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While the thought of natural disasters or catastrophes can be daunting, it is reassuring to have a stockpile ready so you’ll be able to take care of your family, neighbors, or others in need.

Early fall is a season of tropical storms, causing power outages, hurricanes, flooding, and evacuations. Running to the store may not be an option, so you’d be smart to have a ready stockpile of toiletries, nonperishable food, bottled water and batteries.

The end of summer is also a great time to find clearance sales on camping gear—lanterns, sleeping bags, emergency candles, first aid kits, radios, matches, and flashlights can really come in handy during disasters.

Tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, riots, boycotts, and shortages can, and sometimes do, happen. When your area is safe but others are in need, consider sending care packages of trial size items (that you got for cheap or free with coupons), toiletries, and simple lightweight foods, such as tuna pouches, dehydrated/ freeze dried meals, or trail mix.

Helpful Links:

72 Hour Kits: Emergency Preparedness on a Budget

Start Now: Build Your Emergency Kit the Smart Way

Extreme Couponing Tips: Stockpile the Right Amounts