Prepping on $20 a Paycheck – Part 9 of 24

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Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center

This pay period we’re going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.  We recommend that with this paycheck you take your $20 and pick yourself up a prepaid phone card.  Here is why…

In almost every natural and man-made disaster one thing is almost sure to happen – the mobile phone towers quickly become over-loaded and your fancy smart phone turns into nothing but useless paper weight.  Well, not completely useless.  In hurricane Katrina one thing we did learn was that even though mobile phones were useless when it came to making telephone calls, they were still quite useful communication tools when it came to sending and receiving text messages.  Families, friends, neighbors, and public servants were still able to communicate via texting, which was an incredible blessing in such a time of despair.  This of course is a good thing to know in the event you or your loved ones end up in another unfortunate and widespread disaster.  Does that mean you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your communication needs?  Hardly.  I mean, do you really want to count on having the same “good fortune” as those who experienced hurricane Katrina.  I sure don’t.  And I’m guessing you don’t either.

The Ready Center Phone 2Here’s another thing to think about.  If and when the power goes out, everything in your house will stop working – your fridge, your lights, your air conditioning, your internet, and yes, your precious mobile service.  Not cool.  But did you know that even during power outages that land line telephones still work?  It’s true.  Land-line telephones don’t use hardly any power, the wires for the land-line telephone usually are buried underground and safe from most storms, and telephone company has installed both a backup generator and a large array of batteries in case of disaster. The batteries and backup generator mean that land-line telephones (such as pay phones) can get their power from the telephone line itself when the electricity goes out.

This is good thing to know, right?!  Well, as you’ve more than likely heard before: Knowing is half the battle!  The other half of the battle is having a plan and doing something about it – The Ready Center Phone 4Like purchasing a prepaid phone card for you Survival Kit.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to call a much needed ambulance for a neighbor or loved one?  Wouldn’t it be nice to call your family on the other side of the country to let them know you’re okay?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to call a friend who lives only an hour away to ask them to come pick you up or to bring you some much needed supplies?  The answer to all of these questions is obviously yes.  And having a prepaid phone card at your disposal can make them a reality.

The Ready Center Phone CardThen again, having a jar full of quarters can also make those situations a reality.  But do you really want to 1) plan on being able to find your jar of quarters after a disaster destroys half of your house?  2) Do you really want to count on your kids not robing you of your quarter collection between now and then?  and 3) Do you really want to have to lug that big jug of quarters around post disaster event?  Make it easy on yourself and pick up a calling card.

I found $20 prepaid phone cards at Target and Walgreens, but could not find them at Walmart or K-Mart.  Not in a $20 denomination anyways.  Both the Target and Walgreens card gave you around 350 minutes for the full $20.  Either one would provide you with more than enough talking time at your nearest outdoor pay-phone if/when disaster does strike.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Have a prepaid phone card in your Survival Kit.
  2. Make sure you know the locations 3 or more pay-phones in your local area.  In the event of a tornado, hurricane, wild fire, etc. some phones may not be accessible.
  3. Have important phone numbers written down on paper and in your Survival Kit.  Having the phone numbers in your phone will do you no good when your phone is broke, lost, or the battery is dead.

It’s as simple as that.  Get a phone card, put it in your bag, and come back again for part 9 of “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck.”


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