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Maybe it was ok to pick up a few things at the State Fair

Heeding advice from my previous post, the only thing my family brought home from the State Fair was a paper pig ear hat we got at the Swine Barn. (A family tradition which I will do until my son gets too cool for having his picture taken with Mom and Dad in paper pig ears.) One of my mentors, Louise Kurzeka, who is president of the National Association of Professional Organizers Minnesota Chapter, picked up a lot! She carried 20 bags and 20 booklets through the entire fair so she could share them with chapter members. The topic was Emergency Preparedness.

The same day Louise handed out the bags and booklets I received Angie’s List monthly newsletter. The headline story was “HELP! A Survival Guide to Life’s Emergencies.” Something seemed to be telling me that maybe I should revisit my own emergency plans. Then I learned that September is National Preparedness Month.

While I don’t expect any hurricanes or tsunamis in Minnesota, the site has information about almost any emergency you can think of (including Space Weather, maybe similar to sun flares?) I feel pretty safe from earthquakes and volcanoes, but tornados have touched down in Minneapolis, of course we get snow storms, and no one is completely safe from house fires.

Of course there is no need to panic, but this may be a good time to review your emergency plan. Doing so now can ease some of the inevitable stress that would come with disaster.

  • Is your crucial information up to date and easily accessible?

  • Do you know where you will meet your family if something happens when you aren’t together?

  • If your phone dies, do you know how to get in touch with loved ones? (Or how to drive there if GPS is down?)

  • Do the work places or schools where your family might be have emergency plans that you should be aware of?

  • Could a first responder access an ICE number? (That is who to call ‘In Case ofEmergency’). My husband is listed on my phone, but since it is code protected I really need a hard copy in my wallet. I have also been told that the only name used should be ICE, versus “Call my husband in case of emergency”. That way, if it falls into the wrong hands a scammer would have less information about the important number.)

  • Will you have access to banking information or passwords if you are faced with a lasting power outage?

  • Is your winter survival car kit ready for the upcoming season?

I need to update some information and review plans with my family. I am not going to spend money to purchase solar phone chargers or 3 weeks of freeze dried food, but everyone should do what they feel comfortable with and what is appropriate to their situation. My parents, for example, live in a hurricane prone area and my sister isn’t far from the San Andreas Fault (and a lot of fires at the moment). That definitely requires different planning than I need for snow storms and tornadoes.

If you really want to go all out, sign up for the National PrepareAthon Day! They have all sorts of resources and allow you to share your preparedness planning online with others throughout the country!

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