Disaster planning

Between hurricanes, flooding, fires, and earthquakes – I thought some Disaster Planning info might be good for this “Miscellaneous Tuesday”.  If you are living smaller, chances are good that you are a contract worker, or freelancer or craftsperson or otherwise self-employed (if only part of the time). So planning ahead for an emergency is important.

The first resource, of course, is the SBA (Small Business Administration) – they have materials and info and even a self-paced course CLICK HERE for it.

If you have a brick and mortar bank you may want to put your critical business documents in a safe deposit box (those vaults are usually fire and water proof).

If you work from home – you may want to combine your business and personal planning – so that all your important documents (or at least copies of them) are already in a waterproof bag and inside your back pack or luggage. Make sure it includes your tax info. And if you have web-based accounts – keep a paper copy of your URL, account # and userid and password, in case your own computer equipment is destroyed (I say this because a lot of folks rely on their browser or an app to track their bookmarks, userids and passwords…but what if you can’t access those? The same thing goes for critical names and phone numbers/addresses – if you lose your phone or the battery dies, do you know the phone numbers of your family or friends any more?

You should also have an idea of where you are going, should you need to evacuate. Google maps is lovely – but when you phone battery goes, it might be nice to have an old-fashioned road map available (see below).

So that brings me to what you should have in your emergency kit (whether personal or business – besides your documents).

What you should have in your Emergency Kit

One of the key elements for disaster preparedness is the Emergency Kit. The best container for assembling your Emergency Kit is a plastic storage box with a tight-fitting, waterproof lid. Here is a list of supplies that you will want to consider (please note: this assumes that pets will be included in your plan):

  • A copy of your Emergency Disaster Plan
  • Road maps and street guides
  • Animal first aid brochure or book
  • Extra leashes, collars and harnesses
  • Dog stakes and cables
  • Muzzles
  • Gloves: Heavy gloves and disposable rubber gloves
  • Can opener
  • Utensils (spoon, etc.)
  • Your (and your family’s) medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Pet first aid kit and generic pet medicines
  • Extra food for dogs and cats
  • Bottled water
  • Food and water dishes
  • Small litter boxes
  • Kitty litter
  • Pet safe shampoo ( or a bottle of Dawn)
  • Flea spray
  • Paper and cloth towels
  • Blankets
  • Plastic sheeting or tarp
  • Pocket knife
  • Scissors
  • Flashlight
  • Portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Assorted plastic bags
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Disinfectant or bleach

Keep your Emergency Kit in a convenient location. Don’t put yourself in the position to be searching for it in the basement or attic when you need it. In addition to the animal care supplies listed above, you’ll want to have a written list of any personal items that you would want to have on hand.  It also wouldn’t hurt to have a copy of the latest vaccination and licensing records tucked into your kit.

I’m sure you can think of more on your own. Ever since I lived in the Bay area (I was there for the Big Quake in 1989) I have kept a back pack with emergency stuff in the trunk of my car, and one in the hall closet – in case of emergencies. My biggest challenge now is rotating perishable stuff in and out of the packs. 🙂

Be safe out there. The smaller you live, the less you will worry about in an emergency.

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