Tag Archives: Emergency plan

  • Drop, cover, and hold on. According to the American Red Cross and Ready.Gov, doing these three things will protect you during an earthquake.

    On April 17th, 2014 at 10:15 a.m., our team at Emergency Essentials will practice our Earthquake Preparedness as we participate in the Great Utah Shakeout, a state-wide earthquake drill. If you followed our blog last year, you’ll know that we did this drill last April as well, and it was an eye opening experience.

    Here are a couple of tips we learned from last year’s Shakeout that can help you and your family survive an earthquake.

    1.      Practice Makes Perfect. Find out when the Shakeout is happening in your state, territory, or region, and sign up. If there isn’t a Shakeout in your area, hold a family or community drill of your own.

    2.      Learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold on.  Drop to the floor and find a sturdy desk or table to get under. If you can’t find a sturdy table or desk, the Red Cross also suggests “sitting on the floor next to an interior wall [or corner away from windows] and cover your head and neck with your arms”

    Sarah hiding under a desk

    Sarah hiding under her desk

    CAUTION: It’s safer to get onto all fours, so you’ll need enough space under your desk to do that. Once you've dropped under your desk for cover, hold onto your head.

    3.      Stay in the Building until the Shaking Stops.  If you’re told to evacuate after the quake, use the stairs and not the elevator.

    The Great Utah Shakeout: Practicing an Earthquake Drill

    Our assembly staff, evacuating the building post-quake.

    4.      Teach your family and friends what you’ve learned about earthquake safety so they can be prepared, too. You can read up on earthquake safety by checking our Insight Articles for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

    If you practice the drop, cover, and hold on technique now, you’ll know exactly what to do to keep yourself safe in an earthquake. If you live in Utah, you can begin preparing for an earthquake by joining us as we participate in the Utah Shakeout this year.

    Come in to one of our stores on April 17th at 10:15 a.m. and participate in the drill there. We’ll have free samples of our food storage items, a “readiness rally” where you can practice your prepping skills and get a chance to win a prize!

    Happy Prepping!

    ~Angela and Steph

    Sources

    http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, natural disaster, Earthquakes

  •  Setting Preparedness Goals

    “Getting Prepared” is a worthy goal in and of itself, but can be a little bit nebulous. How do you know when you’re done? Do you have a way to be sure you covered all your bases?

    There’s one easy way to be sure you get everything done that you need to do without getting burned out: Set preparedness goals. Here are four good reasons you should:

    Track  your progress

    Setting preparedness goals is a great way to see how much progress you’re making in a given time period. If you set time-specific goals, even better. Keep your goals all in one place, and sort them by preparedness category. Assign a “due date,” and as you achieve them, check off the box, knowing you’ve got one more item, concept, or skill under your belt.

    Stay focused on the most important needs first

    It’s easy to get sidetracked in your preparedness efforts—everything can seem like “the most important” based on what’s going on in the world, the things you’ve already started working on, and things your neighbors, friends, or others tell you to do. Making goals will help you focus on what will meet your needs. Let your neighbors focus on their own needs, and everyone comes out ahead.

    Pace Yourself

    Working on one or two goals at a time keeps you from running around like a crazy person, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, while somehow still feeling like you didn’t make any progress at the end of the day (week, month, etc.).

    Consistently working on the same single goal (or two) will allow you to keep up your momentum without getting burned out and throwing in the towel.

    Enjoy the Accomplishment

    This is a biggie one—especially if you’re the type that likes to check things off your list. Setting manageable goals and checking them off your list can give you that boost of motivation to keep building on the supplies and the skills you already have.

    Get the Most Out of Your Goals

    There are a few things you can go to set yourself up for success in achieving your preparedness goals:

    1)      Figure out your preparedness needs and priorities first. This will keep your goals focused and relevant to what you want to accomplish.

    2)      Write them down. This is crucial. Have a preparedness binder? Stick this in the very front, and categorize your goals so you can easily see how your efforts are preparing you to meet your needs and face certain challenges.

    No preparedness binder? Keep your goals posted in your storage room near your supplies, or keep a document on your computer, tablet, or phone.

    3)      Make yourself accountable for your goals by sharing them with family or friends who are also interested in preparedness, survival, or homesteading (or all of the above). Friends and neighbors can provide additional ideas, help, and motivation.

    4)      Set timelines for each goal—and be realistic. If your budget won’t allow you to buy a year supply of food at once, don’t set a short-term goal to get a year’s worth of food. Make that a long-term goal, and work on a week supply or a month supply first. If, however, you’re too generous with the timeline, you may lose motivation to keep working toward your goal. So strike a balance, and don’t be a perfectionist about it.

    5)      Make the goals specific enough that you’ll know when you’ve accomplished them. If you find yourself checking off a goal and saying, “Well, except for…,” then it might be best to create two or more related goals.

    Remember to Have Fun!

    Enjoy the process of getting prepared—if you’re feeling burned out, alternate “have to” goals with “want to” goals to keep your interest and your motivation high. It might be boring to chop logs into firewood, but if you follow that with an evening of cooking delicious meals over a campfire or a backyard fire pit, you’ll remember the benefits of all your hard work—and practice a useful survival skill at the same time.

     

    So, what’s next on your list of survival goals?

     

    --Urban Girl.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness

  • After 10 years of living in their home, the Zwick family cracked open the fallout shelter out back and found it fully stocked!

    After living in their home for 10 years, a Wisconsin family was surprised to find an 8' x 10' fallout shelter in their backyard—even more surprising is that it was fully stocked! Ken and Carol Zwick cracked open the shelter for the first time in 2010, revealing $1,200 worth of emergency supplies stored by the home’s previous owners who were prepping for the Cold War.

    Inside the Shelter

    The Zwick family donated the supplies to the Neenah Historical Society (NHS) in the spring of 2012. According to the NHS website, the purpose of this society is to “collect, preserve, and share the stories of [their] community.”

    We reached out to NHS Executive Director, Jane Lang, to learn a little more. We were curious about the types of preparedness supplies the people who stocked this fallout shelter considered to be important to their survival 50 years ago.

    Although 5 feet of water seeped into the shelter during its 50 years of life, the Zwick family found many of the supplies still intact. Foodstuffs and treats like Tang, Corn Flakes, and Butterscotch Bits were found among other supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, candles, clothing, bedding, tools, flashlights, and batteries (most of which were surprisingly still in good condition).

    But the previous owner didn’t stop there. Other supplies like a radio, an alarm clock, an axe, a funnel, and a phone book filled the water-tight, metal military boxes the Zwicks discovered. These World War II army surplus cases no doubt helped preserve the condition of the family’s emergency supplies.

    Emergency preparedness items from the 1960 fallout shelter as displayed at the Neenah Historical Society

    Items in your emergency supplies can range from the basics of food and water to items such as an alarm clock to help an emergency seem less like a crisis and more like daily life. One great item the previous owners added to their shelter was the phone book. Having a list of emergency phone numbers/emergency contacts is a great idea (as long as you keep it updated).

    According to Lang, one of the neatest items found in the shelter was a Geiger counter in perfect condition (still inside its box with the manual) and a “Banshee” radiation detector with its receipt. “It was fascinating to look at the contents of the shelter and see what people in 1960 were told to put into their family fallout shelters,” Lang stated.

    The Exhibit

    The NHS exhibit, “Take Cover, Neenah: Backyard Family Fallout Shelters in Cold War America” replicated the shelter found in the Zwick’s backyard. “I wanted visitors to be able to feel like they were back in the ‘60s, sitting in their own living rooms, and then leaving to take cover in their backyard shelter…so that people could get a true sense of that confinement,” Lang said.

    Lang went on to explain that in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, emergency preparation was greatly encouraged. As many visitors have toured the replicated fallout shelter and its supplies (1,500 in May and early June 2013 alone), they've wondered aloud whether we are “more or less safe [today] than we were during the Cold War.”

    Although in certain areas many people aren't as concerned about war as natural disasters, unemployment, or other emergencies, emergency preparedness is still essential. After all, Lang put it perfectly: “Human beings have always been and will always be concerned with family safety and security.”

    Currently the exhibit is closed for the winter, but will re-open in late April. The exhibit will close for good in late July this year. If you are in the area, stop by to check it out.

    If You Go:

    Cost:                            Free

    Location:                  343 Smith Street, Neenah, WI 54956

    For more information about the exhibit and when you can visit, feel free to call the Neenah Historical Society at 920-729-0244

    Update:

    A few of you have requested more photos of the fallout shelter found in Wisconsin so we found some for you! Below are photographs we found on the Internet of the Zwick family uncovering the shelter.

    Carol Zwick uncovers a 1960s fallout shelter in her backyard

    Courtesy of Daily News

    The fallout shelter behind the Zwick family's home

    Courtesy of Daily News

    Descending into the fallout shelter found in 2010

    Courtesy of Huffington Post

    Inside the 1960s fallout shelter found in a Wisconsin backyard

    Courtesy of the Daily News

    Stored water found in a 50 year old fallout shelter

    Courtesy of Daily News

    Foodstuff supplies stocked in a fallout shelter 50 years ago.

    Courtesy of Huffington Post

    --Kim

    Sources:

    Interview with Ms. Jane Lang, Exec. Director of the Neenah Historical Society

    http://www.focol.org/neenahhistorical/index.html

    www.nydailynews.com/news/national/wisconsin-family-found-1960-nuclear-shelter-article-1.1333040

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/neenah-wisconsin-fallout-shelter-photos_n_3200757.html

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, fallout shelter, 1960, Cold War

  • How to Prepare for a Flood

    Of all the natural disasters we've talked about during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, floods are probably the most common. If you think about it, floods can be manmade disasters  (like a washing machine overflowing or a pipe bursting) or natural disasters (like overflowing river basins and heavy rainfall). Floods can even be caused by runoff from ice and snow in an area.

    Recently, snow totals in the eastern and southern United States have dramatically increased. And as snowfall increases, so do snowpack levels for the area. In fact, it's anticipated that in the great lakes region a large snowpack will melt this spring. The runoff from this snow pack will be so large that it could cause flooding in some areas of the region. Since snow totals have been so high in some areas of the country this winter, flooding from snowpacks may be a real possibility, giving us more reason to prepare. Keep an eye out for flooding prospects in your region by checking out NOAA's Spring Flood Outlook page.

    The water damage floods create calls for extensive clean up like we saw during the 2013 Colorado flood. And like all natural disasters, the recovery and reconstruction of an area is largely accomplished through community involvement.

    Here are several sources and personal accounts from flood survivors that can help you learn how to prepare for a flood and how to cope with its aftermath.

    Educational Resources

    What to do before, during, and after a flood

    5 Tips for Walking Around Safely After a Flood

    Personal Accounts

    Why I Prepare: Lessons from the Colorado Flood (four-part series)

    Preparing for a Once in a Lifetime Flood

    Check out  our blog and Insight Articles to learn more about preparing for the variety of disasters that can happen in your area.

    Sources

    "Snow Ice Cover Will Boost Great Lakes Levels" --http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GREAT_LAKES_WATER_LEVELS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-05-23-07-43

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, natural diasters

  •  When Disaster Hits Home--A Disaster Preparedness Guide

    Home fires, downed power lines, and winter weather can be just as deadly as earthquakes and tornadoes. It’s important to prepare for natural disasters, but our NEW Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” is a great reminder to be ready for any crisis that may strike—big or small.

    We’ve teamed up with the Deseret News to create this free guide to help our customers and readers confidently answer the question: Am I prepared for the unexpected?“When Disaster Hits Home” can teach you and your family how to prepare for the unexpected in several ways. It includes helpful hints on how to …

    • Stay safe and prevent home fires
    • Prepare for floods (did you know floods are the most common natural disaster?)
    • Get the entire family involved in preparedness (It even includes a preparedness activity sheet for kids)
    • Build an emergency kit for school, work, home, cars, and pets
    • Survive in your car in freezing temperatures
    • Provide the basics of survival (food, water, shelter, and warmth) during an emergency

    This 12-page feature is a great resource for getting prepared whether you’re a seasoned prepper or new to emergency preparedness. “When Disaster Hits Home” will teach you things you may not have known about preparation, and statistics about natural disasters and unexpected emergencies that happen in the U.S. It even offers personal stories from people who have lived through unexpected disasters.

    Check out our new Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” online or, if you live in Utah, you can pick up a printed copy at one of our stores.  The demand for printed copies of our Disaster Guide was so high that we no longer have printed copies. If you would like to  print or download a copy, you can go to  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/16e9a228#/16e9a228/ and print a copy to put in your emergency supplies.  It’s totally free and full to the brim with great info.

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency kit, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, natural disaster

  • What would you do if you ran across wild animal tracks?

    It seems I just wrote a post about a family who went for a short mountain outing and ended up stuck in the snow for days. The last one happened in Nevada. This newest one happened in Idaho, and adds a chilling new element to an already frightening, if familiar, winter scenario.

    Friends Will Murkle and John Julian loaded up an SUV with their kids for an afternoon ride in the snow. When Will’s wife still hadn’t heard from them by midnight, she panicked. Turns out the group had gotten stuck in the snow and decided to walk to the nearest town for help.

    Which is when things got really dicey.

    “‘The scariest thing was when we came across fresh wolf tracks,’ Will Murkle said. ‘And we could tell wolves had been in the area recently.’”

    Not many of us would think to include bear spray or pepper spray in a car emergency kit, and even fewer of us would know what to do if we were to encounter an aggressive animal while stranded. The Murkle-Julian party got lucky—the tracks were as much of the wolves as they saw. So as not to rely on luck, however, here are a couple of resources to help us all avoid being eaten (or—more likely—just attacked) in an emergency situation.

    • Alaska knows a thing or two about wolves. Read their Department of Fish and Game’s article, “Living With Wolves”, then check the links to the left of that article for how to deal with other potentially predatory wildlife.

    Just because you’re isolated doesn’t mean all is lost! Know how to protect yourself and your family when circumstances are worse than you thought.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Winter, preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, wildlife

  • We often talk about making an emergency plan for your family, work, or school, but how many of you have an emergency plan for traveling from your home to your emergency meeting place? Right next to the important documents in your emergency kit, make sure you save room for your Commuter Emergency Plan.

    FEMA’s National Preparedness Community recently published a Commuter Emergency Plan that you can download and print. They suggest that the purpose of this plan is to help you come up with alternate routes for “traveling between your work and home, or other commonly visited locations in case of an emergency.”

    During an emergency, your regular routes home from work or school may be blocked by traffic or debris. The purpose of FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan is to help you think about that possibility and how you can get to safe destinations (like your home) using alternative routes.

    The Commuter Emergency Plan is a well-thought-out document—it takes into consideration the different types of transportation you could use to get from point A to point B. It also asks you to think about two alternative routes you can use and gives you links to public transportation systems so you can find updates on the transit systems that are still working.

    Check out FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan below, print one out, and start thinking about the alternate routes you’d use to get to safety in an emergency.

    commuter emergency plan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, emergency preparedness

  • Learn how to plan a preparedness fair to share your knowledge of prepping with your community

    Like the proverbial elephant that must be consumed one bite at a time, planning a major event like a Preparedness Fair is best done one step at a time. Follow these simple steps for a successful fair:

    Decide the purpose of your Preparedness Fair.

    Are you trying to educate your community on the general advantages of thinking in terms of preparation? Are you hoping to encourage the employees of your company to get emergency kits to keep at work or in their cars? Or do you live in an area where severe weather is a constant threat, and you’re trying to help people prepare for that? 

    Decide who’s hosting the Preparedness Fair.

    A school, church, hospital, business, city or county jurisdiction, emergency services, or any combination thereof could participate in hosting the event. If your group is small, you may want to partner with another.

    Know your target audience.

    Will it be the general public, your church, club, or civic group, extended family, or employees of your company? The answer will dictate the size of the venue, number of presenters, and budget. If you’re trying to attract as many people as possible, you’ll need a large venue such as a community center, hospital lobby, or multipurpose room at a college. If you’re planning several presenters who will repeat their classes, you’ll want a building with classrooms as well as an open area. A local church might be ideal for that. (Remember: free is good!)

    Choose a goal or theme.

    Unless your fair is enormous, it’s usually better to have a central theme rather than trying to cover all aspects of preparedness.  Examples:

    • “Family Safety” with topics such as “Smoke and CO2 Detectors,” “Avoiding Risky Behavior,” “Hidden Dangers in Your Home,” and “Planning to Meet After an Emergency”
    • “Bringing in the Harvest” with classes on gardening, composting, fruit and vegetable recipes, and food preservation methods
    • “Making Your Own Emergency Kits” emphasizing car kits, first-aid kits, 72-hour survival kits, and baby bug-out bags
    • “Water Storage,” covering topics such as ways water can be contaminated, appropriate storage containers, and water purification techniques
    • “Keeping a Weather Eye,” with classes on earthquake, storm, fire, or flood preparedness, evacuation procedures, and how to turn off utilities.
    • For more ideas, browse our website, blog, and Insight articles.

     

    Select presenters.

    Decide if you want commercial booths and vendors or strictly informational presenters. (Remember, if your fair is hosted by a tax-exempt organization, then your presentations will need to be informational only.) Will your presenters expect pay or do it as community service?

    You could have several classes going at a time and let your audience rotate between them, plus have an informational video repeating in the main room along with several booths. Choose presenters who will be well-prepared and professional with up-to-date, practical information. Handouts are helpful. (See the “Education” tab on our website and look through our blogs and insight articles for materials you can use.)

    You may be able to get representatives from FEMA, CERT, or your local police and fire department. If you happen to be in Utah, you can schedule a representative from Emergency Essentials for your event. Just email preparednessevents@beprepared.com for information.

    Select a Crew.

    In addition to your presenters, you’ll need people to set up and take down booths, tables, and chairs; provide technical help with microphones, computers, projectors, etc.; contribute and serve refreshments; man a booth with kid-friendly activities; be greeters; and direct visitors to classrooms. Unless you can get volunteers to do these things, remember to figure staffing expenses into your budget.

    Advertise.

    Some good advertising methods are flyers, posters, community radio spots, word-of-mouth, email messages, yard signs, church or business announcements, Facebook notices, and newspaper article. Be sure all ads give the date, time, and location of the preparedness fair. Include a couple of “hooks” like refreshments or door prizes, and use the back of the flyer to detail activities and presenters.  The more people you involve in some aspect of the fair, the better your attendance will be—they’ll come and usually bring others with them.

    Good luck! Having followed the above guidelines, you should be all set to have a great Preparedness Fair. We hope your event is so successful you’ll want to do it again.

    Feedback: Have you hosted or attended a preparedness fair or expo that included some great ideas you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

    Resources for your event:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, preparedness fair

  • As you stock your safe room make sure to keep these crucial supplies on hand

    A “safe room” is a room in your house that has been built or modified to withstand an all-out assault by home invaders, whether burglars, terrorists, stalkers, or would-be kidnappers. Some are constructed to withstand high winds from hurricanes or tornadoes, or to protect against chemical or biological agents or radiation. Your safe room need not be a small, specialized hidey-hole in a secret space behind a bookcase, though some are designed that way. Your bedroom, home office, or any convenient room with a door can be made into a safe room by reinforcing your doors and windows, adding a few security enhancements, and stocking up on some necessary items.

    What are those necessary items? The things you choose to stock in your safe room depend upon the situations you are trying to protect yourself against and how long you expect to be there.

    Some basics include:

    • A phone—either a dedicated landline or a cell phone. Don’t plan to grab the cordless phone from your nightstand; it can easily be jammed or disabled. If you keep a dedicated cell phone in your safe room, remember to charge it regularly.
    • Drinking water (and cartons of juice drinks, especially if children will be there)
    • Food such as storable food bars, chocolate bars, MREs, small cans of freeze dried fruits and vegetables.
    • A portable toilet, toilet paper, and moistened wipes
    • Diapers, food, and clothing for baby if needed
    • A first-aid kit
    • Blankets and pillows for comfort
    • A change of clothing and underwear
    • A light source that isn’t dependent on your home’s electricity
    • N95 masks
    • At least several doses of all regularly needed prescriptions or OTC meds
    • A battery-operated or hand-cranked radio
    • Duct tape
    • A ladder (if second story)
    • Defensive weapons if you choose to have them

    Additional items to consider, depending on the size and purpose of your room, could include:

    • Reflective blankets for additional warmth
    • A battery-powered fan for cooling and circulation (you’ll want lots of extra batteries)
    • Books or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook, loaded with material for whatever ages you have in your family (and a way to charge electronics)
    • Electronic or board games
    • Bowl, water, and food for pets if they’re likely to be with you. Folded newspaper or a small litter box
    • A bolted-down safe for valuables—cash, passports (thieves love to get hold of these, they sell very well on the streets), jewelry, etc.
    • Potassium Iodide tablets in case of a radiation threat
    • An alternative way of contacting authorities quickly, such as a safety medallion like those often used by the elderly

    Some schoolrooms have safe rooms at one end, built to accommodate and protect the students and teacher in case of an intruder. They are often stocked with drinking water, food bars, and portable toilet facilities (often behind a privacy screen). Offices could also install reinforced safe rooms for workers—perhaps several, depending upon the size of the building and the number of employees.

    A few tips for creating a safe room from an existing room include the following:

    • Replace hollow-core doors with solid doors that have strong locks.
    • Install a one-sided dead bolt lock at a different level than the regular lock.
    • Hang the door so that the hinges are on the room side rather than the outside, where they could potentially be removed.
    • Either install bullet-proof glass in your windows or reinforce your existing glass with shatterproof laminate.
    • Hang heavy, lined curtains so that the potential intruder can’t see through them.
    • Install a security system—whatever you can afford—from inexpensive door and window “squealers” that screech if they are moved to a complete system with alarms and connection to the security company.
    • Make sure your safe room has a vent that can be opened or closed for fresh air.
    • Owners of some large homes with several levels and multiple entries invest in a home-monitoring unit with closed-circuit TV that can be patched into a set in the safe room so that the residents can observe what’s happening in and around the house.

    Suggestions to consider if you’re creating a safe room in new construction:

    • The safe room door should be solid, open inward, and be secured with a good lock.
    • You don’t need to have a secret room installed (though some do), but it’s best if your safe room blends in with the rest of the house without standing out and calling attention to itself.
    • You can pre-wire your safe room for an alarm panel, lights, and power. Have a direct-dial phone in addition to your cell.
    • Install either chicken wire or steel sheeting under the drywall for extra protection.

    If, in spite of all your best efforts, someone is trying to shoot into your safe room, position yourself against the window wall if he’s outside the window. It’s much safer there than across the room where bullets might spray you. If he’s in the house and shooting through the door, position yourself against the door wall at the farthest point from the door.

    Make certain that all the people in your home, schoolroom, or office know how to access the safe room, and hold training exercises to see how quickly they can assemble there. Teach children that the safe room is not to be used as a playhouse or a place to lock themselves away from parents or teachers!

    Do you have other ideas for items that would be important to include in a safe room?

     

    Sources:

    Emergency Essentials Food Storage Products 

    http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/saferoom.htm

    http://www.fema.gov/safe-rooms

    www.crimedoctor.com/panic_room_1.htm

    www.jbventuresabq.com

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Emergency plan, family, Survival, emergency preparedness, safe room, panic room

  • Make sure to take your important information along if you evacuate

    Imagine this: A chemical spill and potential fire forces a sudden evacuation order in your area. You have ten minutes max to grab your kids, pets, keys, wallet, and emergency supplies and be on your way. What’s likely to get left behind?

    One item often forgotten in the rush of any crisis is information. You may need such info as immunization records (Bill cut his foot: when was his last tetanus shot?), homeowners’ insurance policy and contact numbers, or health insurance cards.

    Keeping copies of important documents and info in a form that’s handy to grab along with your emergency kit is a smart step in your preparation efforts. During any emergency, you won’t have the time or presence of mind to rush around gathering up birth certificates, documents, and important phone numbers. Why not prepare copies ahead of time and tuck them into a pocket of your kit?

    Follow these simple steps to add to your peace of mind and readiness:

    1. Make a list of documents, certificates, and papers you wouldn’t want to lose in any emergency situation. Consider the following:
      • Birth certificates
      • Marriage certificate
      • Social Security cards
      • Driver licenses
      • Life insurance policy numbers and phone information
      • Homeowners insurance policy numbers and contact information
      • Health insurance cards
      • Auto insurance cards
      • Passports
      • Up-to-date immunization records
      • Account information for all your credit cards and bills
      • Copies of prescriptions
      • Pet documentation (license and medical records)
      • Precious photographs, including a recent one of your whole family for ID purposes. Perhaps a picture with your pet(s) as well, for ID and proof of ownership.
      • Flash drives containing any computerized material you want to save—family history, creative works, correspondence, financial records, work files, etc.

       

    2. Make a list of phone numbers and email addresses you’d want to have with you. Don’t depend upon numbers that are programmed into your cell phone, as phones can be lost or destroyed. Don’t forget to include employers, employees, relatives, close friends, out-of-state contacts, doctors, poison control center, clergymen, and business contacts.
    3.  

    4.  Make a list of all your accounts, with numbers and phone information.
    5.  

    6. Gather up those documents from step 1 and make copies of them. Except for your driver license, put the originals in a safe, lockbox, or safety-deposit box at your bank. Consider making two or three copies instead of just one. You might want to leave one packet of copies with a trusted relative to keep for you. Think how grateful you’d be if (perish the thought!) your home had burned to have Grandma hand you a packet of all your most important documents and photos!  Some people also tuck a packet into their car emergency kit or somewhere else in the car in case it’s needed when they don’t have their emergency kit on hand.



      Seal your packet in a plastic bag to protect it from moisture and soil, and have only blank paper showing through the plastic to avoid advertising contents to would-be ID thieves. If you’re concerned about wrinkling or tearing, enclose a piece of stiff cardboard. Some people prefer to enclose each document in a plastic sheet protector and put them all into a binder, but while this would be perfect to hand to Grandma for safekeeping, it makes a more cumbersome package to tuck into your supplies. Your choice!
    7.  

    8. Put your packets together and place them where they need to be. Take a deep breath and put your feet up. You’ve done well!

    For additional information, check out the “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit

    What other documents do you think are important to include in your information packet?

    Sources:

    www.ready.gov

    www.readynation.com

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: baby steps, preparedness, Emergency plan, evacuation plan, emergency preparedness, preparation

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