Friday, August 23, 2013

Be Prepared...more than just the Scout motto!

Be prepared.  When I hear that, I do think of scouting and I also think of being prepared for emergencies.  Like having an emergency box with flashlights, water, copies of important documents and whatnot in case of a tornado.  Or carrying auto insurance in case of an accident.  Or keeping blankets in the car in the winter.

What about if someone has an unexpected illness or hospitalization?  Are you prepared for the little things that are involved in all of that?  What about meals?  What about the kids?  What about phone calls?  There are so many little details.  

It's easy enough to keep a few "quick" meals on hand whether that is simply pasta and pasta sauce or meals in the freezer.  It's really important that your family knows what your emergency meal is and where it is.  It might be YOU who is hospitalized.

Years ago, I had a job where I was stepping in after a long term employee had done some questionable things and when called out on it, left abruptly.  In doing so, there were things that were little things that my boss had no idea what was done where.  He asked me if I could create a type of handbook for them.  He jokingly called it the "If you get hit by a bus" book.  He had an odd sense of humor.  But it was meant to be so user friendly that anyone could pick up the book and know how where to order supplies or who our contact was at a certain customer's place of business, that type of information.

I've been dealing with a lot of health stuff here lately and I am thankful that my husband and I put together our own "If you get hit by a bus" book.  Thankfully, we just call it the emergency book.  In it, we've broken things down where we have a list of family contacts and numbers, those non-family members who we trust to keep our kids and phone numbers, school numbers, doctors and numbers.  There is a list of medicines that we take and our pharmacy contact.  There is also a list of utility companies and phone and account numbers.  In the case of an emergency, either one of us can grab the book and have all the household information one might need.

We also keep a fire safe.  It's not just for fires.  We live in Indiana and have tornadoes here, a small fire safe that is like a small suitcase is great because if we have to go to the basement, it's easy to grab.  In it, we keep copies of birth certificates, marriage license, shot records, and social security cards.  We also have photo copies of driver's licenses and credit cards.  I have all our pictures backed up on a flash drive that is in there as well.  We also have our wills, living wills, advanced directives and Power of Attorney papers.  We even keep a little bit of cash for emergencies.  My home was hit by a tornado years ago and we lost everything.  Imagine how hard it is to get a replacement debit card if you can't prove who you are to the bank without your driver's license.  Or how you would get a driver's license without documents to prove you are who you say you are.  If you don't have a fire safe, you can either give copies of the documents to someone who doesn't live in your area for safekeeping or even scan them into your computer and save to a flash drive to keep somewhere other than your home.

It will take a little time to get everything together but being prepared in case of an emergency will give you peace of mind should something happen.  Knowing that when I went to the hospital that my husband had everything he needed at his fingertips was reassuring.  

Start now, a little at a time and get things ready.  Be prepared!

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