Now that summer is over and the kids are back at school, it’s possible that you have a little more time on your hands. September is National Preparedness month and while we pray that we will never have to experience what it’s like to be in the middle of an emergency, it can happen – as we so often see on the news. Don’t get caught unprepared by thinking it could never happen to you.
Depending on where you live, you may be subject to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or fires. If an emergency situation occurred tomorrow, would you be ready? As a California resident, I live in earthquake territory and always have an emergency kit on hand and easily accessible, complete with items such as: a flashlight, first aid, food, water, and a radio – just in case.
Become aware of different kinds of disasters which may affect your area so that you will know how to prepare for such circumstances. A great place to start is to contact your local emergency management office (e.g. Red Cross) either by phone or do some research online. Here, you will learn all about which disasters could affect your area, where to go in case of an evacuation, and how to protect your home from both natural and made-made disasters.
Being prepared and making plans that the whole family are aware of will help you to know what to do, where to go and how to stay in touch during an emergency. Keep emergency items at home, but also consider preparing other locations. For instance, I keep a roadside emergency & first aid kit in my car; along with a spare tire, phone charger and extra gas in case of a break down. While traveling, I keep a list of any emergency contacts on me at all times and make sure that a family member or friend is aware of my travel itinerary including, hotel & flight information. All work places should have a plan in the event of an emergency. Make sure you are familiar with all of these safety precautions should something happen while you’re on the job. Stocking your desk with a few simple items such a first aid kit, a few bottles of water and a snack isn’t a bad idea either.
Always think ahead. By taking a few simple steps, you can keep your family and yourself safe by preparing for the unexpected.
Here’s to a happy, healthy (disaster free!) Fall season.
PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY
Make arrangements and stockpile these items to be as prepared as you can be in the event of an emergency.
1) Create or purchase an emergency kit. Keep it fully stocked at all times and have enough supplies for at least 3 days, for everyone in your household. Your kit should include basics such items as: water, non- perishable food items, flashlights, manual can opener, disposable utensils/plates/bowls and a radio. Consider any specials needs your family may require including prescription medicines, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Be sure and keep at least $50-$100 in small bills and change in your emergency kit.
2) Prepare a plan for your household. Make sure your family is aware of what to do in the event of an emergency and who to contact. Post emergency numbers on the fridge, or in any common areas. Children should carry a list of these numbers with them when they are away from home. Chose a meeting location other than your home. This is in case you are unable to regroup there due to road blockage, fires, etc. Practice your plan with your family every now and then to help everyone feel and confident in a crisis situation.
3) Keep your inventory fresh. Items should be stocked in a dry, cool place, out of direct sunlight. Garages are not a recommended area for food and water storage due to varying changes in temperature. Water should be replaced every 3-6 months and smoke detectors should be tested on a monthly basis.
4) Protect your valuables. Create a record (written & digital) of expensive household items such as televisions, kitchen appliances and jewelry. Take pictures as another form of proof. Make copies of this documentation and store it in a fireproof safe as well as another area outside of your house, like a family/friends home or better yet, the bank.
5) Make copies of important papers. Items such as: driver’s licenses, social security cards, a deed to the house, marriage and birth certificates and wills need to be protected. Make a copy of each of these documents and keep them in separate places. Store a copy in your banks safe deposit box and a close families home in case something happens to your house.
6) Make sure you are properly insured. There are many different kinds of insurance policies, be sure you are covered in the event of a natural disaster. Many insurance companies cover more than one kind of damage insurance depending on your area. Be safe, not sorry.
7) Don’t forget about your pets! If you’re a pet owner, be sure to stock some emergency supplies to reflect the needs of your beloved pets. Keep crates on hand to easily move your animals around in a timely manner. Make note of where local animal shelters are located in case you need to keep your pets there at a later time.
Contact Jodie Watson:
If you have any questions, would like to schedule a free professional organizing telephone consultation, or would like Jodie Watson to speak at your next corporate function, group meeting, social event, or retreat, call at (818) 590-7800. You can also contact Jodie on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at Supreme Organization.