The hurricane season of 2005 heightened our awareness for emergency preparedness. Preparation is the key for our peace of mind during the storm season or any emergency.
Whether we leave our homes or remain, we need to have access to papers that are vital to begin again! Originals of personal records such as birth certificates, adoption papers, citizenship records, marriage certificates, divorce documents, military service records, passports and social security cards should be stored in a fire proof safe or safe deposit box. Make a copy and store them in your disaster preparedness box. This portable box should include a list of the papers and file folders holding the papers. Other important papers to include are the original and back up copy of your driver licenses, credit/debit cards (one statement from each), banking and account information (one copy of one statement), investment information (one copy of one statement), serious medical information, a contact list in case of emergency, and copies of the items you carry in your wallet. Remember to update this every 6 months (using the time change in March and October as a reminder.)
Preparing More Than Just Papers
Other items in our home and business are important as we face an emergency. Use technology to store and transport your computer information with a portable hard drive. Your cell phone, car charger and electric phone charger should be kept together ready to travel with you as you leave home. Take along medication, a first aid kit, extra glasses, a battery powered radio or television with extra batteries and your video camera and tape. Prepare a tape of the interior and exterior of your home, with a monologue describing valuable contents. All these items can be carried in an ice chest or plastic carrier with wheels
Preparing Your Communication
As we face an emergency we also want to share our plan with our family. Be sure all family members know where emergency supplies are located. Establish a “family reunion spot” in town and out of town, as well as specific emergency contacts for this same purpose.
Being prepared makes all the difference! Get started by walking around your home, making a list and making copies of documents and papers. Purchase containers for these items and decide where these will be kept at all times. Start now and you will be ready for any emergency. For more tips on organizing, visit www.professional-organizer.com. Happy Organizing!
Visit these websites for more information about emergency preparedness:
This comprehensive site focuses on readiness for all emergencies, especially terror threats. There are pages for planning for your family, your home and business. Be sure to click on make_a_plan too!
American Red Cross
An additional general site for families to be prepared for emergencies. There are pages for general preparation, as well as documentation for financial and other records.
Locating Loved Ones
The Next of Kin Registry is a valuable tool in case of disaster. It is a free contact system to locate your family in an emergency.
Don't forget our four legged family members! These tips prepared by the Humane Society of the United States are just as important for our preparedness.
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