Emergency Preparedness. 6 Ways to Stay Organized
In virtually any situation, staying organized makes things more manageable, and this is especially true during an emergency. There's an adage that says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. That sentiment is especially true here. Having an organized emergency plan and supplies set aside could save your life should disaster ever strike.
Here's a few tips to make you a expert at emergency preparedness.
Create Your Plan
First, you must create an emergency preparedness plan ahead of time. So, begin by writing down your plan. Get into the habit of writing it down, making it official, and taking it seriously. Sit down with your family and plan it out. Get everyone in your household involved.
It's essential to make the plan as detailed as possible. Don't forget to plan for various natural disaster scenarios such as fires, floods, or tornadoes and keep in mind that you'll need to deal with power outages as a result. Are you equipped with back up power? Do you have enough spare food and water? Do you have enough medical supplies to last until things stabilize?
Some special considerations in the household are young children, the elderly, and pets. Ensure that there are plenty of spare diapers and formula as well as pet food in your stockpile.
When making your plan, you'll need to consider special climate issues as well. For example, do you live in an area where there are severe winter storms? Hurricanes? Tornadoes? If so, modify your plans accordingly.
Set Your Plan into Motion
Once you've created the plan, you need to set it in motion. Go out and purchase the necessary items to stock up your emergency supplies. Put them in a safe dry place and check on them from time to time. Make sure that you've included plenty of drinking water in sealed containers. You'll need to keep at least 25 gallons on hand for a family of four.
Now is the time to purchase any big items such as generators, if your plan has identified a need. Since it's not an emergency, you've got a bit of time to do your research and compare models to see what will work best. Once you do purchase, take some time to familiarize yourself with the operation so that you're able to work the generator efficiently. You don't want to be referring to the instruction manual in the middle of a blizzard! It's a good idea to check all your supplies regularly and test any equipment frequently to ensure everything is in good working order.
Some people think it's a bit much to keep lists, but they're a an essential part of a good emergency preparedness plan. Plus, they're a great way to stay organized. They also let you know how old my supplies are and when you need to replace things. Keep a running inventory for your emergency food and water rations, your medical kit, and other supplies. Note the expiration dates and when items get used, updated, or replaced.
Take some time to record all your identification. Take copies of all your ID such as birth certificates, SSNs, driver's licenses, passports, etc. as well as any insurance paperwork for your home and vehicles.
Another good practice is to make a copy of all prescription medications so that they can easily replace them if you are displaced.
Make a list of all emergency numbers. The list should include next of kin, doctor, dentist, a veterinarian as well as the nearest hospital. Place the file in a conspicuous location in your home.
Have a Designated Space
You need to have a designated space in your home where you keep your emergency preparedness supplies. It should be well-marked and easily accessible where all members of your family can find supplies during an emergency.
It's essential that the emergency supplies, especially food and water, are stored so that they spoil. Make sure that things are air-tight and in re-sealable packaging where possible. Good hygiene becomes even more critical during an emergency, and it needs to be a consideration right from the start.
When you in an emergency, the last thing you want to do is sort through a mess of items that are not well-marked. Ensure all items are correctly labeled and sorted so that it's easy to grab what you need in a time of crisis.
The importance of maintaining the emergency supply cannot be understated. You need to regularly check for expired items and ensure that nothing is damaged. You want everything to be in good condition when you need it, so frequent checking is the best way to ensure this.
There's a reason why sports teams practice. They go over a game plan to make sure they're ready for the big event. So should you, because practice makes perfect. Except, emergency preparedness is not a game!
A little organization can go a long way, especially in an emergency. You can increase your peace of mind by following these simple tips for being more prepared for an emergency.
For more information on how you can protect your family in an emergency, please check here.