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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Disaster Preparation

In the past 5 months this country has seen several major disasters - major oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, floods in Nashville and a bitterly cold winter with repeated blizzards terrorized much of the country. Even South Florida got an unreasonable cold spell that killed off thousands of local plants and animals.

Right now I know the oil spill is a big concern but the flooding in Nashville has me more worried and saddened for all the families who have lost everything. A fellow blogger, Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil is there and fortunately lives high enough that her home did not sustain damage. She's done a tremendous job of highlighting stories of the victims from the two day rain siege and has provided some links for donations. Please stop by and check out her blog and if you have the means to do so, please donate to the families who have lost everything.

This is all very sobering news for a South Floridian dweller. I remember too well the 2005 hurricane's that thrashed South Florida and that was also the year we watched Hurricane Katrina destroy New Orleans and Mississippi.

These recent events along with our upcoming hurricane season starting June 1st have me working on our evacuation plan this weekend - refining all the details, planning for transportation of 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 toddler, husband + necessary gear - all while in 3rd trimester of pregnancy! My husband and I believe in refining our emergency procedures annually because a family can never be too prepared. Here are a few of our tips that we recommend following regardless of where you live in the country - these steps can be very time consuming to assemble so don't wait till the last minute:

- we do a monthly back up to a small device that is only slightly bigger than my iPhone. I consider computer crashes a major "disaster" so this is good preparation for anyone. I also do a weekly back up onto a thumb drive of the files I use on a weekly basis.

- my husband likes to keep an old-fashioned spiral bound notebook containing printed information of the following:
  • Important telephone numbers
  • Record of bank account numbers
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Record of credit card account numbers and companies

--> Safe
  • Copy of will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Copy of passports, social security cards, immunization records
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Back up of computer
This covers the most difficult items to reproduce following a disaster. In later posts I'll demonstrate other helpful tips. And if you are suddenly inspired to learn more about disaster preparation I recommend going to FEMA's website where they have a very helpful manual. This link is 21mg so takes a few minutes to upload.


Miss. C said...

Those are all great tips!!! The other thing people forget is that when the power goes out so does the garage door opener and your door is locked down! You need to know where the release is so you can open the door by hand and get your car out!

amanda said...

You are very well planned from the sounds of it. I can understand, especially when hurricanes are part of your yearly existence. I'm just dealing with snow in May!
We should really be more prepared with some of that stuff though.
I have slowly but surely been putting my pictures on Flickr because that is one thing I would miss the most. We lost our wedding video in a home invasion several years ago and it still bothers me!