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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Emergency Preparedness > 2 Simple Steps that Get You & Your Family Prepared for Emergencies
This is the 6th year that National Preparedness Month (NPM) is a nationwide effort sponsored by the Ready Campaign, with the support of Coalition Members across the US.

Are you prepared?  Here are two simple steps a couple of helpful tips that will make you more prepared in the case of two different types of emergencies.  These 2 simple steps don't take long to do and can save you a ton of time, money and frustration!  These steps are especially important to take if you travel.

Emergency #1 - Stolen Wallet
Take a few minutes and make a photocopy of everything in your wallet including the front and back of your credit cards and membership cards. Place the copied pages in a manila envelope and mark the envelope "Contents of Wallet" and date it. Place the envelope in your safe deposit box. Mark your calendar for 3 to 6  months’ from now to update your "Contents of Wallet" envelope. Now, if your wallet is lost or stolen you will now know exactly what you lost and whom you need to contact.

Emergency #2 - Flood, Fire or Break In
The best way to prepare for one of these emergencies is to have a safe that is both water and fireproof. You could opt to keep your items in a safe deposit box at the bank, it's just a bit less accessible than one that is in your home.  Last year there were some flood victims in SE MN who had to work hard to prove they own the property that was destroyed. They lost their mortgage, titles and deeds in the flood. Having your important difficult to replace documents in a safe along with an up to date household inventory (and appraisals or receipts of valuables) can save you quite a bit of time, money and headache if you have a flood, fire or break in.

Take a Household Inventory
Spend a few hours walking around your house with a digital camera and take a photo of all of your belongings. Burn the photos onto a CD or DVD. Make at least three copies. One copy goes in your safe deposit box, one should go to your insurance agent and one to the executor of your Will. If you have appraisals or receipts for any of your valuables, put those in your safe along with your CD or DVD of photos.

Protect Your Family Photos
In the case of a fire or flood you should be focused on getting your family out of the house not your photo albums, however, loosing years and years of precious photos could be devastating.  A simple solution is to have your photo's scanned and put on DVD's. Keep one set of DVD's in your safe, give a set to the executor of your Will and you could give some copies to family members, such as your parents, grown children and siblings.

Another Hot Tip:
Put your cell phone on ICE!  Add a contact to your cell phone and name it: In Case of Emergency.  Then list whom you would want to be contacted in the case you ended up in the hospital.  Hospitals are now checking cell phones for emergency contacts.

By implementing these simple home organization and emergency planning tips you could end up saving yourself a lot of time, energy, money and frustration.  For more helpful tips visit the Ready Campaigns government website at

Heidi DeCoux is the publisher of the Life Made Simple E-zine and is a speaker, author, and professional organizer in Minneapolis specializing in home organization.  Heidi energizes her readers’ lives by simplifying their homes and schedules.  For more info, free tips, and to receive her FREE report, The Fast & Easy Way to Get Organized and Stay Organized Forever, visit and discover how to find what you want fast, end the frustration of endless searching for things, so you can spend more time having fun!