Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Being Organized and Being Prepared

What do being organized and being prepared have in common?  
After the flooding in Nashville last week, I believe they go hand in hand.
You may have seen pictures on the news showing the damage to our beautiful city and it’s most famous landmarks such as the Opryland Hotel.  What you didn’t see were the home owners sifting through precious papers and documents that can’t be replaced.  I did.  I helped throw those papers, pictures and belongings in giant trash bags and put them at the curb.  It was heartbreaking.
Lighthouse Christian School teacher Heather Harrell reacts after finding her grandmother's bible in her classroom that was destroyed by the flood.
(AP photo/The Tennessean, Shelly Mays)
This picture and more found here.

So, I am inspired to share with you ways to help minimize your losses in a natural disaster. While the belongings are secondary to the preservation of life, the owners have to live in the aftermath.  Tax returns, gone.  Family albums, gone.  Birth certificates, diplomas, report cards, letters from family and friends, gone.  
I found it interesting as we cleaned out closets, that the items of least value - the ones stuffed in the top of closets - were the ones that were saved.  As an organizer, I’m not going to tell you to shove everything valuable into the top of the closet.  It does, however, beg the questions:
  • If you were given 1 or 2 hours to evacuate for a flood, would you be able to quickly clear the top shelf of any given closet to place your valuables up high?
  • Would you be able to grab one folder that holds all of your vital documents that are difficult or impossible to replace?
  • Do you have an emergency kit to survive for 72 hours in a shelter with water, food and clothing?
  • Do you have an inventory of the valuable items in your home for documentation?

Where to start? Prepare a 72-hour kit for you and every member of your family.  You will also want to prepare for your pets’ care as well.  Then, get your important paperwork in order, in one place, ready to grab and go if necessary.

I have mine ready, and would love to help you get yours ready, too!

Here are some great resources for what you need to do to prepare for any kind of natural disaster emergency.

The Red Cross

A sight by FEMA and the Government
Has the easy plan:
Get A Kit
Make A Plan
Be Informed

FEMA - information on ALL kinds of disaster preparedness

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