One of my most popular pins on Pinterest is a year old today… highlighting my post on Emergency Preparedness Kits. If you followed all of my posts on being prepared for emergencies last year, you know how important this work is to me, and how important I think it should be to you. And, since September is National Emergency Preparedness month, I thought it would be a great time to check in on how we’re ALL doing on being ready for when we might need it.
We all face different threats: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, wildfires, ice storms… the list could go on and on, but it’s too early for Halloween and horror stories. But we’ve all seen them on the news, and some of us have had to face it ourselves.
Our goals for being prepared for an emergency are always the same:
1) Keep everyone (people and pets) safe, healthy, and unhurt
2) Make sure our most important items and documents are safe, or at least recoverable
3) Ensure that our items of value (financial or sentimental) have some protection (can be salvaged, replaced, repaired)
The key to all of these are to have a good plan. Take some time this week and read through my old posts… and more importantly, think through YOUR plan:
– Do you and your family have an escape plan if you need to leave the house in case of a fire?
– Do you and your family have a “what happens if we need to evacuate our home” plan?
– Is there a decent “grab and go” kit prepared for each member of your family if you need to evacuate or shelter-in-place?
– Have you revisited any supplies in your kits for items that expire (medication, food, batteries) and need to be updated? Don’t forget about clothes you’ve packed in a go-bag that fit last year, but this year, maybe not so much…
– Are there spare chargers and cords that match your current electronics, not the ones you had when you built your kit?
– Did you “borrow” cash over the year from your emergency stash, and haven’t replenished the supply?
– Have you made copies of your most important documents, and saved them to a cloud-based recovery option?
If you took ONE new action to prepare for emergencies, what would it be? Here are some ideas that might resonate for you!
- Protect your memories. Spend time, or invest in a service, like through Everpresent (tell them Clever Girl Organizing sent ya!) that lets you scan and save digital images of your photos. albums and home movies.
- Revisit your insurance policies. Do they give you the replacement protection you’d need today?
- If you’ve never created a “go-bag“, consider creating a basic one.
- Put items of value in a safety deposit box, and make sure you have 2 copies of the key, placed separately and strategically for access.
- Gather your most important documents and be sure to have them together in one grab-and-go package. I like the Life-in-Case, and I wrote about it earlier this year. (Want a great deal on one? Use “CLEVERGIRL” for a 10% discount on an “original green” version, or “CLEVERGIRLUSA” for a 15% off deal on their military version!)
- Develop a list of contacts, and identify someone who lives out of town who will be your primary contact and point of coordination if you need to evacuate. Make sure you have written copies, not just rely on a cell phone or tablet list for contact.
- Build and practice an evacuation plan for your home.
- Build or add to an emergency cash stash. Remember, if credit card machines are down, or if you need to get some labor done at your house, you’ll want to have a good amount available, and smaller bills (the guy cutting the tree that’s blocking your driveway may not have change for your $100 bill).
- Don’t forget about being safe at work — emergencies don’t always happen when you’re at home. What can you add to your desk or office that will help you stay safe and reunite with your family if you need it?
- If you need to shelter in place, do you have a spot in your home designated for safe shelter? Does it need any repairs or upgrades? Make them now.
- Be sure you know where all the utility shutoffs (water, gas, electric) are in your home, and that you have the right tool at-the-ready to turn them off if you need to.
May none of you ever need any of the preparations you pull together… but please, think about how to protect yourself, your family and your home today.