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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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