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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Emergency Preparedness - Documents, Papers etc

When we have to leave our homes in times of emergency we don't want to have to be hunting for all those documents that are important.  time is of the essence at those times so we have to make sure that those important documents are all together in an accessible spot that we can just grab them and go.
Now let's think about what documents are most important; the operative word here is MOST.  There are so many things that we think are important but when we're talking about an emergency we find that they are not as important as others.

We should keep negatives of our pictures or cds in a safety box or at another family member's home. We live in an age where most things can be stored digitally so it might be even better to take those old pictures, scan them into the computer and store them either online or on one of those portable storage drives.  That way we have our pictures safe if there is a flooding like took place in New Orleans where the water was up several feet high in the various homes.

If you still would like a physical album to carry with you then there's another alternative that you can employ.  You can select one or two pictures of each physical memory you want to carry with you and place them in a special album.  You can put pictures of friends and family from far away in there as well.  Place this special album in your emergency backpack.  Don't try to fit every picture in there, remember this is an emergency situation and you may be limited in what you can carry.

Let's discuss those other important papers.  Passports, birth certificates, insurance policies and the like should all be kept in a safety box at a bank if that's possible and keep copies at your house.  If that's not possible then store them in a file folder that you can easily retrieve if you have to move quickly.  Another alternative is to keep them in a storage bag and place in a waterproof bag/pouch.  This goes in your emergency backpack as well. Thinking about all this in advance may keep you from panicking.

If you do not have all your important numbers(phone numbers, insurance numbers) and dates written in one place, do it.  Then place the list in your grab and go file.  Update regularly or as needed.  There may be more documents I have not mentioned but you know what's important to you.  Use this post to help you think through all the documents that are important and make sure that they are easily accessible in case of evacuation in an emergency.

One thing that may help you as well would be to make a master list of all these things you want to grab in an emergency and their locations.  Then all you have to do is refer to that list, grab the items and go instead of trying to remember where you put this and that.  The more advance thinking we can do the better.  We may never experience a situation where we have to evacuate our homes but it is better to be prepared for it and have peace of mind.  Another thing doing this exercise does is to help us be more organized with the most important things and also cause us to see how little we can really live with.  A simplified life is a more peaceful life.

I looked around on Amazon and found all these different types of safety boxes which I showed a few of above but had to show a couple of my favourites. This one is large enough to hold a laptop. It is heavy weighing in at a little over 9lbs but I was intrigued at its being able to hold a laptop because my laptop is really important to me.

This one here is small and lightweight. It cannot hold my laptop but I like it especially for our boys.

Put those suggestions above into effect and relax knowing that you are ready for an emergency without fear of losing your most important documents.  Be prepared!

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