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Preparing For Emergency Situations

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Prepare your home for an emergency.
We never know when an emergency may present itself and it's important to be prepared. This guide is about preparing for emergency situations.


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By 12 found this helpful
August 30, 2011

I have moved several times but have lived in three states for the majority of my years. Being born and raised in Connecticut, I moved to Kansas when I was a young adult. Many states are prone to certain types of weather. In the Midwest, that would be tornados. Since you can not change the weather, the next wisest thing to do is to educate oneself about the best course of action. If you are prepared ahead of time and know what to do, you are able to handle a situation a lot better.


After more than ten years in Kansas, I moved to Florida to be closer to family. I had the knowledge of tornados after all that time but now I was faced in having to educate myself about hurricanes. This is a story to share some tips and information about emergencies that I have learned and experienced over the years. I had to actually put these to test. When each time was over and done, I was sure glad that I took the time to do what I did. I hope that they will work for you and should the time ever arise, which I hope it never does, that it will relieve some pressure and stress for you also.

Many people who live in hurricane areas do certain similar things. One of those being that we never tend to "over shop" in groceries during hurricane season. If you have ever experienced losing a full freezer and fridge of meat/food after the power goes out, you know exactly what I mean. Another common thing you will find in most Floridian homes is an emergency box. In it you would find things such as non perishable foods, water, flashlights, batteries, radio, etc. The idea is to have this supply already on hand and ready to grab, in case of an emergency. Stores are almost non existent during a disaster or emergency. Even if you can find one open, they are usually out of most everything. The last thing one wants to find themselves doing during a time like that is searching for supplies. This is a wise thing to do no matter the area you live in. We never know what Mother Nature will bring our way or any other kind of emergency that can occur.

If you are like me and do not have a photographic mind, here is a great tip that has proved it's worth to me in the past. Try this test. Without looking, can you name every card that is in your wallet including account #'s, license #'s, pin #'s, expiration dates and customer service phone numbers? If not, you are not alone. Most people can't. Unfortunately, we don't realize how important it is to know this information until it is too late.


Here is a tip on what to do to prevent this. Take every important card, including your driver's license and photo copy both fronts and backs. Write notes next to each of any information not already printed on the card, such as customer service phone numbers and mailing addresses. If you ever get a new card, photocopy it and add it to these records. Keep it all updated and current. Keep these along with other valuable papers in a portable file.

If you ever have to experience a disaster or emergency, just the fact that it is occuring will be enough for you to deal with. Being able to grab a portable file that contains all your important papers will get you out of the door much faster. This is also a wise thing to do in case your wallet is ever lost or stolen. Under the best of circumstances, it is hard to recall everything you carry in your wallet and all the information on each. If you are ever in a stressful situation, it will be near impossible. Time is of the essence when you have to contact all these companies to inform them of your lost cards. Trying to locate all this information in a hurry is the last thing you will want to do but having it all together and knowing where it is, will help immensely during this time. I have had to evacuate my home 3 times due to a hurricane, a tornado and a wild fire. Since I have these things in one place, I was able to grab them quickly and be gone in just a matter of minutes.

Another tip that has served me well is that I do not sign the backs of any credit or bank card. Instead write, "SEE PHOTO ID". The best thing you can hope for is that every clerk will ask to see your license. I am always grateful and thank every clerk who asks to see mine. The more we have to prove who we are, the less chance there is for someone else to be able to use your card. I recently requested a new debit card from my bank when I saw that they were offering ones that have your picture on it. The harder we can make it for thieves to use, the better!

No one wants to experience an emergency or disaster but the more prepared and informed we are, the easier it is for one to get through it. These times cause much stress and when you can just go to one area to retrieve what you need, the easier it will be on you.

God bless you all and keep you safe.

By Mary from Palm Coast, FL

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Comment Was this helpful? 12

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh4 found this helpful
April 4, 2006

People hate to think about negative things happening, but it's a fact of life that they happen. The more people prepare for unfortunate events the less stressful these times will be. Here are five simple things that you probably aren't doing but need to be.

1. Photocopy credit cards.

If your credit card were lost or stolen, could you quickly find the number to call to report it? Most cards have these numbers printed on the back of them, but that doesn't do much good when they're missing. Instead, photocopy the front and back of each credit card and store the copy in a folder labeled "wallet." Simply lay all the cards face down on a scanner and then made a copy. Then, flip them over and copy the backsides. Now, if something happens to the cards, you can easily locate all the information you need such as the number to call to report the lost card as well as the account number on the card.


2. Make a list of everything in your wallet/purse.

Having to report lost cards is a nuisance, but remembering everything that was lost is difficult. List all the items such as library cards, ID cards, medications, and other information that you carry regularly. This will make replacement easier, and seldom used items won't be forgotten. File this list in the folder marked "wallet" along with the credit card copies.

3. Leave document copies behind when you travel.

Even if you're taking a short trip, leave personal information with a family member or at least let someone know where to find it. In case an emergency would arise or your wallet would be lost while traveling, someone can contact you with the information that you'll need to report the loss. Make a copy of your driver's license and passport to include in this folder as well. Travel agents warn not to carry passports with you while sightseeing or shopping; instead, make a color copy and carry that instead.

4. Program personal information into your cell phone.

It's a good idea to keep an emergency contact card in your wallet, but add the information to your cell phone as well. When assisting unconscious accident victims emergency personnel look in cellular phones for information about the person such as home number, emergency contact information, and even the person's name. Program such information into the phone's address book under the title "self" or "emergency contact."


5. Shred documents.

If you're not already shredding documents, you need to start. According to the Federal Trade Commission identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes with 9.9 million reported victims last year. With information that is readily available on items such as utility bills and bank statements, a "dumpster diver" can easily assume your identity and begin fraudulent actions. Shred anything with your name, address, or any other important information.,/p>

By dedicating an hour or so to completing these five simple tasks, a disastrous day might transform into a simply bad day.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
August 19, 2006

In follow up to the article, "Five Things You Should Be Doing but Probably Aren't" here are four additional tasks that help to prepare for unforeseen events. With a little time invested now, we can avoid hassles in our future. Take the time to complete the tasks that should be done but most likely aren't.

Alternate Your Passwords

Do you use the same password for everything? Is it something obvious like your dog's name or your favorite sports team? This isn't the best method to achieve security. One secure and easy method is to choose that one password that you love. Then, for each institution add a different acronym to the front or rear of it. Choose a system for finding the acronyms that makes sense. For example, if your password of choice is your dog's name, Fido, use it as your base password. Then, for your access to on-line billing with your Cingular Wireless account, add the acronym 'cw' to the base, cwfido. Or, use something that makes more sense to you such as 'cell' creating cellfido.' Whatever you choose, use the same system for all passwords. When banking at Citibank create the password cbfido,' or use bankfido.' This allows for variety without confusion.

Change the Passwords

Now that you've gotten a system for creating passwords, it seems pointless to go through all the trouble to change them. If your password is secure enough and you haven't given it out for some reason, most are safe for accounts like merchants who do not store your credit card information and utility bills. However, for on-line banking and ATM machines it is important to change your password often. Again, create a system to make remembering it easy and change them every few months. Set a date; for instance, every time you pay the water bill change your banking password. Don't alternate between two passwords, either. Create a new password each time.


Fire is one of the last catastrophes you want to think about in your home, but it does happen. Invest in a fireproof box. They are pricey, but a large vault size isn't needed. One that is small enough to carry will suffice. Place the most important papers you have in the box as well as any cash you keep around the home. A small fireproof box containing passports, birth certificates, savings bonds, and cash is a priceless investment in home security.

Advance Directive

Without dwelling on the morbid, take the time to complete an advance directive. What this paper does is state your wishes to health care providers should something happen which renders you unable to state your wishes. The largest advantage of this directive besides having ultimate control over your healthcare decisions is the relief it provides family. During a time of crisis the family needs to question, "What would he have done?" Instead, spell it out for them in these papers which no longer need to be notarized to be legal. Most doctors offices and hospitals have the forms and directions needed to complete an advanced directive, as does your health insurance provider. With a simple phone call, you can make things easier in times of crisis.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 23, 2015

After Katrina hit the south, emergency personnel asked everyone to program ICE, as a contact in their phone (In Case of Emergency).

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By 0 found this helpful
July 19, 2013

Every adult should have a signed advance health directive so doctors know who to contact in case the person can no longer make their own health care decisions.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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