Tuesday, September 04, 2007

September: National Preparedness Month

How prepared are you in the event of an emergency?

Even though we may not always like to think about it, let's take a moment to discuss some ways to help prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses in the event of an emergency. We'll cover various areas over the next few weeks.

September is National Preparedness Month and as a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers http://www.NAPO.net we are committed to doing our part as a national coalition member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Preparedness Month (NPM).

This is a nationwide effort, held each September for the past four years, to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and schools. The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action.

Let's start with some very basic tips and suggestions:

1. Emergency Contact List

If you haven't already, prepare a quick reference list of emergency contact names, phone numbers, and medical information to keep together with your photo identification in your wallet or purse.

Make sure every person in your family has their own copy to keep with them too. Encourage your out-of-town family members to do the same.

I created a quick list on my computer, sized it to credit card size, and update it periodically. After I print it out and cut it to size, I protect it in plastic. Some ideas might be to laminate it, or use peel-and-stick laminating sheets found in office supply stores, or use a plastic name tag holder. Or, simply protect it with clear tape.

2. ICE your cell phone.

ICE = In Case of Emergency. If you haven't already, take a moment to enter in an emergency contact name and phone number under the name: ICE in your cell phone. Here is some more information about the ICE initiative from the perspective of first responders: http://lafd.blogspot.com/2005/08/lafd-talks-about-ice.html

3. Make a plan.

Here's a great resource for emergency planning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/index.html

Some additional quick tips from this same website:

Emergency Plans

You may want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

Here's Something To Think About...

Commit this weekend to updating telephone numbers, buying emergency supplies and reviewing your emergency plan with everyone. Write it down on the calendar as a commitment to yourself.


We'll discuss more ideas in the next few weeks.

Feel free to share what you have done to prepare for an emergency!

If you would like a free personal consultation to help you get started on your organizing project, feel free to contact me.

Helping you to Sort Things Out, one step at a time!

Eva Abreu, Professional Organizer & Speaker

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