At a recent NAPO Nashville Chapter meeting we had a speaker in, Heidi J. Mariscal, who talked about being prepared for an emergency. A recent member of ours lost her home to fire. This got me to thinking this is a good time to pass along some of the tips that I learned during my meeting and resources you can use to help you get ready.
- Have a “GO” kit. This is a bag that can be grabbed and taken with you in an emergency. Every household should have one. Example items would be your important papers and passports, a extra set of car keys, money in small denominations (at least $100), bottled water and non perishable food, flashlight, radio, medication for one week, first aid kit, tool kit, etc.
- Back up your computer files. I can’t stress this enough. You never know when your computer will crash or another tragedy will happen and you need your important information off your computer.
- Use cloud storage as well as portable hard drives. This way you are covered from both ends.
- Change out your surge protectors. Who knew that these things have a shelf life. A surge protector that had too many surges was the cause of my colleague’s house fire. So be sure to check them when you check your fire alarms and the like to make sure that it is working correctly.
- Use plastic storage bins and not cardboard. Plastic will hold up far better if you have water damage or even fire damage than cardboard.
- Have a communication plan that involves someone out of state. An emergency contact. You always want to have a plan in place for out of town relatives to be able to get in touch or to find out information in an emergency.
These are just some of the tips that I learned from our chapter meeting. You can visit your local Emergency Management website or office for more information and great tips and examples so that you can be prepared in an emergency. For Nashville the website is www.nashville.gov/oem. You can also look them up on Facebook.
You never know when disaster will strike. Why not be prepared.