hurricane http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1308/all en-US Preparing Financially for a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/189077961_85e977af0a_z.jpg" alt="flooded house" title="flooded house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, but the damage left in her wake will last for the foreseeable future. At a time of a great natural disaster, the last thing that you and your family want to be thinking about is your finances. While at least one bank was kind enough to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-storm-sandy-banks-fees-idUSBRE8A01QO20121101">forgive fees</a> in Sandy's wake, most of your creditors will not be so generous. That's why it's important to prepare yourself for disasters, financially speaking, before they happen. Getting caught in one of these with no financial preparedness is just about the worst thing that can happen, so start getting ready today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit">6 Items You&nbsp;Might Have Forgotten in&nbsp;Your Emergency Kit</a>)</p> <h2>Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance</h2> <p>It's good to have insurance for just about every conceivable catastrophe possible. If you live on the 20th story of a building in Dallas, chances are pretty good that you don't need <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-facts-about-flooding-and-your-home">flood insurance</a>. Still, having fire insurance on the place is a good bet. Those living in flood zones should ensure that their renters or homeowners insurance actually covers this &mdash; in many cases it doesn't, and you need to buy a separate policy to protect yourself. For example, in California, an insurance policy will not cover damage from an earthquake. You need a separate policy for that, which is underwritten by the State of California. Know basic information about your insurance policy such as:</p> <ul> <li>What's covered?</li> <li>What's not covered?</li> <li>What's your deductible?</li> <li>How much is your coverage for?</li> <li>Is temporary housing included if you and your family are displaced?</li> </ul> <p>These are all basic questions, but often times people do not inspect their insurance policies. Take the opportunity to do just that so you won't get an additional surprise after disaster strikes.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Keep Your Records Safe</h2> <p>You're going to want to keep financial records in a number of formats, both paper and digital. Paper is great to have because nothing beats the original copy. However, in the event of a disaster such as a flood or an earthquake that starts fires, these paper records won't hold up. You should back up everything by scanning it, then uploading it to a couple of different cloud-computing services to really cover yourself. If you have a <a href="http://gmail.com">Gmail</a> account, you have access to cloud computing that's very easy to use &mdash; just send yourself an email or upload it to Google Drive, a free cloud storage service offered by Google. <a href="http://www.mediafire.com/">Mediafire</a> is another free cloud-based service that doesn't even require registration. Literally anyone with a Facebook or a Twitter account can take advantage of it. Storing your stuff in a few different places ensures that you won't lose everything in the event that one of your storage sites gets done in like Mediafire.</p> <h2>Have a Fund in Place</h2> <p>It's good to have money in place for an emergency that's separate from your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-plan-better-than-an-emergency-fund">emergency savings</a>. The money in this account isn't for things like fixing your car after it breaks down; it's physical money that you can access in the event of a natural disaster or similar emergency. Think of it as &quot;under the mattress&quot; money. It shouldn't be a significant part of your savings, but throwing a few dollars from every check under the floorboards of your bedroom will pay off on the day that ATMs are working they way they need to and you need baby formula.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Know How to&nbsp;Contact Your Creditors</h2> <p>In the event of a natural disaster, there's slim hope that your creditors are going to put your outstanding debts on hold. Having a card in your wallet that has the names of all your creditors and a number where you can reach them will at least help you to communicate with them. This allows you to inform them that a payment might be late and try to work with them to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">avoid accruing fees</a> or defaulting. You can also use these numbers to negotiate for an increase in your credit line if this is necessary because you ran into expenses that you hadn't saved enough to cover, or your current credit limit couldn't cover them.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm">Financial Emergencies: How to Weather the Storm</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Savings with Great Interest Rates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking emergency plan hurricane natural disaster Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:36:50 +0000 Nicholas Pell 955505 at http://www.wisebread.com How To Plan For A Crisis http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-plan-for-a-crisis <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-plan-for-a-crisis" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-plan-for-a-crisis</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-to-plan-for-a-crisis" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015215413Small_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bad weather, a devastating earthquake and chemical or industrial accidents can cost you plenty&mdash;even put you out of business&mdash;if you aren't prepared. But properly handled, &quot;That which does not kill us makes us stronger,&quot; as philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche put it.</p> <p>Ultimately, a crisis can be an agent for change&nbsp;that leads to increased flexibility and&nbsp;adaptability, and can help reduce the impact of future crises. Planning for, and management of, a crisis is possible.</p> <p><strong>Crisis planning</strong></p> <p>Preparing for the unknown may sound like a futile exercise, but you need to plan for how you will continue to operate, or temporarily shutdown in an orderly way, regardless of the problem.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Systems:</strong>&nbsp;How will you keep automated systems operating, and create manual backups when you can&rsquo;t?</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Infrastructure:</strong>&nbsp;How will you maintain infrastructures ranging from electrical supply to supplier deliveries?</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Public</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Relations:</strong>&nbsp;What is your public relations plan that communicates that you are aware, in control, and doing something?</li> </ul> <p>For example, do you have a call ladder? You call two people, each of them calls two people, and in 10 steps, over a 1,000 people can be in personal contact. You can use the concept for employees, suppliers and even customers.</p> <p>Training and simulation are keystones in disaster planning.</p> <p><a href="http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp" target="_blank">Federal Emergency Management Agency</a>&nbsp;(FEMA),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/?vgnextoid=58d51a53f1c37110VgnVCM1000003481a10aRCRD&amp;vgnextfmt=default" target="_blank">American Red Cross</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncdp.mailman.columbia.edu/crlccourses.html" target="_blank">The national Center for Disaster Preparedness</a>&nbsp;through Columbia University, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bt.cdc.gov/" target="_blank">Center for Disease Control</a>&nbsp;all offer free disaster planning courses online.</p> <p>Training isn&rsquo;t enough, though. The maxim that &ldquo;practice makes perfect&rdquo; is true. Unless you test your plans, you really can&rsquo;t be sure they&rsquo;ll be effective.</p> <p>NASA has a telework program, for example, that&rsquo;s an integral piece of their Continuity of Operations plan. So periodically, they declare a simulated emergency and designated telecommuters sign in from home.</p> <p><strong>Crisis management</strong></p> <p>When the worst does happen, you have to manage both the actual problem and perceived problems. Communication can be either the solution or the problem.</p> <p>When a murderer added cyanide to Tylenol capsules, killing seven, Johnson &amp; Johnson pulled $100 million of product off shelves and their CEO appeared on TV to explain what they were doing. Sales quickly returned to pre-crisis levels.</p> <p>On the other hand, when toxic gas escaped from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal India, communication breakdowns before, during and after the disaster only made matters worse. Crisis plans and emergency instructions were only available in English. Senior executives were put under house arrest and cut off when they arrived in India.</p> <p>Management and staff blamed each other, records were changed in a massive coverup. Amazingly, sabotage was found as the probable cause, but popular reporting was allowed to ignore that &ldquo;virtual certainty.&rdquo; Twenty-five years later, the company is still struggling with repercussions including fines and even jail terms for two executives.</p> <p>The bottom line: make communication a priority. Even when it's tempting to ignore phone calls while putting out the &quot;figurative or literal&quot; fire.</p> <p><strong>Crisis recovery</strong></p> <p>Properly handled, you can benefit from a crisis. Besides offering the opportunity for examination and change, a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nrf.com/Attachments.asp?id=12546" target="_blank">study by the University of Oxford</a>&nbsp;found that post-crisis stock prices on average increased by 5 percent for the companies that were prepared. Companies that fumbled lost as much as 15 percent.</p> <p>Good management can be more effective than insurance in mitigating the impact of a catastrophe. Your business shouldn't fail because Mother Nature is acting up or a man-made disaster occurs.</p> <p>Create a crisis management plan that&rsquo;s appropriate for your organization. Test it. Refine it. Communicate it. And use it when the time comes, because it will come. Even as this is written, there&rsquo;s another hurricane headed for the East Coast.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-plan-for-a-crisis">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center catastrophe Crisis earthquake emergency hurricane Thu, 01 Sep 2011 20:39:40 +0000 Tom Harnish 713546 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3062640806_faac174b4a_z-1.jpg" alt="Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?" title="Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-505683"><em>Kristin Haffey</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-506188"><em>Jennifer</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster#comment-505676"><em>Lisa @ Cents To Save</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>With the recent earthquake and hurricane on the east coast, disaster preparedness is a topic on the minds of many people. Many people have a plan in place to follow should disaster strike. However, some people have no plan to follow if they are faced with a natural disaster.</p> <p><strong>Are you prepared for a natural disaster? &nbsp;</strong>Do you have an emergency fund? What about an evacuation plan? Do you know what your insurance covers? If you aren't prepared for a natural disaster yet, are you thinking about getting prepared?</p> <p>Tell us if are prepared for a natural disaster and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 5th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if are prepared for a natural disaster and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-prepared-for-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-watch-your-movies">Ask the Readers: How Do You Watch Your Movies?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-look-forward-to-tax-time-your-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Look Forward to Tax Time? (Your Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers disaster earthquake hurricane natural disaster Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 680812 at http://www.wisebread.com Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit? http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008339727Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've always thought of disaster preparedness as something for the highly paranoid or mildly insane. But something about today's news (coverage of a Mid East weapons bazaar, <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2159935/nav/tap1/">heat beaming guns</a>, Iran not backing down from its nuclear program, and my general feeling about our federal government's competency in the face of major disasters) has made me a little spooked and slightly morbid. If nothing else, it has led me to believe that <strong>better safe than sorry</strong> is a mantra that I should be chanting all day.</p> <p>Let's just say that, should some disaster befall my fair city in the next 24 hours, I would probably not be ready to handle my own survival in the face of such an occurrence. But all of that is about to change, because tonight is my Disaster Preparedness Night, in which I assemble my very own survival kit, that will hopefully see me through any major emergency.</p> <p>A while back, Slate offered a series of articles on how to survive disasters. The one on <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2148772/entry/2148774/">nuclear disaster</a> was actually almost comforting, but some of the others, like the one about avian flu, were more disturbing, and didn't really go much beyond &quot;See your doctor, get a flu shot, we are ALL GOING TO DIE AAAAAAAUUUGH!&quot; However, it never hurts (although it might frighten) to read about what we need to do to be safe and sound should we ever find ourselves facing something like Hurricane Katrina.</p> <h2>Earthquakes</h2> <p>Earthquakes, like all disasters, require preparedness and resilience. In terms of preventing disaster, there's not much you can do beyond getting a fair warning. David Shenk (the author of the Slate.com series) offers the possibility of installing an <a href="http://www.quakealarm.com/">Earthquake alarm</a>. It will apparently only give you a few seconds warning (and false alarms might be annoying), but it's better than nothing.</p> <h3>Nuclear Disaster/Dirty Bombs</h3> <p>From the Slate.com article:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;This would <strong>not</strong> be the end of the world,&quot; nuclear expert Charles Ferguson emphasized to me as we talked through the sequence of post-atomic events. &quot;We can deal with this kind of horrific attack, and a little preparation can go a long way to increasing your chances of survival.&quot; It's a shocking, unnerving reality that one can rationally prepare for a nuclear blast. But all it really takes is a trip to the grocery store, a few clicks on the Internet, and short conversations with your boss and your wife.</p> </blockquote> <p>In terms of getting a fair warning, Shenk recommends the pricey <a href="http://www.nukepills.com/radiation-detector.htm#5">keychain radiation detector</a>, whose makers claim can warn you about radioactive isotopes before you are exposed to dangerous levels. In terms of surviving the disaster itself, it turns out that if you aren't incinerated straight away, your chances are pretty good as long as you can make it down to your basement and hole up for a few days until the radiation settles.</p> <h2>General Readiness</h2> <p>Anyway, a common theme to be found in most articles of this nature are: be ready. Have supplies. Stay calm. Make sure that rescuers can find you (hang something outside that indicates that you are present inside, assuming that you ARE inside).</p> <p>I've looked around the web in search of some <a href="http://www.moreprepared.com/backpack-emergency-survival-p-274.html">good survival kits</a>, and there are some <a href="http://www.survivalsuppliers.com/products/earthquake_products/earthquake_kits.html">reasonably-priced</a> ones to be found, but honestly, you can put one together on your own. None of them include items that you can't find on your own, although you run the risk of never assembling such a kit on your own if you are as lazy as I am. Also, the kits obviously don't contain water, so you have to get that ready on your own.</p> <p>Here's what our federal government has to say about surviving disasters:</p> <blockquote><p>When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: <strong>fresh water, food, clean air and warmth</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>The following list of items is from the <a href="http://www.ready.gov/">Ready.gov</a> website &mdash; I've shortened some of the descriptions in the interest of space.</p> <ul> <li>Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation</li> <li>Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (Andrea's note: Power Bars/Cliff Bars and a jar of peanut butter &mdash; you're golden)</li> <li>Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both</li> <li>Flashlight and extra batteries</li> <li>First aid kit</li> <li>Whistle to signal for help</li> <li>Dust masks, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place</li> <li>Baby wipes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation</li> <li>Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities</li> <li>Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)</li> <li>Local maps</li> <li>Prescription medications and glasses</li> <li><a href="http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/pets.html">Pet food and extra water for your pet</a></li> <li>Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container</li> <li>Cash or traveler's checks and change</li> <li>First aid book</li> <li>Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.</li> <li>Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (you can also buy water-sanitizing tablets).</li> <li>Fire extinguisher</li> <li>Matches, stored in a waterproof container</li> <li>Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items</li> <li>Paper towels</li> <li>Paper and pencil</li> <li>Infant formula and diapers</li> <li>Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children</li> </ul> <p>I would also add:</p> <ul> <li>Superglue (good for everything &mdash; remember, it was developed to seal flesh wounds)</li> <li>Ionic breeze or other odor-neutralizing device</li> <li>Banner or flag to alert rescuers to your whereabouts</li> <li>Ice chest or cooler for medications that require chilling</li> <li>If you can, a bottle of prescription antibiotics</li> <li>An extra bucket (for whatever)</li> <li>Long-range walkie talkies in case family members have to separate, extra batteries</li> </ul> <p>Most of this stuff you can probably find around your house, except for a hand-crank radio. I didn't know that those existed.</p> <p>A key to having a good survival kit is maintaining it &mdash; making sure that the spare batteries are changed out once a year, not taking the spare cash out and spending it, checking to see that the energy bars and peanut butter hasn't gone bad, etc.</p> <p>Also, make sure to have a <a href="http://www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/index.html">coherent plan</a>. Where should family members convene, if possible, during an emergency? You can get a a href=&quot;http://www.areyouprepared.com/emergency_guidebook.html#&quot;&gt;free disaster preparedness guidebook.</p> <p>As with all the sad things in life (disaster, death, taxes) it's better to plan ahead of time, and to spend a little extra on being prepared, than to pay the price for not thinking about the future.</p> <h2>Location, Location, You Get the Idea</h2> <p>One difficult aspect of putting together an emergency survival kit is figuring out where to store everything. If you have an actual house, you might have luck figuring out where to put jugs of water, but I live in a townhouse, and I don't have a lot of storage space. I finally settled in storing a bit of water on my bottom level and a bit more on my main level in a cabinet that I barely use. I might disperse some of the other kit components as well.</p> <p>I'll post pictures, and prices, when I'm finished putting it all together. I've got a budget for it, too &mdash; I'm not going to spend over $50 for all of these items. I will either buy them second hand or pilfer what I have around the house. I'll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, I urge all of you to consider getting something similar, if you don't already have one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-preparedness-for-your-freezer">Emergency Preparedness For Your Freezer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore">5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For (and 5 You Can Ignore)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators">The 5 Best Generators</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks attack dirty bomb disaster earthquake emergency flood hurricane medical supplies prepare ready government terrorist toilet paper water Tue, 20 Feb 2007 18:38:43 +0000 Andrea Karim 288 at http://www.wisebread.com