September is National Preparedness Month so it is a great time to organize and prepare your family for a possible emergency.
 
For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Being organized and knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Here are a few tips to safeguard your family in an emergency.
Assemble a “Ready Kit”
  • Water, food, basic first aid, tools, emergency supplies, clothing and bedding are essential. 
  • Be sure to include emergency supplies for your pets and people in your family with special needs, such as babies or seniors. Easy check off lists can be printed from www.ready.gov.
“Ready” your important documents in preparation for an emergency. 
  • Important documents to have include: property insurance, financial information, cash, birth/death certificates, marriage certificates, wills, power of attorneys, trust documents, social security cards, military records, medical records, and medical insurance policies. 
  • Use a portable, fire-resistant, waterproof box to keep important documents easily accessible. 
  • You should also create an emergency communication and evacuation plan for your family. Plans can be found at www.ready.gov.
 
Organizing Tips for tackling your “READY” plan. 
  • Assemble your kits one step at a time by adding a few supplies to your grocery list each week. 
  • After assembling your supplies, gather and organize your documents- one category at a time. 
  • Block out time on your calendar each week to ensure that you devote the time to completing the tasks. 
  • If your office is a mess and you need help, a Professional Organizer can assist you to quickly and easily assemble the documents that you need for your Ready Kit. Go to www.napo.com to find a Professional Organizer in your area. 
  • Once you have “Readied” your family, go to www.ready.gov for information on training and volunteer opportunities to help within your community. Your local Red Cross also offers classes in first aid, CPR, fire suppression, and disaster relief. 
Adapted and reprinted from the NAPO Colorado Chapter (www.napocolorado.com)
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