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Top 5 Excuses for Not Preparing for an Emergency

5) "I'll just use the water in my water heater."

While you technically can get drinking water from your water heater, it may not be the best option. Unless you bought your water heater within the last few years, it probably has a fair amount of rust built up inside. It will add a little character to the flavor, no doubt. But, it may not be the best thing for your health. Also, if you aren't using a lot of hot water each day, most of the water just sits there at a warm temperature. That makes a great setting for bacteria to thrive. So, if you plan on drinking from the water heater, you should prepare by getting a good water filter.

Don't get me wrong, the water heater is a clever backup plan, but there are more practical alternatives you should consider first. One option is to get some water storage barrels. You know those blue 55-gallon things? Those are great. Some of them are even BPA free. Just don't forget to buy a pump or spigot.

Another great option is a smaller, 5-gallon container. The benefit of these is that they can be stacked and moved around–even when they're full. They can also be taken with you if you have to leave your house.

4) "I've got enough food in my pantry."

You may be able to survive for a short time with what you've got leftover, but not all disasters are short-lived.

What if an earthquake, extreme weather, or riots prevented you from getting to the store for two weeks? Are you prepared to feed your family with an extra bottle of ketchup, some chips, and peanut butter?

Granted, you can get pretty creative with your pantry supply–especially if you have enough flour. However, this may become tricky if you don't have electricity to use the oven. This is when you'll be glad you have some "just add water" meals stocked up. The convenience alone makes it worth the price, but it also provides your family with good nutrition.

That's why we look at food storage as an investment, not an expense.

3) "The economy is going to get better."

Economies go up and down all the time, but just because it's down doesn't mean it will immediately go back up. It may stay down for an extended period, and you never know what kind of impact it will have on you and your family during that time. Also, just because it's going up doesn't mean it will keep going up.

Recessions and depressions mean economic uncertainty. Professional forecasters can base their opinions off of various financial data, but at the end of the day, many of them are just guessing. It's like forecasting the weather, except economies are affected by people's emotions, making them even less predictable.

We really don't know for certain how long each recession will last, so why not prepare just in case?

2) "That wouldn't happen in America."

Well, it has before. This familiar picture below reminds us of one such time.

At the beginning of the 2008 recession, a crime wave swept across my neighborhood. People who had left their garages open (and some who didn't) were reporting missing items. What items had been stolen from their garages?


Gas cans?

Power tools?

Nope. The thieves had taken food from the freezers.

If things can get that bad during a recession, imagine how desperate people could become in a full-on collapse of society. If you don't think it could happen, just read the news.

1) "My neighbor has food storage. If there's an emergency, I'll just take his."

Well, I hate to break it to you, but if your neighbor has the foresight to prepare for an emergency, he's probably also preparing for people who will try to steal his stuff. Would you let someone walk into your house and steal food from your family? Your neighbor won't either. And your neighbor is probably willing to exercise the second ammendment.

A Note to Preppers:

I've actually heard several people use this excuse. Some were joking, but some were completely serious.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have extra money for emergency preparedness. If you do your best to prepare, not only will you help your own family, you might be able to help someone else.