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2012 Hurricane Season: Money Smart Tips and Resources Everyone Should Know

by on June 1, 2012

By Samantha Savory

June 1st marks the first day of hurricane season for the Atlantic coast and the PowerWallet team wants to help you get prepared for any possible storms without wasting your hard earned cash. For the next six months, up until November 30th, millions of Americans residing among the east coast of the U.S. should be on the lookout for potential storms, tornado’s and other natural disasters and know the best ways to be prepared for them.

 Below is a list of resources and tips you can follow this hurricane season if a fierce storm comes your way!

1. Download Hurricane for your iPhone – For a one-time fee of $3.99, track the speed, direction, pressure and distance from your location of any hurricane with this app.  This app also offers frequent text messages of the latest warning signs about storms in your area. Also, check out Hurricane HD for the iPad.

2. Start a hurricane committee in your neighborhood  – In the case of a severe natural disaster like a hurricane, talk with your neighbors and work together to reduce stress and damage.  Working with your neighbors will come in handy and save you a lot of time and money when it comes to cleaning up the aftermath of tree branches.  Also, if some people on your block have electricity and you do not; being friendly with them will come in handy! Also, if a severe hurricane comes your way, working with your neighbors will allow you all to share the responsibility of building up a stockpile of sandbags, if that action ever becomes necessary.

2. Plan ahead of time – Always look for sales on items like flashlights, batteries, bottled water and canned food even when you are just doing your regular weekly grocery shopping. The saying is true – it’s better to be safe than sorry.  And luckily, canned food items and bottled water doesn’t go bad for quite some time so if a natural disaster doesn’t come your way, you have plenty time to use them. Just make sure to not wait until last minute to rush to the grocery store to find all water and flashlights sold out or overpriced.

3. Shop at drug stores – Grocery stores and stores like Target typically charge at least 15% more for certain household items than drug stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid. Check your local drug store ads online or in the newspaper for sales on toiletry items, non-perishable food items and bottled water.  Saving money on these three essentials will make a big difference on your budget and will come in extra handy if a natural disaster hits.

4. Utilize free local services – Every city has free access to 2-1-1, a non-profit 24 hour emergency operation center that helps people in times of disaster or need. If a disaster hits your community and you have a problem in which you don’t know how to resolve, call 211!

5. Stock up on entertainment items – In the case of a natural disaster hitting your area, you may be looking at anywhere from a few days to a few weeks without power. Stock up on batteries, board games, books and toys for yourself and especially children to get through your time Internet, television and video games.

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