Disaster Preparedness with the Happy Hour Ladies

martinis and your money

Happy Hour 33—Disaster Preparedness

Today is the last Friday of the month and in case you are new to this blog or my podcast, on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour on my podcast where the happy hour ladies and I talk about various money topics while drinking cheap drinks! Today’s episode is unfortunately inspired by the recent weather events in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. We are talking about disaster preparedness – how we prepare for it or don’t prepare for it, best practices and how you can be prepared for anything life or Mother Nature throws your way. Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Cabernet Sauvignon from Trader Joe’s

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Meridian White Wine – Chardonnay

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Hot Chocolate because she’s pregnant!

Shannon — Deep Eddy’s Grapefruit Vodka with club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon starts the episode by throwing Tonya under the bus and asks her if she thinks about earthquake preparedness.
  • Tonya has a Red Cross backpack which is a 3-day survival backpack pre-made by the Red Cross.
  • In February 2001, Tonya experienced the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake in Seattle.
  • She was alone on the 4th floor of a 5-story building editing a video game trailer when the earthquake hit.
  • Two years later Tonya moved to Los Angeles and experienced another earthquake which caused her to purchase the Red Cross backpack.
  • Tonya advises keeping a small amount of cash in a hidden place and putting together a backpack with a change of clothes just incase you have to grab something quick.
  • Tonya and Melanie agree that they don’t normally worry about other natural disasters besides earthquakes.
  • Melanie has earthquake coverage as part of her renter’s insurance – which typically doesn’t cover natural disasters.
  • Melanie grew up in Los Angeles and remembers the 1994 Northridge Earthquake very clearly as well as other smaller ones.
  • Shannon lived in Florida for 5 years and says there were so many hurricanes and tropical storms during that time.
  • During that time Shannon says her disaster preparedness consisted of a lot of alcohol.
  • After moving to New York she experienced Hurricane Sandy.
  • Liz says she and Mr. Frugalwoods deal with natural disasters like hurricanes and blizzards in Vermont.
  • The Frugalwoods have snowshoes and a sled for their daughter(s) to help them when dealing with snow storms.
  • For the most part they are self-sufficient and are prepared if they aren’t able to leave the property for a few days.
  • They have 50 cans of food preserved in their basement at this time.
  • Shannon says the more self-sufficient you can be, the more prepared you already are for a natural disaster.
  • She added flood insurance for peace of mind after Hurricane Sandy happened.
  • Shannon says the best way to prepare for the unexpected is to prioritize saving into your emergency fund and making sure that money stays there.
  • It makes a stressful situation even more stressful if you don’t have the money to deal with it.
  • Shannon asks if any of the ladies have experience any other natural disasters.
  • Mrs. Frugalwoods lived in the Midwest when she was young where she experienced tornadoes.
  • She says the scariest thing about tornadoes is that they hop around and move quickly from one place to another.
  • The ladies debate if there are any parts of the U.S. that are natural disaster-free.
  • They all agree that Step #1 for disaster preparedness is to determine what your disaster is (natural or not) and start preparing for it by funding your emergency fund.
  • Tonya says there is a new fantastic documentary on Netflix called Fire Chasers that is about firefighters and others affected by wild fires.
  • If you or someone you know has been affected by the recent natural disasters – please let us know how we can help by posting in the Facebook group or by emailing Shannon@finblonde.com.


Shit is likely to happen, and when shit hits the fan, cash helps you clean it up much faster and with a lot less stress!


Red Cross Emergency Kits

Bug Out Bag

Wise Food 5-Day Survival Backpack

I want to hear more from you and what you love about the show as well as how I can continue to make it awesome. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to fill out my survey at financialgym.com/martinis and let me know more!


  1. Shannon, great podcast with lots of helpful tips that everyone (especially parents) should listen to! Funny that you mentioned Bug Out Bag Academy, since I did a search the other month and found their site too. You’re right that most of us don’t really think about needing to prepare until several natural disasters happen in a row. I remember feeling very unprepared last month and did so much research and shopping…and spending over $2,000+ over a three day period!

    I had others who asked me for my list to prepare for Hurricane Irma (including my brother who lives in Tampa and was not concerned until the day it changed course and the eye was supposed to be a direct hit to Tampa), but by the time they asked, it was too late. Many of the stores were out of the essentials and Amazon wouldn’t promise delivery until several days after it would hit. I’ve lived in North Carolina (Raleigh & Charlotte), California, and Illinois. I had one minor earthquake when I first moved to SF, but you’re right – because I wasn’t expecting it, there was no fear. In Chicago, there wasn’t really any major disasters except if you consider five to six months of snow and wind chills of below zero a problem. In NC, we get hurricanes and tornados, but have never really prepared before.

    To your point, I think kids change our priorities and make us want to be extra prepared. Food is probably my biggest worry, and I’m with you on not having a ton of canned goods. I discovered something a lot better through REI – the freeze dried food for camping trips. They actually taste pretty good and some brands don’t require any water to cook. Mountain House is a pretty popular brand and they do 2-day to 14-day emergency food buckets of their dried freeze packets.

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