mon, 24 Jan 2011 00:01:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 470797 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things You Should Do Today to Prepare for a Pandemic Flu http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-a-pandemic-flu <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-you-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-a-pandemic-flu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency.jpg" alt="Emergency" title="Emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the past few years people have been telling us that it's not a matter of &quot;if&quot; a pandemic occurs, but a matter of &quot;when.&quot;</p> <p>Well, a pandemic may be upon us in the form of swine flu. Or it may not. Either way, it's a good time to review your emergency preparedness.</p> <p>There's no reason for alarm, but having previously worked on pandemic planning, I know that you'll save time and money by preparing now, instead of waiting until there is an emergency.</p> <p>Here are 15 things you should do right now to prepare yourself.</p> <h2>1. Get Extra Cash</h2> <p>I know I should have some emergency cash somewhere in my house. I used to have $200 hidden in a jar, but somehow I kept needing it for an &quot;I don't have time to stop at the ATM&quot; emergency.</p> <p>If you don't have at least a little extra cash available, swing by the ATM today.</p> <h2>2. Hoard Soap</h2> <p>The best way to protect against the flu is to <strong>wash your hands</strong>. You can't do this without soap. Alcohol-based hand wash (like Purell) also works -- just make sure it's at least 60% alcohol.</p> <h2>3. Buy Water</h2> <p>I hate bottled water. It's terrible for the environment. But let's face it: without water we can't survive. Buy a few gallons of water to store in case of an emergency.</p> <h2>4. Purchase Dried Grains</h2> <p>If your shelves are looking scarce, go buy a few packages of pasta or rice.</p> <h2>5. Procure Non-Perishable Proteins</h2> <p>Dried beans are amazing. They keep forever, are tasty, and are immensely cheaper than canned beans. Peanut butter is another favorite protein. Unless you want to be sitting in your house eating plain rice during an emergency, now is the time to buy a few other staples.</p> <h2>6. Stock up on Canned Fruits and Veggies</h2> <p>Would storing a few cans a peaches and green beans in your cabinet be so difficult? Canned fruits and veggies may not taste the best.&nbsp; But, they're cheap and they keep.</p> <h2>7. Check Your First Aid Kit</h2> <p>Do you have the basics in your first aid kit? A thermometer and acetaminophen or ibuprofen are probably the two most essential items for the flu. Here's <a href="http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/lifeline/fakit.html">the Red Cross' First Aid Kit Checklist</a>.&nbsp; Or you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26x%3D0%26ref%255F%3Dnb%255Fss%255Fgw%26y%3D0%26field-keywords%3Dfirst%2520aid%2520kit%26url%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps&amp;tag=adailyscoop-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957">buy a pre-assembled first aid kit</a>&nbsp; for about $15.</p> <h2>8. Find Your Flashlight</h2> <p>Chances are you have a flashlight, but it's tucked away in the darkest cupboard in your basement. Find it and check the batteries.</p> <h2>9. Test Your Portable Radio</h2> <p>Neither your iPod nor Pandora will help you if you don't have electricity and you need to get the latest news. You will need a portable radio with working batteries.</p> <h2>10. Make an Emergency Contact List (on Paper)</h2> <p>Again, if there is no electricity your cell phone battery will only last so long. Now is the time to get your emergency contact numbers off of your phone and write them on paper.</p> <h2>11. Stash Away Extra Prescriptions</h2> <p>If you, your pet, or anyone in your family is on a prescription medication, make sure you have 1-3 months extra supplies.</p> <h2>12. Consider Buying N-95 Masks</h2> <p>About 3 years ago my dad bought me a few <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26x%3D0%26ref%255F%3Dnb%255Fss%255Fgw%26y%3D0%26field-keywords%3Dn95%2520masks%26url%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps&amp;tag=adailyscoop-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957">packages of N-95 masks.</a> His good friend who is a doctor told him that if there was ever a pandemic these things would be gone from the shelves in a heartbeat. At the time I sort of laughed at my dad. But guess what -- I still have those masks.</p> <p>This may being going a little too far, but buying a few N-95 masks is worth thinking about. They are relatively cheap considering the mental comfort they may give you.<br /> Also note -- studies have shown they much more effective when placed on a sick person than on yourself.</p> <h2>13. Know Your Work/School's Emergency and/or Pandemic Plan</h2> <p>What is your work or school's plan in case of an emergency or pandemic? Will you be expected to work remotely? Will classes be canceled?&nbsp;Most large companies and schools have their emergency plans online -- take a look.</p> <h2>14. Understand Basic Prevention</h2> <p>To keep from getting sick practice prevention methods <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm?s_cid=swineFlu_outbreak_003">endorsed by the CDC</a>:</p> <ol> <li>Stay away from others who are sick.</li> <li>Stay home if you're sick.</li> <li>Cover your mouth when you cough.</li> <li>Wash your hands.</li> <li>Don't touch your face, nose, eyes.</li> <li>Be healthy; that is get enough sleep, drink water, eat well, and exercise.</li> </ol> <h2>15. Do Further Research</h2> <p>Take 20 minutes today to glance through some emergency preparedness websites. Even if you don't stockpile 3 weeks worth of food like they say, it's still a good idea to know what the recommendations are. <a href="http://www.ready.gov">Ready.gov</a> is a pretty solid site. And as a Minnesota resident I'm proud to say that MN's site <a href="http://codeready.org">CodeReady</a> is another top site that's applicable for people living throughout the U.S.</p> <p>Honestly, I've never been one for preparedness hype. And so far there has been no reason to panic. But the current pandemic possibility is a good reason to review your needs and your preparedness level. By doing so, you'll save yourself time, money, and anxiety in the long run.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-a-pandemic-flu">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surviving-swine-flu">Surviving Swine Flu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/economic-effects-of-pandemic-flu-in-a-recession">Economic effects of pandemic flu in a recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-money-to-track-swine-flu">Using Money to Track Swine Flu</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-preventing-swine-flu-naturally">Tips for Preventing Swine Flu Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-catching-a-cold-or-the-flu">The High Cost of Catching a Cold or the Flu</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty pandemic preparedness swine flu Thu, 30 Apr 2009 19:54:11 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 3106 at http://www.wisebread.com