Monday, September 22, 2014

Preparedness to do list Week #4 - Evacuation lists

Evacuation Lists - I know making more lists right?   However, these are important.  Let me give you a scenario that really happened not too long ago.  Someone I know was given 15 minutes evacuation notice to get out of her home because of a wild fire that was heading her way.  She told me after the fact, that for those fifteen minutes, she ran around the home in kind of a daze not even sure where to begin or what to try and save if her house were to burn down.  She ended up leaving with her purse in hand and nothing else.

How discouraging, knowing that you had those precious fifteen minutes, but were in so much shock that you couldn't think clearly, and nothing got saved.  If you have time at all, how easy would it be to send everyone to their various rooms, and do a quick look on the back of the door to see - listed in matter of priority - the things that you should grab and go.  The thinking has already been done ahead of time, it is just a matter following through on what needs to be done.  Just going through the motions. 

I am guilty of not doing this one myself, but will do it this week.  I have had lists of what we would take in a few minutes, and we have even had practice drills through the years on how we would exit the home and what we would grab in 15 minutes.  But for some reason I have never posted the lists.  Perhaps I feel it is a bit overwhelming because we have always had so much stuff!  No longer resisting, I will get them posted this week, because it is on my to do list!

Have fun with this.  Perhaps gather your family for a family night and have a mock emergency evacuation.  Make up a scenario that is a possibility for your area, and give the family 15 minutes to gather anything they think is important to get out and meet back in the living room within the time limit.  You might be really surprised to see what they come up with and what gets left behind.  It will be a good practice run, and give you a great starting place to create your room by room evac lists. 

Don't forget to include in this drill your home floor plan.  If you have to evacuate your home, the authorities might ask you to turn off your gas and water valves and shut off all power to your home.  Do you know where to do this?  Does your family know where to do this?  Create this plan and practice it, without really shutting off some of them.  The gas, if it is turned off, will likely need to be turned back on by the city gas dudes who know what they are doing, so don't really shut it off unless it is an emergency.

Have fun, practice, so that if or when the time comes, it will be second nature for your family to just do it without thinking. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Personal Preparedness To Do List Week #3

Personal Preparedness To Do List Week #3

Review Insurance Policies and Wills

This week our challenge is to find all of our insurance policies, and our wills, and get them organized and updated.  Part of that organizing them is to read through them and understand what is exactly being said in each of them.  This will help us be more prepared when the time comes for us to use one of them.

I was having a conversation with a couple of my kids the other day about our own will, and it has been probably about 20 years since our will was last updated.  Way too long!  I have recently reviewed the house insurance and car insurance policies, but not really thoroughly.  I need to do that.  And I need to get them all together in one place that is easy to find.  I don't know about your house, but more often than not at my house, the paper trail, turns into paper piles and it can be difficult to find things.  That would not be a good situation if we needed one of our insurance policies in a pinch, or the unspeakable, someone died, and I am pretty sure that nobody would be able to find our wills, without digging.  Ugh!  I think I should do the digging first and updating, and then organizing, rather than leave it for someone else to clean up the mess some day.

A good reason to have updated insurance policies - check out this article I wrote a while back.  It tells you what kinds of things you should have included with your insurance policies to be able to get exactly what you need out of them. 

Here is your to do list for this week.  I left one side of the list blank, because there are always thoughts that I have as I am going through things, and I need to write them down.  Leave no page unturned!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Personal Preparedness To Do List Week 2

Fall is a great time to pull out the 72 hour emergency kits, car kits, and flu kits, to make sure that all of the supplies are up to date and ready for the upcoming season of WINTER!

72 hour emergency kits need to be updated with winter clothing, proper footwear, and food that will fill a hungry tummy in the cold, like soups, hot chocolate, etc.  Proper sleep wear, sleeping bags, pajamas, etc should also be checked, as winter ones will be different than summer wear.  Medication should now include things like cold and flu options, since this season is now upon us.  Here is a checklist you can use to walk you through this process of updating and rotating your 72 hour kit this week.  It can be a fun family night project for all involved!

It is also smart this time of year to check your flu / pandemic kits if you have one, and do some updating and rotating of medicines and supplies.  Don't just assume that everything lasts forever, it doesn't!  Be prepared in your home for the flu season, with the proper medical supplies that your family might need.  Be prepared in your home for any more serious pandemic situations that could arise.  You should always ask yourself what if?.........and then go and get prepared for it.

Check your emergency car kits as well.  Make sure that you have all of the tools and supplies you might need for winter driving, if that is a problem in your area, like it is for me.  Winter driving can be deadly, especially if you are not prepared.  At least purchase a small shovel and have it in your trunk, along with a warm blanket or two, some energy or protein bars that could sustain you if you got stranded, and warm clothing in case you have to walk somewhere.  It isn't uncommon to hear the stories of someone who has gone off the road in a blizzard, and either stayed in their car and froze, or decided to walk and froze.  Be prepared for either situation because you don't know if it will happen to you.

Make fall and spring your routine to check these emergency kits or situations and make sure you are prepared for the coming seasons.  They each bring with them their various challenges, so just go do it!