Get Tech Ready for An Emergency with these information tips from Ready.gov.
Get Tech Ready for An Emergency with these information tips from Ready.gov.
During and after an emergency, you may need stay in your home for a week or more with sufficient supplies. This kit is a group of basic supplies in case of a lengthy emergency.
Find this list on Ready.gov, a national website dedicated to preparation.
Our state is well versed in emergency preparation. We have emergency pantry supplies, back up power sources, and lots of batteries. We are prepared.
Learning about the uncertainty and frequency of emergencies, we are reminded of the next steps and the necessity of creating and organizing a home inventory. September is National Preparedness Month which reminds us about the importance and value of a home inventory. We often put off this work because it can be a time consuming. However, it can be manageable in small steps. Here are a variety of systems to create your home inventory and baby steps to get started.
Knowing the goal for your inventory is important. Is your goal for your home inventory to assure that you have sufficient financial coverage? Are there items in your home that you want to equitably pass to your children and want to know the value? Do you want to be secure in knowing you could replace what you have in case of an emergency? These different reasons are all important goals separately or together for your why behind the effort of this work.
There are different options for home insurance coverage. Check your policy for coverage of your home, especially to determine what is covered and how it is covered. Your policy could be cash value where you begin with receiving cash/check for the existing value of your items. Or your policy could be replacement value, where you receive a check to replace the items at the current cost. Check coverage on big ticket items, such as jewelry, art and collectibles which may have increased in value and require additional coverage from your standard homeowners insurance policy.
Estate planning and equitable division of items are important as we age. Talk to your legal counsel about what types of inventories would be most valuable. It may be important to list specific items for your family members in accord with your long term wishes. This inventory will be one part of your estate.
Your inventory can be digital, paper, or a combination of both.
Digital options includes these possibilities.
Paper options include these possibilities:
|Date of Inventory|
|Item Number||Room||Category||Item description||Purchased from||Model and Serial Number||Date purchased||Purchase Amount||Estimated Value|
|Primary BR, 2nd BR, 3rdBR, Living, Kitchen||Art, Jewelry, Electronics, Furniture, Clothing||Brand, size, materials, number||Name of store, Online, or from family|
This might be where you are most organized! Many of us have a safe or a waterproof grab and go box. Here’s a list of what should be a part of your vital documents. You can also keep these documents digitally on Evernote or save them on a flash or external hard drive in your waterproof box or safe. Be sure to use strong password for your Evernote account.
Right now it is the most important time to start your inventory.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month for good reason. We have faced emergencies for many years and these seem to be more frequent and more intense. At the same time emergencies frighten and overwhelm us. Now’s the time for us to button up our resources and start small. Some of the simplest ways to prepare are the best and here are 5 small starts to begin.
Online connections are easy until the power or cell service goes out. Create a spreadsheet of family contacts and print it out. Include in your sheet cell and home phones, email addresses, physical addresses and other contact information. Keep this spreadsheet in a kitchen or office top drawer to access.
Finances and access to funds seem easy, like simply heading to the ATM for funds. That is not always the case in an emergency. Begin preparing your Emergency Financial Fist Aid Kit with these instructions. Most importantly, keep $500 in cash, in dollar, five dollar, ten dollar and twenty dollar bills. Funds are hard to access if there is no power.
Prepare kits for all the places you will be, whether at home, at work or in the car. Your kits should include supplies for a minimum of three days worth of food and water. Other essentials include battery radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid, medicines and toiletries. Refresh these kits annually.
Family plans can be communicated during family meetings. Talking about the plan makes it less scary and easy to accomplish. Your family plan should include where to meet if there is a fire in your home, where to meet if a disaster happens while your kids are at school and you are at work, and where to meet if you are separated.
If you have cell access, there are 2 helpful apps to download.
FEMA: weather alerts, safety tips and shelter information
American Red Cross: a variety of apps including personal and pet first aid, blood, and hero care
You and your family will have peace of mind knowing you have started preparing.
We are in our pantries more than ever right now! Meals are shared times that bring us comfort and hope during stressful times. Emergency preparation has us supplying our pantry so that we are prepared to eat at home while we work at home. The combination of both access and extensive supply can be a challenge for us. Here are 7 tips for getting organized and making meals happen in your home.
The first step of all organizing is decluttering and categorizing. Start this step with lots of counter space available. Even the most organized cook has items that are past expiration dates. Check dates and let go of items that you feel are past the prime. This first step may feel chaotic and overwhelmed, however push through to clear the pantry and wipe the shelves clean.
Think of your grocery store and how items are grouped together. Use this to group items together for your pantry. You can also create useful zones which apply to your family, such as the breakfast zone, beverage zone, and snack zone. You can group as you empty your pantry too.
Most of us have added a substantial amount of additional products to last through the time we are at home. Locate auxiliary storage in an adjacent closet, in a nearby laundry room, or near the door in your garage. Before you return items to your pantry, think about where you would store which items.
The best organizing advice has to do with placing items by function. Place what you use most frequently at eye level. For your kids, place snacks at their eye levels. Heavy items go on the bottom of your pantry and be sure to keep entry clear for access. Use the top shelf for overflow items.
Here are some favorite bins for organizing your pantry.
My favorite labels are simple with black lettering and white background. A Brother P Touch labeler is what I use. There are tons of fun options on Pinterest. I label both the bins and the shelves. Its easy for everyone to put away groceries and help!
In your new auxiliary space, organize just like your pantry. Be sure to use a list posted in the auxiliary space to be sure you keep on top of inventory. Use vertical space wisely to maximize the access and space as well. For the freezer, you a magnetic dry erase board to list what is located there. Group items by shelf or use a plastic bin in the deep freeze. Categories in your freezer include veggies,
Have fun with getting your pantry and extra stock organized. Organizing is a team sport! Your family can join in sorting and categorizing. One family member will love to help you with labels. Organizing is a skill like all others your kids are learning at home schooling. Take this to the next step with sharing meal preparation and kitchen clean up too. If you are on your own, pull up your organizing playlist for fun.
More pantry organizing here!
Being organized equals preparedness. There’s no down side to being a little more prepared in general ways especially important when it comes to emergencies. While it feels uncomfortable to discuss emergencies of any sort, there’s comfort in knowing you have created a plan. These little steps with connections, paper work and finances, will take a few extra minutes and give you a big benefit later.
Our family, friends and neighbors are most important during an emergency. It’s who we rely on and support when an emergency happens. Be sure to make a family emergency plan, include pets and neighbors. That plan should include where to re-connect and meet up after a disaster. Have an out-of-town emergency contact also keeps everyone connected.
Maybe you organized your insurance and important documents several years back immediately after a previous emergency. Spend time each year to review insurance policies, tax documents, and life insurance policies. Keep a current list of utility account numbers in case you are away from your home. All of this should be updated in your safe.
There’s never a good time financially for an emergency. Create an emergency savings fund and keep cash on hand for emergencies. That would be a significant enough amount, such as $500. Surprisingly during a crisis you cannot access all your funds via ATM.
We are often busy enough and put off getting these small organizing pieces in order. If you decide to do just one thing, add an Emergency Contact to your smart phone. There’s a way to add your medical information and then test how to open your phone. In our family, we have Find a Friend on our iphones. This app identifies where we are just in case. Decide on one small thing you can do or a series of small tasks to be prepared.
Family emergencies strike unfortunately routinely, from a broken arm to a heart attack. Family health crises are among the most stressful for all of us. The best way to face an emergency is by being organized and prepared. Your lists will be what you rely on for information. These preparations can help you create the best plan prior to when an emergency happens.
Each doctor you meet requests a list of health challenges, presciptions and supplments. Make this list easy to access by keeping it digitally in your Notes app, Evernote, or other smart phone app. The list can be shared with a family member in case of emergency. For health challenges, list the year and what happened (surgery, treatment). For presciptions and supplements, list the item, what that is treating, and the dosage. If you have a paper list, you can take a photo to keep in your phone as well.
With frequent changes to medical plans and doctors, keep a list of your specialists, their phone numbers and their specialty in your smart phone contacts. Track your annual visits by making appointments that coincide with a birthday, a season (fall, winter, spring summer) or another significant milestone to remind you. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in keeping on track with annual visits to medical and dental professionals. Your own health care is as important as those in your family.
Be ready for ongoing support for yourself and your self care. Friends and family will ask how they can help and be sure to give everyone a small responsibility. It can include setting up a Care Calendar for meals and transportation. Having someone attend the appointments can be helpful in capturing notes and keeping strong during the treatments. That support can be as small as dropping off a gallon of milk to being a listener when you are sad, anxious and afraid.
Take good care of yourself with good sleep and good nutrition. Get in bed on time and eat regular, balanced meals. It’s easy to get off track with both of these during a crisis.
Family emergencies are part of life transitions. We age and life happens. Our family ages and abilities diminish. Be organized and prepared to meet these transitions with positive actions.
A little under 2 years ago, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast. Our community Kingwood, Texas suffered great losses. From loss comes lessons! It’s where we learn that we can help others too. Here are several lessons learned on emergency preparedness that help you.
Most of our community suffered catastrophic losses. Flood insurance can help the financial loss. Flood insurance is offered through a national program. It’s affordable compared to the losses you might incur in a flood. Having this insurance helped many with replacement and rebuilding. Check with your insurance agent to learn about coverage. Flood insurance must be in place for 30 days before using the coverage.
Now is the time to create your home inventory. Your inventory can be a digital version. A video of your home is the least you can do on your smart phone. Walk around your home identifying the items and where and when you purchased, and other significant information. HomeZada offers a digital inventory version you can complete in segments to protect your belongings in case of loss. Having this inventory saves you time and also helps you in case of loss.
There’s all types of emotional responses to catastrophe. Many families experienced post traumatic stress after this flood. Keep this in mind, all the while when your family appears unaffected. Seeking support through community groups can help. Many families were sharing their losses and thoughts through religous related affiliations. A community event called Rainaxiety helped those deeply affected. Seek out support as you find yourself struggling.
Preparing documentation for emergencies is the best step. There are documents to prepare and keep ready for when you leave. These documents can be gathered in a water proof safe, kept in a closet at home. It’s easiest to organize these with labelled ziplocks. If you have not been able to locate these, check online on ways to replace these documents now. Vital records will be needed for each of your family in case of an emergency.
Every day medical emergencies happen. Bike accidents, car accidents, and falling off a ladder are all things to be prepared for as much as major catastrophes. Be sure you have your insurance in your car and in your wallet for these situations.
It’s the emergence of hope and community that are at work in an emergency. Those in our community rallied to help each other. Be open to accepting help and giving help in these emergency situation. We are here to help each other. That is the greatest blessing I learned during these difficult times.