National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is April 22 to April 28
Tornado Season has officially begun in Texas with the touchdown of more than 15 tornadoes in Dallas in the early part of this month. It was the worst day ever, having the kids at school when the sirens went off and false reports of touchdowns nearby. We survived that awful day, but soon enough, North Texas will transition into Wild Fire Season and Flash Flood Season. Are you prepared for a disaster?
Imagine worst case where you have to leave your home immediately or take cover in a closet or basement. Do you know what information you would need to have on hand after you emerge into the aftermath? Who will you call? Does your insurance over this? Does your child need a tetanus shot?
Whenever there is impending doom, I grab my “Important Information” binder, my Portable Safe and my Portable Hard-Drive …. along with the kids, the car keys, the dogs and their leashes. The first three items contain the workings of my life and if I lost every other material thing, then I have the tools to pick up the pieces for me and my kids.
STEP 1: Important Information Binder
This binder pulls together key information needed to make contact and be answer questions about your family, your insurance, your health. This binder can contain:
- A list of Emergency Contacts which include the closest members of your family and their home and cellphone numbers. It should also contain the numbers for your doctors, dentist, eye doctor, plumber, lawn service, utilities companies and alarm service. (What if you lose your cellphone?!?)
- Current Car Insurance policy
- Current Home Owners insurance policy
- Kids current shot records
- Dogs Rabies Certifications
- Life Insurance Policies
My binder is full of sheet protectors that I can just drop things into it as I think of stuff I may want to have with me.
It isn’t unusual for me to reference that binder in just doing day-to-day stuff and my mom knows where it is in case I become seriously ill or when I occasionally travel. So, I also include:
- Authorization for her to treat my kids
- Health Insurance Cards
- Current Pictures of my kids and pets (in case they go missing)
- Care and Feeding instructions for my Pet Sitter
- The Kids Routines and Schedules for when I have to travel without them.
STEP 2: Personal Safe or Safe Deposit Box
- Birth Certificates
- Vehicle and Home Titles
- SS Cards
- Your Will
- A copy of your identification card/driver license
- A copy of your Credit Cards front and back
- A Password/Combination Log of your email, online, website accounts
- A book of checks/or emergency cash
STEP 3: Portable Hard Drive/Remote Backup
Personally, I like to keep all my digital photos, and I have a zillion of them, on a 1 terabit portable hard drive which I grab when I need to take cover. If I lose every photo album in a fire, flood or storm, then I still have these valuable keepsakes.
I also keep an online remote backup of my PC Hard Drive with a service called Carbonite. For $69 a year, my home computer is constantly backed up and I can retrieve my documents from any internet-connected PC or from an App on my iPhone. This also gives me protection should my hard drive crash from a hacker, a virus or a power surge. Or sometimes, it’s been known to just crash randomly. This gives me incredible peace of mind that my data won’t disappear in a flash.
Check out this link that compares remote backup services.
This is just a small portion of what you will need in the aftermath of an emergency. There are many, many website that can provide further information on how to prepare for an emergency, such as preparing food rations, evacuation plans, and disaster kits. All these are very important to a well-rounded Disaster Preparedness Plan.
Check out these websites for more information:
If your area is prone to hurricanes and/or earthquakes, there are specific websites for preparedness for your situation:
Some of these lists can be incredibly thorough, so review them and take away what you need and can easily manage.
Peace of Mind
A plan and having information at your fingertips can give you peace of mind. Sharing this plan with your kids and extended family can give you all confidence that “in case of emergency”, you will know what to do, where to go, and how to kick start your life again.
Now, get started and here’s hoping you never have to use your plan!
- Book Review: Survival Mom (examiner.com)
- This is not a test: Disaster Preparedness in 6 Steps (cmcacorner.com)