In 5 minutes or less, could you access your critical life documents no matter where you are in the case of an unexpected emergency/disaster?
The past year has been an eye-opening experience for me from a Life/Emergency Preparedness perspective. I’ve always considered myself an organized person when it came to my home, my possessions, my paperwork, etc. However I had a couple of life-changing events this past year that caused me to become even more focused on this topic.
The first event was my permanent move to Myrtle Beach 1 month into its 6-month long Hurricane season. Before then,
It can’t happen to me...
I can’t help but wonder how many individuals affected by the wrath of Hurricane Harvey thought those words before it hit. As I publish this blog, many parts of TX remain under feet of floodwater even though the rain is over; dozens have been killed and that number continues to rise. In addition, CNN reported that that the entire city of Beaumont, TX (population 118,000) has no running water. Although many thought it couldn’t happen to them, it did.
How ironic that September is National Preparedness Month. And while it may be too late for many citizens of TX to go back in time and prepare for this unexpected disaster, it’s not too late for you. Anything can happen that you have no control over (fire, power outage, active shooter, tornado, extreme heat, extreme cold, storm, etc.). If any of these happened, are you prepared? If not, I want to share some general emergency preparedness information with you that you should take action on immediately. According to ready.gov, one of the first things you should do is to develop an emergency plan:
Next month is Emergency Preparedness month. One of the key thing’s that FEMA recommends we do to prepare is to develop a Family Emergency Communication Plan. Our go-to modes of communications (cell phone, computer, etc.) can be unreliable during an emergency/disaster. However planning in advance will ensure that everyone in your family will know how to reach one another and where to meet should this happen. FEMA outlines the process in 3 easy steps:
Last month, I stressed the importance of putting together an Emergency Supply Kit. To make the process easier, I provided a link to FEMA's Emergency Supplies Checklist. One of the things on that checklist is “important family documents” however the checklist did not elaborate on what to include, most likely to keep the list simple and not overwhelming.
This month, I’d like to elaborate on that for you… not only on what documents it may contain but also format options. FYI, most of these documents will be copies; original deeds, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. should be stored in a safety deposit box or fire safe as a back up.
Contents you may want to include:
Summer is just beginning. For many, it’s a time of the year when things slow down. The weather is warmer, the days and longer so it feels like there’s a bit more time for R&R.
Now don’t get angry with me but let’s fast forward a few months to September which is National Preparedness Month. Are you prepared should you experience an emergency? You many think it could never happen to you, but it could. Let’s use the example of a fire. God forbid, what if there was a fire in your residence and you lost everything. Are you prepared? If not, why not use the lazy days of summer to prepare for such an emergency?
This month’s blog is dedicated to preparing an Emergency Supply Kit. Hopefully this is something you’ll never, ever need but is best to have just in case.