Part of living a simple, organized life is being prepared for emergencies, and our preparation is something I am very proud of. I know that if something really horrible were to happen, be it a fire, a natural disaster or a theft, we are going to be way better off than most people in our area. And this was because of some careful planning and organization that has taken place over the last couple of years, and because it is something that every 6 months or so I review and make changes to. Having that piece of mind really helps me to know that I have done what I could in case we ever experienced an emergency. I figured I would take this post to go over a few ways we have prepared in case of any emergencies.
For starters, I have created a notebook that has all the information and whereabouts of documents my wife would need in the event that something happens to me suddenly should I not able to tell her about certain things. Since I make the majority of our money and handle all the monetary issues, she needs to be filled in on a lot of things that she might not worry about on a day to day basis. This notebook is stored in the safe in our house, and has everything she would need to keep the household going for a while in the event that I was not here to do so. We have discussed this notebook and I believe I have put her mind at ease about being able to handle things if anything ever went wrong. Although the information in my book would probably not match what you should have in yours, here is a good list to get you started – Financial documents, Insurance documents, Contact numbers, Business information/income, etc.. I also keep all this information on our main computer and on a USB key in our emergency kit, just in case.
And then of course, there are our supplies. I did mention these on another site of mine, but figured listing them here would do more good than harm, so let’s take a look:
Cash – We do keep cash on hand in the house in case the ATM’s or credit card machines stop working.
Food – This is where I have been very diligent on stocking up. I have all sorts of canned soups, chilis, sauces, packets of Ramen Noodles, pastas, energy bars, condensed milk, and even a few MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) thrown in for good measure. Right now I estimate that the two of us could easily last a few weeks on what I have stored. I also have a giant bag of cat food for the little guy (and us, if necessary)!
Water – This is even more important than food, really. I have 20 gallons of water stored in the garage and another 3 frozen in our freezer. We also have a 1,500 gallon cistern buried in our yard that collects all the rain and snow melt from the roof. (Cistern was here when we moved in, but so glad to have it) The water for our house comes from a well that has a solar powered (electric backup) pump. There are also water purification tablets for if we need to clean up dirty water.
First Aid Supplies – In the house we have the normal stuff – Band-Aids, aspirin, Neosporin, gauze pads, wrapping tape, etc.. But in the garage I have stored more of it along with ice packs, ace bandages, sewing needles, razor blades, antibiotics (they last a long time, just ask your doctor. The expiration dates are made by the pharmaceutical companies), extra prescription medicines (if we are on any at some point), and assorted other items.
General supplies – Tons of candles, waterproof matches and lighters, glow sticks, 2 wind-up shortwave/AM/FM/flashlight combo units, an extra cellphone for dialing 911, a solar battery/cellphone charger, heavy blankets and extra winter clothes. Also have an axe for cutting firewood, several knives, heavy duty gloves, rain jackets, rope, emergency tent, and of course all of our camping gear as well!
Personal Documents – In our house, we have a small safe filled with paper photocopies of our driver’s licenses, birth certificate, marriage certificate, social security cards, a few of our credit cards and a contact list.
So are you prepared for any emergencies? Knowing I have the stuff to get us through some tough times, at least for a little while, really helps me to relax!