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Nancy ´╗┐Collins

Professional Organizer

Being Organized in an Emergency
emergency kit

Don't be afraid. Nancy can help create more calm and less chaos.

We here in Southern California have had record rains this week, with lots of flooding. It seems like we go through this a couple times every decade...and last winter we had sooooo much rain, that you'd think people would get a little more on board and prepare when it rains...but in the meantime we are all learning new buzzwords like "atmospheric river"...That's a first for us. In the past we've had rain--(this winter we had lots of rain), but not this much in so quick a time frame. We had 7 inches at my house in 24 hours! Now, it's not evacuate and get the heck-out-of-town yet , but the weatherman says buckets of rain and possible high winds are on our way. It's always a good time to extra prepared--what is it my dad always said: "it's better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it"?


So, it goes without saying, it won't surprise me if we have power outages. The first thing everyone should do? Charge everything. All electronics--and if you have more than one (we have at least 2 iPads per person in this house), charge them too. Electronic readers? You might not have access to your favorite tv shows, e-readers work even without power. Flashlights? check the batteries. Flameless candles? Check them too. Phones? Absolutely. And if you have portable chargers (like when you travel) and headphones, charge them too. Everything. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER FILES.

If you have an electronic garage door opener: go and pull the release cord to release it so you can open it without power. I had to move my car to do this, but now it's ready. If the power goes out, we fan still move the car if we need to. Once the power comes back on it's a simple matter to re-connect it.


Family essentials: Pet food: Does your furry friend have enough food? Might not be easy to get to a store to buy extra if the power is out, stores will be dark too. Medicines: even over the counter ones. Do you have enough? Grooming essentials like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. If you are almost out, make sure you have extra even if it's in your travel essentials. Make copies of your family's medical insurance cards (see my blog on creating a grab n go binder for these things).

Emergency supplies: water, ice, candles, etc. FIRST AID KIT! Does everyone in the family know where to find the bandaids in case of an emergency toe-stubbing in the dark? Food: do you have enough for a couple of days of things like bread, milk, etc? Flashlights: you should have one for each family member and they should know where they are. Basic tools: screwdriver, hammer, pliers, etc. It doesn't hurt to have one of each in the house just in case.

emergency kit

Last but not least, entertainment: Games, books, etc. to keep the boredom at bay. Extra battery power lanterns and lights make it easy to play games. Entertainment supplies are always a good idea to keep on hand.


Keeping these items in one place in an organized manner means you are prepared no matter what happens! Having a list handy in case of an emergency of essentials and things to prepare for, in addition of course to emergency phone numbers, is always a good idea. Type one up and keep it in a sheet protector, so you are not scrambling looking for everything. It's so much easier to get organized ahead of time.

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