Catastrophe Survival Tips for You, Your Family and Your Business
By Eve Abbott, the Organizer Extraordinaire
Whether it is a natural disaster like hurricane Katrina or an
unnatural catastrophe like an upwind industrial chemical
explosion, what you do now to protect yourself and your family
can make the difference between life and death. After you
survive, rebuilding your life and business quickly becomes
Please, do not for one moment think that Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) is going to be able to get to you in
time, unless you have already taken these steps to rescue
yourself. Tragically, even 10 days after post-Katrina rescue
efforts began, there were still people starving to death in New
It can happen anywhere (here), and it is not if, it is when it
will happen. No one can predict the future, but you can take
measures now so you know that you have done what you can to
Check out these Catastrophe Survival Tips for You and Your
Family” at http://www.organize.com that you can use to buy
yourself and your family more time. Time is the second most
important factor in surviving a catastrophe. Water is number
one, so our first tip is:
1) Without water you lose your ability to make clear decisions
within 24 hours. Thirst kills you faster than famine. At Work:
Keep a backpack at work with as much bottled water as you can
carry. Plus, put in dried fruit, power bars, your daily
medications or vitamins and a small first aid kit. Keep a Family
Emergency Numbers List inside too. At Home: Put at least enough
water in sealed containers so that your family will have one
gallon per day for two weeks. I just bought shrink-wrapped cases
of quart-sized plastic water bottles and stacked them under the
backyard picnic table. Even if some of it is compromised you
will still have other bottles intact. Swap water out every six
months – put a reminder in your calendar.
2) Create a Catastrophe Kit on your property outside your house
and garage (in a back corner of your yard, for instance). It is
as easy as getting a plastic 55-gallon trash bin with clips on
the lid to hold it shut. Or use a small plastic/metal garden
‘shed’ in your yard.
3) Clean out your closets and put in layered clothing AND tough
shoes for each family member. You need a complete change of dry
clothing that you can be warm enough in to sleep while dressed.
4) Clean out the camping gear you are not using: this is the
perfect place for it. Tents, Tarps, Ponchos, Sleeping bags or
Wool blankets (wool will keep you warmer even when wet), cooking
gear, Lighters, Utensils, Can-openers and a pan to boil water.
5) Make a separate sealed container with food in it. Canned
goods as complete meals are ideal. Dried foods will use precious
water to reconstitute. Instant coffee keeps withdrawal headaches
away. If you smoke, put a carton of cigarettes in to prevent
withdrawal sickness. Concentrate on meals (e.g. beef stew,
spaghetti) and carbohydrate foods like cereal bars and dried
fruit leathers for energy.
6) If you eat a protein drink (or power bar) regularly, throw in
a big container (or a 12-pack of cans/bars) and enough liquid to
mix it up. This is a good concentrated food source.
7) Include another plastic sealed container with all of the
basic medicines or vitamins you and your family must have. Some
doctors will give you double prescriptions once if you ask.
Clean out your bathroom cabinets and make sure to pack first aid
remedies like ibuprofen, tylenol, aspirin, bandages,
anti-bacterial ointment, etc. You can get cost-effective home
emergency kits at Costco.
8) Important: a battery radio for emergency broadcasts; ideally
a CB radio or Nextel-type network phone; your Family List with
names, essential medical and contact information, as well as
local emergency numbers. Call friends/family outside your state
to leave update info. Local phone access is often turned off or
destroyed during emergencies.
9) Maintain a Catastrophe mini-Kit for your car(s). Always have
a blanket, food (e.g., power bars) and water in sealed
containers. You can buy quality car emergency kits at Costco,
Create regular backups of your personal and business computer
systems. I use Norton Ghost to image copy my entire drive onto
an external hard drive and store it in the trunk of my car
parked in my driveway. You probably won’t be thinking about your
business in the middle of a disaster, but when you survive you
will need to rebuild your life and business as soon as possible.
It’s more fun hassling re-creating your working drive than it is
to go out of business. You can also do regular backups to remote
sites on the web. I highly recommend my backup ‘guru’ Sallie
Goetsch’s weekly Backup Reminder ezine. For essential backup
tips visit the FileSlinger(tm) Backup Blog
“May you and yours be safe and well.” But, do your family’s
Catastrophe Kits this weekend anyway, OK? Organizing cannot stop
a catastrophe, but after you survive it will help you and your
family in recovering quickly.
If you like, sign up for more free tips at www.ORGANIZE.com “How
to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain” Tips by Eve Abbott
Organizer Extraordinaire 877-528-4950 EveAbbott@Organize.com