September is National Disaster Preparedness month. We often talk about being prepared. In fact, our children have fire drills at school. There are so many things we can do to help ourselves and our families be prepared if and when a disaster should strike. But, how many of us actually follow through and create plans which we then share with the other members of our family?
Let’s think about some possible scenarios and then look at the things anyone can do to be more prepared.
Sometimes we have warnings that a natural disaster could hit our area. Think about fire warnings, hurricane and flood warnings. However; there is often very little time between the time a tornado warning is issued and the tornado strikes. So, what should we do?
We can stock our homes with some basic survival supplies like flashlights, a battery operated radio and batteries for the flashlight as well as the radio, canned goods (keep in mind that canned goods do have an expiration date – so use them before they expire and then replace them!) bottled water, granola bars, extra blankets, hand sanitizer. You can make a list that is appropriate for your family and area of the country. Please don’t forget current medications! Have a place in your home where you keep these items and can easily put them together should the need arise.
Have an evacuation plan and practice it. Teach your children what to do, how they can get out of the house if there should be a house fire or flood.
Which room is the best room or area of the house to stay in if a hurricane or tornado is predicted? Is there enough room for everyone or do you need to find a couple of safe places?
If you’re looking for a good book with excellent suggestions and strategies of how to prepare for a disaster check out Judith Kolberg’s book: Organize for Disaster
Another way to prepare ourselves is to have a complete home inventory. Why do you want this? Well, if your home is damaged or destroyed as a result of one of these natural disasters you will need proof of what the house contained. You will also need access to account numbers and insurance policy information.
The best way to keep this information is in the cloud. That way you can access the information from any computer at any time. The program I highly recommend is HomeZada (www.homezada.com). This program allows you store your inventory complete with pictures and other useful information that will help you with the upkeep and maintenance of your home. Check it out!
I hope you find these tips useful and will implement some of them!