Tag Archives: Preparation

Emergency Preparedness

In this week’s challenge we’ll make an emergency preparedness kit to make sure our family is secure in the case of a disaster or other emergency, plus do a few other safety related tasks around our homes as well.

Emergency Preparedness

emergency preparedness copy

Emergency situations and disasters can happen. It isn’t something we like to think about, but just turning on the news, or even hearing stories from our friends and family members, makes it clear that we shouldn’t just ignore the possibility because it is very real.

While that is the bad news, the good news is that we can prepare for those emergencies, and doing so is something that can help us feel a bit more in control again, and ease our worry.

It can also mean the difference between being slightly comfortable in a bad situtaion, as opposed to really uncomfortable, or even more importantly, sometimes it can be the difference between life and death.

That’s why in every organized homethere should be an emergency kit that can help you weather whatever disasters most likely would effect the area you live in, as well as taking several other safety precautions.

Are you new here? The Create An Emergency Preparedness Kit Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).

Step 1: Be Prepared For Fires, Natural Disasters & Extreme Weather

The first step in this week’s challenge is to take steps to become prepared for fires, natural disasters and extreme weather that can occur in or surrounding your home.

The natural disasters and types of extreme weather you can expect and should prepare for, to an extent, are different in each area of the country, and really the world.

So consider this more general advice that I’m providing below in the lens of those particular disasters, such as earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, or something else entirely, and make sure whatever preparations you take will be adequate for the type of disasters you’re more likely to experience.

Everyone, of course, needs to prepare for the possibility of house fires.

Talk To Your Family & Develop A Plan, And Practice It

For each type of emergency or disaster that your household needs to prepare for, you need to talk to your family and develop a plan for how to prepare for it.

It is not enough for you to know the plan, and no one else. That is why family involvement is so important, because in an emergency everyone needs to know what to do, to the extent that they’re capable of acting on their own.

It is also not enough for everyone to just discuss it. Actually practicing the steps is also extremely important.

In addition, here’s some more general tips that you should take to be prepared for these emergencies:

  • All adults, teens and older children should know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
  • Identify the safest places in your home for earthquakes and tornadoes.
  • Consider and map out escape routes from each room in your home. Practice them at least twice a year.
  • Choose two emergency meeting places for your household, one outside your home, but close by, and one outside the neighborhood in case you are gone when the disaster occurs and are not able to get back to your home again.
  • Keep a working flashlight on every floor of your home and know where to find them.
  • Make sure you have placed fire extinguishers in all the important spots in your home.
  • Make sure everyone in your home (even kids) know how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Install smoke detectors throughout your home, and change the batteries yearly.
  • Routinely check your smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and flashlights to make sure they are in good working order. You can use Daylight Saving Time’s beginning and end as a reminder if you wish, to do it twice annually.
  • Make a plan for your pets as well, and consider that many emergency or disaster shelters do not allow pets.

Make Sure You’ve Got A Home Inventory

If a fire or natural disaster occurs, or you’re the victim of theft, it is important to know what the contents of your home were, so that you can work with your home insurance company to replace your belongings. This is the main purpose of a home inventory.

I actually believe this is so important that I’ve added creating a home inventory as an entire challenge in this 52 Week Home Organization Challenge, and we’ll be working on it together later this year.

Suffice it to say during this challenge that you need to keep your home inventory in a safe place, with at least one copy preferably outside your home, such as at a trusted friend or relatives home, or in your safe deposit box. This is just logical because if your home is damaged or destroyed in some way it might make your copy of your home inventory stored there inaccessible.

Emergency Contact List Should Be Handy In Case Of Crisis

Finally, it is important for everyone in your home to have ready access to an emergency contact list.

Step 2: Create A 3 Day Emergency Kit

The second step in this week’s challenge is to create a three day emergency kit.

The reason is that emergency situations may limit your access to food, water, heat or other necessities and you need to be prepared.

Some people suggest having more than just three days worth of supplies, and I am not saying you don’t want to go above and beyond, but if you don’t have any type of emergency kit at all I suggest starting with a three day version, because it is really the minimum you should have.

One of the things listed on this supply list is a first aid kit.

Please remember that we will work on our first aid kit for our home during the Organize Medicines & First Aid Kit Challenge in just a couple of weeks. But you should consider having a separate first aid kit for your emergency kit, because in an emergency you might need to grab your emergency kit quickly, and not have a chance to run to where you normally keep your first aid kit as an additional stop.

If you do not want to create your own personalized emergency kit, or you just don’t have time to create one right now, you can purchase a three day emergency supply kit (also known as a 72 hour kit). It will not contain exactly the things on the list I created and mentioned above, but if you don’t have time to do anything else, it is much better than nothing.

Once you create or purchase your kit you have to remember to also regularly replace supplies as they expire or get too old.

In addition, as your family changes circumstances and grows older you need to update things such as the size of clothes or shoes in the kit, add supplies for new household members, or update medications or even add extra eyeglasses for a family member who just got a new prescription, for example.

To do all these types of updates I suggest getting into a routine of checking and updating your emergency kit twice a year, both at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Step 3: Create A Car Emergency Kit

We need an emergency kit for our house, but we also need one for our car(s) since we are in them a lot as well.

This is important all year round, but becomes especially important during winter weather as well.

Step 4: Child Proof Your Home To The Extent Necessary

Finally, the last step of this week’s challenge is to child proof your home to the extent necessary.

Obviously, if you have no small children living in your home, nor any that visit frequently, this won’t take you nearly as long as for those with small kids.

But we need to acknowledge that emergencies don’t just happen with natural disasters, or large calamities like house fires, but can also just happen when we turn our back for just a second.

Kids will be kids and it is our job, as caregivers, to provide a safe environment for them, especially for kids so young they just don’t know better yet.

Here’s a quick list of safety tasks you should consider:

  • Install safety latches or locks on cabinets and drawers where potentially dangerous objects are stored;
  • Keep all poisons, medications, knives and other sharp objects out of reach;
  • Anchor tall furniture to the wall to prevent it from toppling;
  • Cover sharp edges of furniture;
  • Ensure children cannot easily get to dangerous areas (including swimming pools) without supervision, and install safety gates inside the house as necessary;
  • Shield electrical outlets with covers;
  • Hanging wires and cords, including long window-blind cords, are out of reach;
  • Small objects that could be choking hazards are out of reach.
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Do You REALLY Put Your Smartphone To Use?

ReallyUseYourSmartphoneIn this day of modern technology, even kids have smartphones. It’s not unusual to walk in somewhere and see 90% of the people around you with a smartphone in a holster, in their pockets, or in their hands being put to use. But what I want to ask you today is: Do you really use your smartphone? Yes, we all have them, but in reality, most of us that do have them don’t need them and certainly don’t use them for everything that they are capable of. So let’s put your smartphone to use!

Your typical smartphone user knows their basics: You can make calls, send text messages, send emails, play on Facebook, play games, use it as a flashlight (I probably couldn’t make it without the app that turns my phone’s flash into a camera if we’re being honest here!), and schedule appointments into your calendar. This is all great. I’m a Facebook addict and I love the fact that my phone keeps me connected to it at all times, but there is really so much more that you can use that expensive electronic brick for, and that’s why I’m writing this blog!

One of my favorite uses for my phone (yes, other than the flashlight and Facebook) is being able to stay connected to my online banking. I bank with a rather large credit union, and in the last year or so, they have made a lot of changes to their app. I can do much more than just look up my balances. I can transfer cash from my checking to my savings account, schedule payments for my credit card, set up alerts that go straight to my phone when my account balance gets low, and my all-time favorite thing is that when someone writes me a check, I can make the deposit from my phone just by taking pictures and uploading them through the app!

If you’re like me and you like to look up new and interesting things to eat, perhaps you would like to check out the AllRecipes.com app. When I get bored with my usual recipes, this is something that always spices up my dinners.

Now, I’ve said many times before that I am looking to save money, and I also try to do things that are environmentally friendly… As much as I love to read, I’ve been trying to curb the amount of books that I purchase. This has been fairly sad for me, but I’ve found a new love that’s really awesome: the Kindle app that comes automatically on most Android devices. Most eBooks that you find are actually much cheaper than you will find the printed versions for, and of course since they aren’t printed, it’s more environmentally friendly. An added bonus to this is if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can have the option to check out one free eBook each month (this is just one of MANY perks offered by Amazon Prime!).

Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies

This next thing isn’t something that everyone will take advantage of, but some of you will love it. If you area blogger, you can easily post, update, and maintain your blog from your smartphone. It all depends on your blogging platform, but Blogger and WordPress both have very user friendly apps that you may want to look into.

Have you thought about using your phone to get in shape? Seems crazy, right? Well, one of my new favorite apps is Noom. With Noom you can count calories, log your weight, exercises, and with Noom Pro you can even track your waist size. It even comes with an awesome step counter that gives you a goal for your target number of steps each day. This app gives you useful information to read daily to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals, along with much, much more. An added bonus to it is a forum to keep in touch with others who are also working to lose weight and get in shape. While there are many other apps made to help with this, this particular one is my favorite.

Now, I’m not a great couponer, although I have tried… My boyfriend’s sister on the other hand is one of those people who can get most of her groceries for free. There are several couponing and deal apps out there that can help you do that. I haven’t started utilizing one yet, but my goal is to start soon and I will let you all know which ones I find useful and how much they have actually helped me.

Being a single mom, I still haven’t found the cash in my budget to get cable… However, I do have a Netflix account (rather my boyfriend does, and he was nice enough to give me the login info for it!) and although I mostly watch movies and shows on my computer, when the kiddos take over it to watch movies or play games, I’m left with my phone and I love watching movies on it!

Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies

As a woman, it is a rule of nature that we are supposed to shop, and shop I do! As you may have guessed, I do most of my shopping from my phone. What shopping I don’t do from my phone, I plan from it. My favorite shopping apps are eBay, Amazon, and occasionally Walmart. I HATE shopping at Walmart, but sometimes it is a necessary evil… That’s another blog for another time though. Preparing to shop though, my favorite app is from Publix. I make my list, pick the store I’m shopping at, and it tells me where every item on my list is at in the store. Another great thing about shopping at Publix is that you can pick out your coupons from their website and enter your phone number. No clipping coupons, and you save money, what could be better?

I do, of course, use my phone for many, many, many other things, but these were all things that I thought that you might find useful as well. Please comment below and let me know if I left out something that you couldn’t live without, or if I gave you some new ideas!

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