September is National Preparedness Month. Emergencies can happen with little warning. You may only have minutes to evacuate. To improve your chances for survival, you should be informed, have a plan, and have an emergency kit.
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Develop an emergency plan with your family. Then practice that plan. If everyone is at home, assign each person a job. Decide who will be responsible for corralling pets and putting them in carriers. Who will pull out the sleeping bags or bedding? Who grabs the emergency kit? Who will load the car? If the family is not together, have a plan on how you will communicate and where you will connect.
Always have your car on the ready. Keep your car well maintained and with at least a half tank of gas. Make sure the spare tire is usable and jumper cables are easy to access.
Put together a “grab and go” bag and/or clear bins already prepared to put into your car. Some items in the bag will have to do with safety and communication. Have a radio, flashlight with extra batteries, and a first aid kit with your medications and prescriptions. Have your wallet or purse in a consistent place with your cell phone, charge cards, and your driver’s license. It is a good idea to have an extra phone charger in that kit. Have emergency apps already downloaded on your phone. Check out http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
Put together some items that will allow you to survive outside for a while. Have food, water, a can opener, matches, blankets, plastic bags, a plastic drop sheet, a Dopp kit, tissue, and a pen knife in your kit. Also have a change of clothes, extra glasses, extra keys, and pen and paper.
Have a prepared folder with all your essential documents, information, and cash. Have names/phone numbers/email addresses/account numbers as well as contact numbers for insurance, utilities, banks, etc.
If you have a pet, also include vet/shot information as well as extra collars and leads, pet food, a dish, blanket, and a toy.
It takes a lot of time to put this all together but if you break it down into small sections and work on it a bit each week, it is doable. Then update it every September.
It gives great comfort to know that you are ready should the unexpected happen.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer