Get Organized for Anything Mother Nature Sends Your Way This Summer

Almanacs and weather services have forecasted that we may be in for some severe weather this summer, whether you live in the Southeast, the Central Plains or the Southwest.

And while those are just predictions, we implore you to get organices and get prepared now. We may never be able to predict with much accuracy when and where a major storm or weather event will hit next, but when it’s upon you, it’s usually too late to as much as you would like to get ready for it; as the old proverb says: ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ We know it can seem like difficult and daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Alicia on ‘Make Room for One Night of Prep Time Prime Time’

‘If it’s not planned, it rarely gets done. So the first, and easiest, step in getting organized to be prepared is to schedule time to discuss the issue with your family. We estimate that it will take three hours to develop a plan that will have you ready for anything. Instead of zoning out in front of the boob tube, schedule a ‘Prep Time Prime Time’ for your family and use that three hour block you’d normally be watching TV to discuss your needs and work together to get the basics in place. If that is impossible given extracurricular activities and competing schedules, try to make one week ’emergency preparedness week’ and have your family spend 30 minutes a night (ideally right before or after dinner) going through the steps together.’

Sarah on ‘Avoid Analysis Paralysis’

‘A lot of people get paralyzed when putting an emergency plan together because they want it to be ‘perfect.’ So they either get a tiny fraction of the process started and stop, or they don’t get started at all. Unless you are a psychic and already know in advance every eventuality for which you must prepare, your plan may not be ‘perfect.’ But given the choice to be 80% or 90% prepared versus not at all prepared, you can and should choose the former. The trick is to organize the basics of your plan first and then from there you can layer on details as and when you see fit.’

Three Elements of a Good Emergency Plan

To help you get over any initial fears or inertia, we’ve outlined the three critical elements to a good emergency plan.

#1: Make an Evacuation Plan
Take the time to discuss as a group your plan and once you have landed on the ‘winner’, ensure that everybody is aware of it and knows exactly what to do, where to go, and who to contact. This plan should include your pets. If you are likely to head to a shelter to ride out the storm, you should know that most don’t allow pets inside, so you need to plan for their safety too. Also, make sure everyone has an out of state contact (friend or relative) to call and check in with in case you cannot all connect directly with each other.

#2: Stock Up
If you’re without electricity or running water for days after the storm passes, you’ll have a tough time unless you have stocked up on canned goods, water, flashlights, and batteries. You’ll want to have a battery operated radio on hand as well so you have the latest information as it comes across the wires.

#3: Have Records Ready
You can’t grab your filing cabinet and take it with you in an emergency. But you can grab a binder such as the Life.doc (www.getbuttonedup.com), an accordion folder or laptop computer that has your most important information in it, so it’s with you wherever you end up. The most critical sections include: basic medical information, insurance information (what policies you have and who to contact), and financial information (what accounts you have and who to contact).