How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On An Apple Watch

Updated On 3/1/21

Wondering how to set up your Medical ID or ICE Contact on your new #AppleWatch?

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The Medical ID slide button will appear.  Just tap it and you’ll see your Medical ID information.  Scroll down to emergency contacts, to view any ICE Contacts you added to the Medical ID on your iPhone.
If you happen to be a medical professional or a first responder, this is a great way to find an unconscious patient’s medical and emergency information.

As much as we love Apple’s Medical IDthere are two reasons you still need to make a regular ICE Contact, to use along with it. 

Number 1:  You can put an unlimited amount of vital information into a regular contact.
Number 2:  Hospitals are used to looking for ICE Contacts rather than Medical ID and if you don’t have a regular one, they might miss it.
And with the way the world has been the last few years — from hurricanes to wildfires, tornadoes and oh yeah, COVID — having an ICE contact is an awesome way keep your family safe and connected no matter WHAT is happening around you.

Below, you’ll find everything you need not only to set up your Medical ID the RIGHT way, but the ICE Contacts that go along with it. 

First grab the information you’ll need:

All of the contact info for your two (or more) emergency contacts.
  • A list of your allergies.
  • A list of your medical conditions/recent surgeries
  • The contact information for your main physician(s)
  • Any other information you would like an ER to know about you.

Grab your phone and let’s get started!

How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com
1. Put the word ICE, all capitals, in the First Name field. Don’t type anything else in this field!
2. Put your ICE Contact’s full name and relationship to you in the Company field, ie John Smith – Husband.
3. Type in every phone number you have for your contact.
4. Type in all of your contact’s email addresses — again, every last one.
5. Type in all of your contact’s social media handles/user names. You never know what will be up and running in an emergency. Many people have reached loved ones on Facebook and Twitter, when cell phone and landline service was down.
6. All of your own allergies, medications and medical history go in the notes section. Even better capitalize the words ALLERGIES, MEDICATIONS etc to ensure that they’re seen. 
7. Add your physician’s names and phone numbers in the notes section and if you like, a link to your own Medical History Form. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one of ours.
8. Is your contact in different locations on different days? Add that in the notes section as well.
9. Instead of their photo, add an ICE Contact Graphic to the contact to make it stand out. Go to our Free Resource Page to find one you love.
10. And finally, never put your social security number or insurance member number into your ICE Contact. You can add the name of your insurance company and customer service number, but the actual numbers can wait until later.
And now, let’s make your ICE info even easier to find, by setting up your iPhone’s Medical ID.  

Don’t forget that you can fill in your ICE Contact on your Mac or iPad.  Not only is it easier to type on a larger screen, but once you save it to your contacts, it will sync with iCloud and appear right on your phone.

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What Is Medical ID?

Medical ID, a part of the Apple Health App, not only gives you a place to put your emergency medical information, but it puts a link to that information right on the front of your phone, where it can be viewed by a hospital even if your phone is password locked. 
You’ll find it on most iPhones (iPhone 6 and up) using iOS 8 and higher.   If your phone is older and doesn’t have Medical ID, you can just leave your ICE Contact the way it is.
On your home screen click on the Health App – it’s the one with the heart on it.  This will take you to the Dashboard page of the Health App.  On the bottom right of the screen, you’ll see the Medical ID icon.  Click on it. 
On the Medical ID screen, click on the red link that says Create Medical ID.

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The most important part of the Medical ID screen is at the top.  It’s the On/Off Switch that shows a link to your emergency information on the home screen of your phone even when it’s password-locked. 

Before you do anything else, switch this to the ON position.  It will turn green like the graphic below.
By the way, none of the information in your Medical ID is shared with any of the other apps on your phone.

Enter All Of Your Information

Put all the information you possibly can into your Medical ID.
As you can see it already has fields for your birth date, medical conditions, allergies, current medications and other information.  There are two sections that you need to pay special attention to – Medical Notes and Add Emergency Contact.

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After you finish filling in the regular fields, use the Notes Section to list anything that didn’t fit into them, like the names and phone numbers of your physicians and healthcare providers and contact information for your Insurance Company.  Again, don’t add any sensitive personal information like a social security number, insurance member ID number or financial information.  
You can also place a link to your Medical History Form in the Notes Section to give emergency personnel to quick access to your medical history until your emergency contact arrives at the hospital.

Add Your Emergency Contact

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When you click on Medical ID’s Add Emergency Contact button, it will show you a list of your contacts, so you can choose the people you’d like to add to your Medical ID.  That’s why we had you set up your ICE Contacts first. 
Go ahead and click on the button and choose your first ICE Contact. 
If you have additional ICE Contacts (a smart idea, in case your first contact is unreachable), then click on the Add Emergency Contact field again to add as many additional people as you would like.

Want to save time turning your husband or wife’s contact into an ICE Contact?  Simple!  Just tap & hold the contact you want to use, choose share and email it to yourself. Then open it in your email, make the changes from above to turn it into an ICE Contact and save it to your contacts as ICE.

That’s all there is to it!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our other posts like How To Put An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy, Android or Window’s Phone (you’ll find the links below), to learn EVERYTHING you need to know about ICEing nearly any type of phone.
And don’t forget to put ICE Contacts on your spouse’s and kid’s phones too, along with each other’s contact information, so you can get in touch with each other quickly and easily.
Having an ICE contact and Medical ID is an awesome way keep your family safe and connected no matter WHAT is happening around you.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

The ICE My Phone Kit

Did you know your smartphone can save your life? It can also save your spouse’s life, your kid’s lives and the lives of everyone you love! The secret is letting your phone do the talking for you in an emergency. How? With ICE, your in case of emergency contact. In “The ICE My Phone Kit” you’ll find step by step directions for ICEing, iPhones, Galaxies, regular Androids, Windows and even flip phones. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts

How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Android Smartphone
How To Put An ICE Contact & Medical ID On Your Apple Watch
How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?
How To Find Your Patient’s Medical Information & ICE Contacts On An iPhone.
Cómo Colocar Un En Caso de Contacto de Emergencia En Su Teléfono Celular
Why Are ICE Contacts So Important?
Create An ICE Contact In 2 Minutes
The Two Things You should NEVER put in your ICE Contact
Don’t Carry A Wallet? Here are 20 Places To Put Your Emergency Wallet Card

Keep The People You Love Safe

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan
How To Fill Out Your Child’s Emergency Contact Card

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

45 POST Parents Photos Canon Sony WiFi Camera
Updated 3/7/21

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Printed Photos 

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of earthquakes — like the quakes in Ecuador and Japan — is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a photo of their wedding or of their children.  
In today’s world, now that we have smartphones, taking photos has become a daily event.  If one gets harmed or destroyed, we just print out another copy.  Not true though for old family photos that are hanging on the wall, or worse, stuck like glue inside a yellowed photo album.  

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And where will you find most of those old photos?  At your parent’s and grandparent’s house — where unfortunately one-of-a-kind can mean just that.  One copy and that’s it! What a horrible thing it would be for them or for you to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound is so easy.
So give this post a quick read, grab the tools you need for the job and let’s get Mom and Dad’s photos and cameras squared away once and for all!
As you know, there are two types of photos.  The first are photo prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.  That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this article.  The second type of photo is a digital photo – which we help you back up and archive in another post.  
One thing that makes print photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
So your first task is to locate all of your parent’s physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all the albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on the bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.  
If there are a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.

1. Grab a pencil and paper

…and go around the house jotting down all the non-digital photos or photo collections you want to secure and their current location.

2. Gather all of the photos that you located.

Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to your parents than others.
Take a few moments to look at the photo albums, prints and framed photos and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
  • In the second pile, place photos that you:
    • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
    • Have numerous other copies of the photo in other locations. Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
    • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

3. Scan Away!

Take the photos in the first pile, scan each one and download it to your computer, placing them in a brand new folder. When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital photos on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.

4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations

Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.

How To Scan Your Photos

There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other scanner we wanted to mention is one that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   There are several models on Amazon.com.  Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Back It Up

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog
Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Back Up ALL Your Music – Even Vinyl!

recordplayer

Updated 4/20/2021

How much do you LOVE your music?  

For most of us, it’s not just a bunch of CDs and MP3s.  It’s the soundtrack of our lives.  And when you have something that important, you want to make sure that it’s around, safe and sound for a long, long time. 

So let’s take a few minutes, grab that music collection of yours and back it up for safekeeping.  And who knows?  You might even be able to put that amazing vinyl jazz solo you love, on your smartphone!

1. Back Up Your MP3s

Do you have MP3 or other digital music files on your computer, smartphone or other devices? 
On your PC or Mac, create a folder called “Backup Music (dd/mm/yy)” using today’s date.
Grab all of your devices and take a few moments to download, send or save all of your MP3s (or other digital music files) to your computer.  Then put all of those MP3s into the backup folder. 
Locate all of the digital music on your computer’s hard drive.  Leaving the originals where they are, make copies of the music folders and place them into the backup folder.

2. Deal With CDs, Cassettes & Vinyl Albums

Gather all your CDs, Vinyl Albums and Cassettes and set them on a nearby table.
Although all of your music is important, some means more to you than others. 
Separate your CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums into two piles.
  • Pile One: Music you love that you want to copy and preserve digitally for safekeeping.
  • Pile Two:  Music that you:
    • A) Already have in MP3 format.
    • B) Have numerous copies of the album in other locations (double check that this is true).
    • C) Simply don’t care about preserving.
Go ahead and put the music in pile two back where you found it.

3. Convert Your CDs to MP3s

Convert the CDs to MP3s using Windows Media Player (for PCs) or Audacity for Mac.  Just pop in the CD into your computer, open the software and follow the instructions.
Once they’re ripped, save copies of each album to the regular music folder on your computer and to your new backup folder.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download your favorite songs to your iPod or smartphone.
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4. Convert Your Cassettes & Albums to MP3s

Here are a few easy ways we’ve found to convert your cassettes or albums to MP3s.
There are several vinyl album to MP3 recorders available including the ION Audio Premier LP Turntable Vinyl Record Player.  The nice thing about that one is that it converts cassettes and vinyl to CD or to MP3s.  And if you only have cassettes to convert, there is the Reshow Cassette Player  MP3 Converter
Once you’ve saved copies of your cassettes and vinyl albums, save them to the regular music folder on your computer, to your new backup folder and don’t forget to put your favorites on your smartphone or MP3 player.
And while you’re at it, how about helping mom, dad, grandma or grandpa preserve their old albums while you’re at it.  An MP3 player or new iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy full of their favorite songs would make a GREAT gift!

5.  Backing Up Your Music For Safe Keeping

Since we’ve been talking about preserving your music, once you’ve got it all backed up, it only makes sense to keep it safe and sound. 
So save a copy of your Backup Music folder onto a flash drive or a portable hard drive and place it in at least two secure, damage-proof locations, away from home for safekeeping. 
Here are a few suggestions on places to put it:
  • In a watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin
  • In a safe deposit box in your own city.
  • In a water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In a safe deposit in a pre-determined evacuation location
  • In a password protected file on Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive or family web site.

High Tech Toys

Here are some of our favorite high-tech tools and toys to help you get all of your favorite photos, music, home videos, movies – and anything else that can be stored digitally – backed up, stored and accessible.  Wherever you are.  Whatever is going on around you.  24/7. 
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020
Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger
Axis Self-Powered Safety Hub
Canon PowerShot Wi-Fi Enabled ELPH 190 Digital Camera
ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
Epson Perfection V600 Photo, Film, & Document Scanner
ez Share WiFi SD Card
Fireproof Document Bags
Sentry Fireproof/Waterproof  Lateral File Cabinet
SentrySafe Fireproof and Waterproof Safe
HP Photo Printer All-in-One Wireless Envy 7120
ION Audio Premier LP Turntable Vinyl Record Player
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner
Magnavox VHS to DVD Combo Recorder
Reshow Cassette Player  MP3 Converter
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
SanDisk 32GB Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive
SanDisk 32GB iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Sony 4K HD Video Camcorder
Sony HX400V Compact Digital Camera
VuPoint Handheld Magic Wand Portable Scanner
The COVID pandemic has created a new list of toys that people can’t do without — including some very cool high-tech solutions to unexpected challenges.  Like staying healthy and working from home!  Here are some of our favorites.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
I’m Smiling On The Inside Face Masks
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
iProvèn Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
No-Touch Door Opener, Button Pusher Tool
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Sony Tie-Clip-Style Omnidirectional Microphone
Total Gym APEX G5 Total Body Strength Training
Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on getting your stuff organized, backed up and together, pick up a copy of our books “Back It Up” and “Write It Down” in paperback or via instant download.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

 

Back It Up

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

 

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

Getting Back To Life After An Earthquake

60 POST Tsunami stock-photos-image1236965315
Updated 3/8/21

This post isn’t just about getting ready for disasters — it’s about getting back to LIFE after a disaster.

That’s something very few people talk about. Yet millions upon millions of people are facing that question right this moment. How do we get back to our normal lives after this magnitude of disaster. It’s the third piece in a series and you’ll find the links to the other two parts below.
Not only does the series tell you how to prepare for an earthquake, but it gives you tips on being prepared for ANY disaster — the right way! In case you didn’t see part one and two, you’ll find the links at the end of the post. 

Facing a disaster without giving yourself a plan to recover from it, is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!

Having two plans can make all the difference, in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.  What are the plans?  They are our Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our book Keep Everything You Love Safe.  The evacuation plan is pretty simple.  It all comes from one question…  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
As you think about the locations you’ll use for your evacuation, consider, the people  travelling with you,  how you’ll get there (car, bus, plane), any pets travelling with you and whether those locations will actually work for you – for instance are they close to stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors.
We suggest that people have three different locations in mind, to give you different types of locations and choices depending on the circumstances.   As you create your plan, write everything down in detail.  If you have to use this plan, you and the people you love are probably going to be in panic mode and following an easy to understand plan, will help calm and focus you.
Write down the people who will be travelling with you, and any special instructions you’ll need to gather everyone together, in case a disaster or emergency occurs while you’re all away from home.  Name the location that you and your family will use to meet up with each other and the location you will be evacuating to, if you cannot live in your home, but your immediate area is still safe.  Include the address of the location, contact phone, email address and directions.
Next choose a location (writing down the details, address and contact information) that your family will use if you not only need to evacuate your home, but your immediate area or city.  This might happen during a moderate hurricane or a tornado.  Your third location is out of state, for a serious, widely destructive emergency like Hurricane Katrina, the Iceland Volcano, or other disaster that will make your entire region uninhabitable.
You will also include these locations in your family’s ICE Contacts and emergency wallet cards.  Now, no matter what the disaster, even a fire or local emergency, you and your family will now know where and how to gather, and who will be responsible for what, so you can quickly reunite and travel on to your emergency location together.  If you like, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact as well.   Will you have any pets travelling with you?  Be sure to fill out the pet section, so that you will have all the information you need for them, like the name and numbers for the veterinarian, their licenses, and names/numbers of kennels in the location you are evacuating to and any prescriptions or special instructions you’ll need until you return home.
So are YOU prepared to deal with an earthquake?  Let’s see how Victoria Beckham dealt with an “earthquake” when they moved to LA.  Okay it was a simulator, but you’ll get the idea…   And so did she 🙂

Get Your Free Download Of Top Tech Toys at www.getyourstufftogether.com

Your Get Back To Life Plan

The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair.  That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived an earthquake, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.   You’re in your evacuation location two days after the hurricane subsides.  The phone rings.  It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.  After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your Ready Notebook.   There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss.  You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school, and begin calling the contacts you need (that you jotted down just in case), to help you settle in.  Getting settled is easier than you thought, since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local bank.  It takes some time, but with hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living in a matter of weeks.
Now imagine the same scenario, the same phone call, holding your family, talking and then realizing that you have no plan and no clue how to get back to living your life.   It’s CNN coverage all over again.  The best part of this little scenario is that it hasn’t happened to you and that you have time right now, to make sure no matter what ever occurs in your area, you and your family will be prepared.
Either download our Get Back To Life Plan, or grab a piece of paper.  Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:
  • How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills and receiving our paychecks?  How much emergency cash do we need to have, while traveling?
  • What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
  • How will we work?  Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions?  What people or contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
  • How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription needs while in the new location?  What doctors and dentists can we use while there?
  • How long can we stay in our evacuation location?  If we need to remain evacuated longer, where will we go/stay?  Who will our real estate contacts be, if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
  • How are we going to secure the property or vehicles we had to leave behind?
  • How will we take care of our pets, during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
  • How will we handle our transportation needs?  What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
  • How will we handle our daycare needs?  How will we handle getting our children into school if necessary?  What schools or contacts will we need, to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
  • How will we handle any special needs in our family?
Once you’ve answered the questions, get your family together to work out any potential problems you have uncovered and then draft your plan.  And don’t forget to compile a list of real estate agents, financial contacts and jobs, schools, doctors and other professionals or information that you might need to establish yourself in the new city temporarily or permanently.
Starting over is never easy, especially when it happens because of a disaster or other life changing emergency.  But taking a few hours now to think through and draft a plan, will give you and your family the direction, information and support that you need, to get through not only the first hours and days after a disaster, but the first steps back to living the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
In case you missed any parts of the series, here are the links to the first two posts…
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part One
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Two

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Ready In 10 | 10 Steps. 10 Days. Ready For Almost Anything.

This cutting-edge system is designed to help you get the information you need, keepsakes you treasure and people you love, through life’s little and not so little disasters. In one piece. So you can get back to living your normal life, as quickly and painlessly as possible. Paperback Or Instant Download

How To Organize Your Digital Life

How To Organize Your Digital Life gives a place to record all of your passwords, account information and even emergency instructions, along with secure ways to access them remotely, putting your social media life and your business life exactly where it belongs. At your fingertips. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On An iPhone

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

The ICE My Phone Kit

Did you know your smartphone can save your life? It can also save your spouse’s life, your kid’s lives and the lives of everyone you love! The secret is letting your phone do the talking for you in an emergency. How? With ICE, your in case of emergency contact. In “The ICE My Phone Kit” you’ll find step by step directions for ICEing, iPhones, Galaxies, regular Androids, Windows and even flip phones. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts

How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Android Smartphone
How To Put An ICE Contact & Medical ID On Your Apple Watch
How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?
How To Find Your Patient’s Medical Information & ICE Contacts On An iPhone.
Cómo Colocar Un En Caso de Contacto de Emergencia En Su Teléfono Celular
Why Are ICE Contacts So Important?
Create An ICE Contact In 2 Minutes
The Two Things You should NEVER put in your ICE Contact
Don’t Carry A Wallet? Here are 20 Places To Put Your Emergency Wallet Card

Keep The People You Love Safe

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan
How To Fill Out Your Child’s Emergency Contact Card
As Amazon Associates we earn commissions from qualifying purchases made from product links.

How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan

21 POST Evac Plan stock-photos-image2094572676

Updated 3/23/2021

If you and your family had to evacuate your home because of a tornado, an earthquake or wildfire, where would you go? 

There’s a lot to consider.   “Location A is close enough to home to check on the house if we had to, but what if the entire city is affected?   But if we went to Location B, how would I ever get to work?”

Is your head hurting yet?

Not to worry.  A –  That’s exactly why we want you to go through this exercise now and not when a firefighter is knocking at the door. And B –  That’s also why we suggest that you choose three locations and opt for the one that fits your needs if an emergency ever rears its ugly head.

A great #EvacuationPlan has two objectives:  

1) To figure out the best location for your evacuation
2) To help you gather your family and get you safely to your location
First we’ll walk you through choosing your locations and sketching out a plan.  Once the plans are set, put the details on your family’s emergency wallet cards.    If you want, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact.  And if you don’t have emergency wallet cards, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

How To Choose The Perfect Locations

Location One:  A location Near Your Home, that you can use if you cannot stay in your home, but the area around it is still safe and secure.
Location Two:  A location Outside of Your Immediate Area, that you can use if you cannot stay in your area, but the cities around you are still safe and secure.
Location Three:  A location Out of State, if your own state is uninhabitable.
With three locations you’ll be prepared no matter what the emergency.  You’ll just go down your list, choose the location you need, and be on your way.  You and the members of your immediate family will know where to gather and what to do, even if everyone is away from home in the middle of a busy day.
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

The Right Location

Before you try to zero in on a perfect location, come up with as many different locations as you can that you and your family would be able to use for evacuation.
As you consider each location, think about:
  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you

Does It Have What You Need?

Once you’re pretty certain you have the right places, consider whether this location has what you and your family would actually need.
  • For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors?
  • Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home?
  • Does it have the furniture and supplies necessary for two or three weeks?

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We Have A Winner!  Make That Three Winners!

No location is perfect, so if you came up with one or two things your location would be lacking, be sure to note them on your Family Evacuation Plan, so that you can take care of it before you  get there.

The Staging Area

Now that you’ve chosen your locations, choose two places for you and your family to gather during an emergency, so that you can travel to your evacuation location together.  One place should be near your home or work and the other farther from your home in case your area is completely inaccessible.
Put the addresses and phone numbers of these two meeting places on your family’s emergency cards.

Appoint An Out Of Town Contact

It’s also a good idea to appoint an out of town contact to help you while your family deals with the aftermath of an emergency.
Even though you might not be able to call people right in your own area after an emergency, you can often call long distance.  A distant friend can be a touch point for the entire family until communication is restored.
Once you choose an out of town relative or friend as a contact, check with them to make sure that they’re willing to help.  If so, give them a copy of your emergency plan and wallet card, so they’ll be able to help, if the need ever arises.

Creating Your Plan

Grab a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.  Here are a few questions to answer before you draft your plan:
  • Who Is Evacuating With You?
  • Who Will Do What?
  • Temporary Housing
  • Transportation Plans/Travel Information
  • Pet Information
  • Out of State and Local Contacts
  • Contact Information For Everyone Who Will Be Evacuating With You As Well As Your Out of Town Contact.
    • Their cell phone/school/office numbers
    • Email addresses
    • Twitter and Facebook account names.
    • Any other information that can put you in immediate touch with them, even if one or two modes of communication are down.

Making Your Plan Easy To Access

Review the plans with your spouse and adult family members.  Once they’re set, put that information on your family’s emergency wallet cards.  If you don’t already have your own, click the link to download ours.   It might be a good idea to give a card to the person you chose to be your out of area contact, too.
And while you’re at it, store a copy in your family’s cell phones as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Print, scan or make three copies of the Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
If your Plan is on paper, you can place it:
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
If your Plan is on computer, you can place it:
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • On a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
  • Save a link to the Plan on you and your family’s smartphones, so that you can all instantly access and use the plan whenever you need it.

Anything Else To Add?

Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, scan or make copies of that information and place it in the same folder as your completed medical history forms.
If you need help creating Medical History Forms for your family, take a look at our blog post.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Back Up Your Print Photos

6 POST Archive Print Photos Sony WiFi Camera
Updated 4/19/21

top20postsquaregold

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of any hurricane or wildfire, is the look on people’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find the things they love.  

Even one photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories. 
And with the way the world has been the last few years — from hurricanes to wildfires, tornadoes and oh yeah, COVID — it’s definitely time to make everything we love safe and sound.
Here are our top tips, tools & high tech toys that will get all your favorite photos scanned, stored and accessible quickly and easily. 

Have you been through your family photo album lately? 

How are your pictures doing? 
Are they bright and colorful or faded and lifeless? 
Have you taken the time to scan them or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
The one thing that makes photos harder to archive than other keepsakes, is that we’re so used to seeing them hanging around the house, that we forget to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
Before we get to saving you current pictures, how would you like to make sure all of your future photos are safe and protected before they even leave your camera?
Simple!  The next time you buy a camera, make sure it’s Wi-Fi enabled, like one of my personal favorites, the Sony HX400V Compact Digital CameraEvery picture you snap goes right to your computer or to the Cloud automagically without you having to remember to do it manually.  And it has a spectacular Optical Zoom to boot!   And if you’re not in the market for a new camera, get a Wi-Fi memory card like the ez Share WiFi SD Card that turns most regular digital cameras into Wi-Fi.

Backing Up Your Photos

The good news is, there are so many different printers and scanners and flash drives and hard drives, you can see your favorite family photos any time and anywhere you want. 
In this section, we’ll be dealing with prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer — and get them into a digital format. 
If you have a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Don’t forget to recruit your kids. They’ll have a great time helping.

1. Oh Photos? Where Are You?

First, locate and gather all of your physical photos.
Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files, framed and hanging on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.  

2. Quick Start

Although all of your pictures are important, some mean more to you than others. 
Before you start sorting all your pictures, find the ten or twelve pictures you love the most and back them up first, using the “How To Scan Your Photos” directions below.
Not only will your favorite shots be safe and sound, but you’ll already know what you’re doing when you tackle the rest of them!

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3. Sorting All Your Photos

Separate your photos into two different piles.
In Pile 1, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
In Pile 2, place photos that you:
  • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
  • Have numerous copies of in other locations.  Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
  • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
The next time you have a second, put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

4. Scan Away!

Using our scanning tips below, scan all of the photos in Pile 1 and save them to your computer.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save the new scans to a new folder within your photos folder. 
For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance that these are copies of your old print photos. 

5. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least 3 Locations

Once you’ve finished scanning, copy the folder on your computer that contains all of your photos — the digital ones and print ones you just scanned — and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.  
Place the copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you would evacuate to in an emergency.
  • In a password-protected online file repository like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox, or on the file directory of your personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any web enabled computer.
You can also save a copy of your photos on a web-based service like Amazon Photos.  But this shouldn’t be your only solution, since you have no control over the site & could lose your photos without any warning.

How To Scan Your Photos

There are several great ways to scan and preserve your photos.
And the nice thing about it, is that once it’s scanned, you can share it with family and friends or correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
You can scan your photos with your all-in-one printer, a regular scanner (all it does is scan), a portable wand scanner that you swipe over your photos one or several at a time, or a photo scanner, with a built-in feeder that protects and guides photos or slides through the scanner, for an extra layer of protection.

Here are some of our favorites.

HP Envy 7120 All-in-One Wireless Photo Printer  
Most printers available now are all-in-one printers, that scan as well as print.  This one is especially easy to use as a regular or photo printer and is compact enough to put on your desk.  Not only can you scan and print high resolution photos directly on to acid free photo paper, but it’s also a wireless printer with HP ePrint, which means that you can send photos directly to your printer from your smartphone or tablet.
Portable Wand Scanners
Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Magic Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, and even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to feed them through your scanner one at a time. 
It’s especially good, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If Aunt Sadie doesn’t want her favorite photos the leaving her house, just take the scanner over and scan the ones you want.   If you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame. 
Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page. 
From there, all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner  
This portable scanner not only expertly scans photos, but it has a special attachment that scans slides and negatives, turning them into full size, high-quality photos.
We found some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides ourselves, we didn’t have the equipment to look at them. 
With the Kodak Scanner, all we did was feed the slide into the scanner and suddenly we had full color, beautiful photos that looked like they were processed last week.  Absolutely amazing!
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you, or go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s to have them scanned.  While you’re there, print color copies of your favorite photos on non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve, then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed.
There are so many great photo software programs out there, like Adobe Photoshop Elements. But one scanner stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction, right in the scanner.
It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software. Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess? This is the only easy solution we have found to restoring then back to their natural color. All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos. The scanner corrects the color while it scans.
Even if you have to touch them up a bit with Photoshop Elements afterwards, using the Epson scanner will save you hours if not days of manual color correction, that probably wouldn’t come out have as great as they do on the scanner.

High Tech Toys

Here are some of our favorite high-tech tools and toys to help you get all of your favorite photos, music, home videos, movies – and anything else that can be stored digitally – backed up, stored and accessible.  Wherever you are.  Whatever is going on around you.  24/7. 
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020
Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger
Axis Self-Powered Safety Hub
Canon PowerShot Wi-Fi Enabled ELPH 190 Digital Camera
ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
Epson Perfection V600 Photo, Film, & Document Scanner
ez Share WiFi SD Card
Fireproof Document Bags
Sentry Fireproof/Waterproof  Lateral File Cabinet
SentrySafe Fireproof and Waterproof Safe
HP Photo Printer All-in-One Wireless Envy 7120
ION Audio Premier LP Turntable Vinyl Record Player
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner
Magnavox VHS to DVD Combo Recorder
Reshow Cassette Player  MP3 Converter
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
SanDisk 32GB Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive
SanDisk 32GB iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Sony 4K HD Video Camcorder
Sony HX400V Compact Digital Camera
VuPoint Handheld Magic Wand Portable Scanner
The COVID pandemic has created a new list of toys that people can’t do without — including some very cool high-tech solutions to unexpected challenges.  Like staying healthy and working from home!  Here are some of our favorites.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
I’m Smiling On The Inside Face Masks
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
iProvèn Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
No-Touch Door Opener, Button Pusher Tool
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Sony Tie-Clip-Style Omnidirectional Microphone
Total Gym APEX G5 Total Body Strength Training
Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on getting your stuff backed up and together, pick up a copy of our book “Back It Up” in paperback or via instant download.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Back It Up
I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are
As Amazon Associates we earn commissions from qualifying purchases made from product links.

How To Choose An Evacuation Location

20 POST Evac Location stock-photos-image832125016

Updated 3/23/2021

The day after the Nepal Earthquake, the Joplin Tornadoes and Superstorm Sandy millions of people woke up to the reality of having to evacuate their homes and businesses. 

The only good thing about Sandy being a hurricane and not an earthquake, was that residents had a few days to figure out where to go and what to do, when they received the order to evacuate.
But as anyone watching even five minutes of either the earthquake, tornado or hurricane coverage quickly realized, thousands of the people who were told to evacuate, stayed right where they were.  Others evacuated not because they had a plan of where to go and what to do, but because they had no other choice.   They’re currently sitting in a shelter or in a friend’s spare room, with absolutely no idea what they’re going to do next.
What about you?  If that was your neighborhood and your family, and the firefighter knocked on YOUR door, where would you go?   Why are we asking this question? 
Because you have to know where you’re going , before you can get there!  
Here’s how to do it quickly and easily.

How To Choose An Evacuation Location | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

1. Choose three different locations , because that will give you and your family a variety of choices that will keep you safe, no matter what circumstances you might face. 
  • One location should be near your neighborhood, to be used in an emergency that only impacts your home.
  • One location should be out of your immediate area but in the same state .  This is for a regional emergency.
  • One location should be out of state, for situations  with widespread danger, like a wildfire or an earthquake.

Get Your Free Download Of Top Tech Toys at www.getyourstufftogether.com

2.  How To Choose A Great Location
Before you zero in on  the perfect location, come up with as many different locations as you can that you and your family can use for evacuation. 
As you consider each location, think about:
  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you
3. Do Your Locations Have What You Need?
Once you’re certain you have the right places, consider whether each location will actually work for you and your family.  
For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it have everything that you and your family would need?  
Would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors? 
Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home? 
Does it have the furniture and supplies you would need to sustain you for two or three weeks?
4. We Have A Winner!  Make That Three Winners
No location is perfect, so if you came up with one or two things your location would be lacking, be sure to note that on your Family Evacuation Plan, so that you can take care of it before you  get there.  
Speaking of your plan, once you have your locations set, grab a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.   It will take you through a couple of quick steps  to help you create a complete evacuation plan for your family.
5. Making Your Plan Accessible
Print, scan or make three copies of the Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need. 
And  store a copy in your cell phone as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Want to download a copy of these instructions?  Click here and save the PDF version to your computer.
Here is the link to part two of this series, How To Create Your Family Evacuation Plan.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Get Ready For A Tsunami

60 POST Tsunami stock-photos-image1236965315

top20postsquaregold

Updated 4/28/2021

How To Get Ready For A Tsunami

There once was a man who was so afraid of earthquakes that he did everything he possibly could to prepare for one.  He had water, food, and first aid kits lining the walls of his ocean front home.  He had his bookcases and cabinets bolted to the wall.  Everyone in his home knew where to run and where to hide when “the big one” eventually hit.
Then one morning the big one came.  He and his family ran into the spots they had practiced, into doorways, under the heavy tables.  It seemed like an eternity before the rumbling stopped.  Everyone just looked at each other, scared but smiling.  They’d done it!  They were okay.  They had food, they had shelter – this wasn’t so bad.
The man rushed to the door followed by his family.  The sun was shining, and they were thrilled to be alive.  Then one of the kids heard a strange roar.  Seconds later they could all hear it.  And then they saw it.  A ten-foot wave was headed right at them.  They ran up the street, up the hill as fast as they could.  They made it to the top just in time to watch the water swallow up their neighborhood, their home and with it, all their supplies.  The man looked at his wife and said,  “That was strange.  I never saw it coming.”
The moral of the story?  Just because you’re ready for what you think might happen, it doesn’t mean you’re ready for something you would never expect in a million years.    Tsunamis are exactly that type of event — especially if you live in the western United States or anywhere in the Pacific Ring Of Fire.  In other words earthquake country.
And with the way the world has been the last few years — from hurricanes to wildfires, tornadoes and oh yeah, COVID — having an up to date Evacuation Plan and Get Back To Life Plan is the perfect way to keep your family safe and connected no matter WHAT is happening around you.

So what’s the best way to prepare for a tsunami?

Next to earthquakes, tsunamis are probably the second most difficult type of disaster to prepare for, because you usually don’t get a lot of warning when one is about to strike.  Since tsunamis are usually set off by earthquakes, the earthquake itself provides the warning that a tsunami might be imminent.  But that’s only if the tsunami strikes the same area as the original earthquake.  In Japan for example, the earthquake struck and the tsunami followed later.  In other instances, an earthquake struck one area of the world while the tsunami went the other direction striking people who never felt the earthquake.   And when they do strike, they usually hit so quickly and with so much force (like the tsunami in Thailand) that people in it’s wake have no time to do anything but run for their lives.
Even though some countries have tsunami warning systems in place, they still aren’t that reliable.  So the best way to prepare your important documents, files, information and keepsakes for a tsunami is to make sure that your earthquake preparation is up to date.  We have a few great blog posts right here like preparing for an earthquake and How to Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom.
Besides knowing where your tsunami evacuation routes are and how to use them, the most important part of preparing for a tsunami is having everything you need for an evacuation:

At your fingertips

or

Already in your evacuation location

So how do we prepare for tsunamis?  We always follow the…

Three Step Approach

The First Step, is to make sure that you have your earthquake survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when an earthquake or tsunami strikes.
The Second Step, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safer location, in less than ten minutes. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is to do is to take the necessary steps now, to ensure you have access to all the items and information that will help you get back to living your normal life, as quickly and easily as possible.  You’ll also want to make sure that the things that are most vital to you — your important papers, financial and insurance information, treasured photos, videos and music and scannable keepsakes are backed up onto a portable hard drive and stored in a safe deposit box or safe, in the town where you will go during evacuation.   That way it will be safe, sound and waiting for you when you arrive.
The Third Step is to make sure that you have a pre-written plan of what you’ll do and where you’ll go when a disaster strikes, including a plan for how you’ll get back to your normal life, once the disaster is over.
If you live in an area where a tsunami might strike, you absolutely need an Evacuation Plan and a Get Back To Life Plan.  If you don’t know the tsunami evacuation routes in your area, call your local fire department for this information immediately and do one or two trial runs finding and using the evacuation route to ensure that you know where you’re going, without a wall of water in close pursuit.  And while you’re at it, make sure you also ask them where the emergency shelters are in your area in case  you suddenly need one.  You always need to know where you’re going and what you and your family would do if your area becomes uninhabitable.   If necessary make a plan with other relatives or neighbors to evacuate together and share transportation and costs.
Even if your home is safe from rising flood waters and away from the areas predicted to feel the heaviest impact of the storm, your neighborhood and city might still without power or basic city services for a few days — or a few weeks.  Just as survivors of Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina!  Telephone and/or cell service may also be down.   Not only does that mean you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for an earthquake, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information.  In fact here are a few of our favorite guides and videos:
Tsunami Guide/Checklist    Tsunami Preparedness from NOAA    
You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days. This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.

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We want you to think about something.

Think about the coverage of the last few tsunamis and earthquakes you saw on CNN.  Remember the faces of the people in the midst of the quake zone or the eye of the storm?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost. Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster. Those in earthquake country most likely had stockpiled some food and water, those in hurricane country might even have evacuated and done everything their local news and emergency authorities told them to do. And yet, after the disaster, they were standing there, scared and helpless, because their homes, the people they loved, and basically their entire lives have been destroyed to the point that their own existence was now unrecognizable. All of those people, rich and poor, young and old — they all had one thing in common. They had NO idea where to go and what to do from here.   That’s exactly what happened to families in Japan after their earthquake and tsunami.  If you’d like to read more about that, take a look at Living In A Cardboard House.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster, is step three.   The most important step of all.

Facing a disaster without giving yourself a plan to recover from it, is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!

Having two plans can make all the difference in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.
What are the plans?  They are the Family Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our book Keep Everything You Love Safe
The evacuation plan starts with one question.  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
As you think about the locations you’ll use for your evacuation, consider, the people traveling with you, how you’ll get there (car, bus, plane), any pets traveling with you and whether those locations will actually work for you – for instance are they close to stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors.
We suggest that people have three different locations in mind, to give you different types of locations and choices depending on the circumstances. As you create your plan, write everything down in detail. If you have to use this plan, you and the people you love are probably going to be in panic mode and following an easy to understand plan, will help calm and focus you.
Write down the people who will be traveling with you, and any special instructions you’ll need to gather everyone together, in case a disaster or emergency occurs while you’re all away from home. Name the location that you and your family will use to meet up with each other and the location you will be evacuating to, if you cannot live in your home, but your immediate area is still safe. Include the address of the location, contact phone, email address and directions.
Next choose a location (writing down the details, address and contact information) that your family will use if you not only need to evacuate your home, but your immediate area or city. This might happen during a moderate hurricane or a tornado. Your third location is out of state, for a serious, widely destructive emergency like the Japan or Chile Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Colorado Wildfires, or other disaster that will make your entire region uninhabitable.
You will also include these locations on your emergency wallet card and your family’s wallet cards. Now, no matter what the disaster, even a fire or local emergency, you and your family will now know where and how to gather, and who will be responsible for what, so you can quickly reunite and travel on to your emergency location together. If you like, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact as well.
Will you have any pets traveling with you? Be sure to fill out the pet section, so that you will have all the information you need for them, like the name and numbers for the veterinarian, their licenses, and names/numbers of kennels in the location you are evacuating to and any prescriptions or special instructions you’ll need until you return home.

Your Get Back To Life Plan

The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair. That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived a tsunami, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location two days after the flood. The phone rings. It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.
After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your GYST Notebook. There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss. You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school, and begin calling the contacts you need (that you jotted down just in case), to help you settle in. Getting settled is easier than you thought, since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local bank. It takes some time, but with hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living in a matter of weeks.
Now imagine the same scenario, the same phone call, holding your family, talking and then realizing that you have no plan and no clue how to get back to living your life. It’s CNN coverage all over again. The best part of this little scenario is that it hasn’t happened to you and that you have time right now, to make sure no matter what ever occurs in your area, you and your family will be prepared.
If you don’t have a copy of our Get Back To Life Plan yet, just download it here.  
Take a few minutes to think about the following questions:
  • How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills and receiving our paychecks? How much emergency cash do we  need to have, while traveling?
  • What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
  • How will we work? Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions? What people or contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
  • How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription needs while in the new location? What doctors and dentists can we use while there?
  • How long can we stay in our evacuation location?      If we need to remain evacuated longer, where will we go/stay? Who will our real estate contacts be, if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
  • How are we going to secure the property or vehicles we had to leave behind?
  • How will we take care of our pets, during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
  • How will we handle our transportation needs? What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
  • How will we handle our daycare needs? How will we handle getting our children into school if necessary? What schools or contacts will we need, to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
  • How will we handle any special needs in our family?
Once you’ve answered the questions, get your family together to work out any potential problems you have uncovered and then draft your plan. And don’t forget to compile a list of real estate agents, financial contacts and jobs, schools, doctors and other professionals or information that you might need to establish yourself in the new city temporarily or permanently.
Starting over is never easy, especially when it happens because of a disaster or other life changing emergency. But taking a few hours now to think through and draft a plan, will give you and your family the direction, information and support that you need, to get through not only the first hours and days after a disaster, but the first steps back to living the life you’ve worked so hard to build.

High Tech Toys

Here are some high-tech toys are designed to help you get the information you need, keepsakes you treasure and people you love, through life’s little and not so little disasters and easily as possible.  In other words, toys that are just waiting to smooth out life’s little speed bumps.
9 Inch Portable Digital TV
Amazon Gift Card
Artix Power Bank Water Resistant Backpack
BenjiLock By Hampton
Casio Men’s GA-100 XL Series G-Shock
Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern
Complete Earthquake Bag Emergency Kit
Doc Spartan Combat Ready Ointment
Eton Ultimate AM/FM/NOAA Radio Smartphone Charger
Garmin Drive 61 USA LMT-S GPS Navigator System
Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station
Gold Tigerking Digital Security Safe
Iridium GO! Satellite Phone Wi-Fi Hotspot
Jackery External Battery Charger
LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns
Nanoflow X – Lifeline Dry Bag
Quakehold Museum Wax
Quakehold Straps
SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External Hard Drive
SignalVault RFID Blocking Credit Debit Card Protector
Spin Power  Electric Charging Station
Sprigs Unisex Banjees 2 Pocket Wrist Wallet
Swiss+Tech ST81005 Auto Emergency Escape Tool
Tigerking Digital Security Safe
Tile Mate & Slim 4-Pack
WeMo Smartphone Connected Electrical Outlets
The COVID pandemic has created a new list of toys that people can’t do without — including some very cool high-tech solutions to unexpected challenges.  Like staying healthy and working from home!  Here are some of our favorites.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
I’m Smiling On The Inside Face Masks
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
iProvèn Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
No-Touch Door Opener, Button Pusher Tool
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Sony Tie-Clip-Style Omnidirectional Microphone
Total Gym APEX G5 Total Body Strength Training
Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on getting your stuff backed up and together, pick up a copy of our book “Ready In 10” or “Keep Everything You Love Safe” in paperback or via instant download.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Back It Up

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan

How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan

27 POST Get Back Life stock-photos-image892299700

Updated 3/23/2021
Imagine that you and your family are sitting around the house one summer afternoon just enjoying each other’s company, when a wildfire suddenly breaks out just a few blocks from your home.    Depending on where you live, it could be a hurricane or a tornado, but let’s just call it a wildfire.  A firefighter knocks on the door and tells you that you have to evacuate.  Thankfully you know exactly what to do.  You print a copy of your Family Emergency Plan,  you all pile into the car with everything you need and drive directly to your evacuation location.  
Two days later — one of two things happen…

Scenario One 

Two days after the wildfire subsides, you and your family are in your evacuation location. The phone rings.  It’s a friend of yours calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged, and doubts that you will be able to live in it for at least two months if not longer. After you and your family get past the initial shock, you finally feel strong enough to open your Backup Plan Notebook.  There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss. You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school and begin calling the contacts on your list that you’ve chosen to help you settle in.  
Getting settled is easier than you thought since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local branch of your bank. With a little hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living a normal life in a matter of weeks. 

Get Your Free Download Of Top Tech Toys at www.getyourstufftogether.com

 

Scenario Two   

Two days after the fire subsides, you and your family are staying in a relative’s spare room two counties over. The phone rings.  It’s that friend of yours calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged, and doubts that you will be able to live in it for at least two months if not longer. After you and your family get past the initial shock, you realize that you have no idea what you’re going to do.  
Same scenario, same challenges, one difference.  
One path comes with a plan for finding your way back.  
Facing a disaster – even a small one without giving yourself a plan to recover from it is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!  
It’s exactly what’s facing the survivors of the Nepal earthquake and what those who experienced the Fukushima & Haiti earthquakes, the Norman Oklahoma, Joplin and Tuscaloosa tornadoes and the Colorado wildfires are still dealing with.
Let’s make sure Scenario Two doesn’t happen to you and your family.  In the last blog post, you created a plan to get you to your desired evacuation location.  But once you’re there, you’ll need to know what you’ll need and how things will function over the next three days, three weeks, or worst case scenario, three months.  Let’s see how prepared you would be to actually live in that location, until you can go back home.
Download a copy of our Get Back To Life Plan, or if you have our book The Backup Plan 3.0, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.  Go over the questions below and once you’ve gotten a feel for the exercise, go ahead and complete the plan.
1.  Does the place we’re evacuating to have all the furniture and supplies we will need for up to one month?
2. What type of clothing would we need?
3. Can we store any basic supplies there before they’re needed, or do we need to purchase supplies when we arrive?
4. How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills?  How much emergency cash do we need to have while traveling? What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
5. How will we work?  Will I be able to receive my paycheck in that location?  Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions?  What people or contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
6. How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription medicine needs while in the new location?  Can we get referrals to doctors and dentists that we can use, if need be, when we get there?
7. How long can we stay in our evacuation location?  If the evacuation lasts longer than we think, where will we go/stay?  Do we have real estate contacts if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
8. How will we secure the property or vehicles we have to leave behind?
9. How will we take care of our pets during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
10. How will we handle our transportation needs?  What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
11. How will we handle our daycare needs?  How will we handle getting our children into school if it becomes necessary?  What documents will we need to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
12.  How will we handle any special needs in our family?  How will we handle any potential problems we have identified?
Once you have you’ve answered the questions, complete your Get Back To Life Plan.   Once you’re finished, print, scan or make three copies of the Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   And while you’re at it, store a copy in your cell phone as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

 

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

 

 

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

 

 

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

 

Getting Your Family Ready For An Earthquake

24 POST Family Earthquake stock-photos-image1009979298
Updated 3/23/2021

As longtime residents of Southern California, we know how difficult it can be to spend the days and weeks after a quake, living in earthquake mode.

The phenomenon isn’t really something you can explain to someone who hasn’t experience it personally.  New Californians are always asking how they’ll know if what they feel is a quake, or just an especially loud garbage truck. There’s only one answer to that question.   You’ll know!
And sure enough when it happens, they’ll say, “you were absolutely right!”   An earthquake combines two things that most humans hate– the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Feeling like the floor is going to crack open and swallow you, while listening to your house, cracking and groaning, while glass, bricks and your best china crashing to the ground around you, is a horrible sensation.

So what’s the best way to prepare for an earthquake?

Earthquakes are probably the most difficult type of disaster to prepare for, for two reasons. First, there is absolutely no warning when one is going to strike. Second, you never know how or where it’s going to strike. Two earthquakes of the same magnitude aren’t necessarily going to have the same destructive capability. A shallow 5.0 quake, can potentially create more damages and injury than a 7.0 quake centered deep within the earth. Shallow earthquakes mean more shaking and more cracks and fissures in the earth, which in turn damages more buildings, streets and injures more people. You also have to factor in how close the earthquake is to your home and where your home is located. We once experienced a 1.5 quake that was centered very close to our home and knocked books off the shelves – while a 6.4 earthquake 30 or 40 miles away got us out of bed, but left our possessions exactly where they were the night before.
In earthquake country “location, location, location” couldn’t be more true. Remember the parable of the man who built his house on the sand versus the man who built his on the rock? Those guys definitely lived in earthquake country! It’s called liquefaction. Especially in California, in areas where there are high concentrations of sand in the soil – aka high priced beach communities – the violent shaking of an earthquake causes water underground to rise up through the sandy soil, turning pseudo solid earth beneath homes to turn into liquid, swallowing anything above it – houses, stores, freeway on ramps. Making sure that your home is built on rock solid ground is a great first step to long term earthquake safety.
The final reason that earthquakes are so hard to prepare for, is that they tend to happen very early in the morning. Imagine being shaken out of a sound sleep, only to realize that your bed, your walls and your floor are all moving in opposite directions, while you try and remember the first item on your disaster checklist!   Not going to happen!   In fact that’s the reason we wrote our blog post, How to Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom.
So how do we prepare for earthquakes?  As we tell our readers, we always follow the Three Step Approach.
The First Step, is to make sure that you have your earthquake survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when an earthquake strikes.
The Second Step, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safer location, in less than ten minutes. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is to do is to take the necessary steps now, to ensure you have access to all the items and information that will help you get back to living your normal life, as quickly and easily as possible.  You’ll also want to make sure that the things that are most vital to you — your important papers, financial and insurance information, treasured photos, videos and music and scannable keepsakes are backed up onto a portable hard drive and stored in a safe deposit box or safe, in the town where you will go during evacuation.   That way it will be safe, sound and waiting for you when you arrive.
The Third Step is to make sure that you have a pre-written plan of what you’ll do and where you’ll go when a disaster strikes, including a plan for how you’ll get back to your normal life, once the disaster is over.
The best way to physically prepare for earthquakes, is to think through the different scenarios that could take place. If a quake is large enough to have to “deal with,” chances are the electricity is going to go out. Telephone and/or cell service could also be down. In Japan, Haiti and Calexico, power lines fell, plunging the city into darkness. That means not only means you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
So your first defense is making sure that you always have an alternative source of power, battery powered flashlights, extra cash, a supply of canned or frozen food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten, and the all-important supply of water – enough to last you and everyone in your family for three days. Since your home or neighborhood might have significant damage, keep rubber-soled shoes, a warm jacket and other emergency gear within reach of your bed or right inside your closet.  Rubber soled shoes will protect your feet from the broken glass and rocks that will probably be strewn everywhere.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for an earthquake, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information.  In fact here are a few of our favorite guides:
Earthquake Guide    Earthquake Checklist

You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days. This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.
We want you to think about something.
Think about the coverage of the last few earthquakes or hurricanes you saw on CNN.  Remember the faces of the people in the midst of the quake zone or the eye of the storm?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost.   Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster. Those in earthquake country most likely had stockpiled some food and water, those in hurricane country might even have evacuated and done everything their local news and emergency authorities told them to do. And yet, after the disaster, they were standing there, scared and helpless, because their homes, the people they loved, and basically their entire lives have been destroyed to the point that their own existence was now unrecognizable. All of those people, rich and poor, young and old — they all had one thing in common. They had NO idea where to go and what to do from here.   That’s exactly what happened to families in Japan after their earthquake.  If you’d like to read more about that, take a look at Living In A Cardboard House.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster, is step three.   The most important step of all.

Facing a disaster without giving yourself a plan to recover from it, is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!

Having two plans can make all the difference in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.
What are the plans?  They are the Family Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our newest book slash program The Backup Plan 3.0.  
The evacuation plan starts with one question.  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?

Get Your Free Download Of Top Tech Toys at www.getyourstufftogether.com

As you think about the locations you’ll use for your evacuation, consider, the people traveling with you, how you’ll get there (car, bus, plane), any pets traveling with you and whether those locations will actually work for you – for instance are they close to stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors.
We suggest that people have three different locations in mind, to give you different types of locations and choices depending on the circumstances. As you create your plan, write everything down in detail. If you have to use this plan, you and the people you love are probably going to be in panic mode and following an easy to understand plan, will help calm and focus you.
Write down the people who will be traveling with you, and any special instructions you’ll need to gather everyone together, in case a disaster or emergency occurs while you’re all away from home. Name the location that you and your family will use to meet up with each other and the location you will be evacuating to, if you cannot live in your home, but your immediate area is still safe. Include the address of the location, contact phone, email address and directions.
Next choose a location (writing down the details, address and contact information) that your family will use if you not only need to evacuate your home, but your immediate area or city. This might happen during a moderate hurricane or a tornado. Your third location is out of state, for a serious, widely destructive emergency like the Japan or Chile Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Colorado Wildfires, or other disaster that will make your entire region uninhabitable.
You will also include these locations on your emergency wallet card and your family’s wallet cards. Now, no matter what the disaster, even a fire or local emergency, you and your family will now know where and how to gather, and who will be responsible for what, so you can quickly reunite and travel on to your emergency location together. If you like, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact as well.
Will you have any pets traveling with you? Be sure to fill out the pet section, so that you will have all the information you need for them, like the name and numbers for the veterinarian, their licenses, and names/numbers of kennels in the location you are evacuating to and any prescriptions or special instructions you’ll need until you return home.
Your Get Back To Life Plan
The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair. That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived an earthquake, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location two days after the quake. The phone rings. It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.
After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your Backup Plan Notebook. There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss. You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school, and begin calling the contacts you need (that you jotted down just in case), to help you settle in. Getting settled is easier than you thought, since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local bank. It takes some time, but with hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living in a matter of weeks.
Now imagine the same scenario, the same phone call, holding your family, talking and then realizing that you have no plan and no clue how to get back to living your life. It’s CNN coverage all over again. The best part of this little scenario is that it hasn’t happened to you and that you have time right now, to make sure no matter what ever occurs in your area, you and your family will be prepared.
If you don’t have a copy of our Get Back To Life Plan yet, just download it here.  
Take a few minutes to think about the following questions:
  • How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills and receiving our paychecks? How much emergency cash do we      need to have, while traveling?
  • What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
  • How will we work? Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions? What people or contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
  • How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription needs while in the new location? What doctors and dentists can we use while there?
  • How long can we stay in our evacuation location?      If we need to remain evacuated longer, where will we go/stay? Who will our real estate contacts be, if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
  • How are we going to secure the property or vehicles we had to leave behind?
  • How will we take care of our pets, during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
  • How will we handle our transportation needs? What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
  • How will we handle our daycare needs? How will we handle getting our children into school if necessary? What schools or      contacts will we need, to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
  • How will we handle any special needs in our family?
Once you’ve answered the questions, get your family together to work out any potential problems you have uncovered and then draft your plan. And don’t forget to compile a list of real estate agents, financial contacts and jobs, schools, doctors and other professionals or information that you might need to establish yourself in the new city temporarily or permanently.
Starting over is never easy, especially when it happens because of a disaster or other life changing emergency. But taking a few hours now to think through and draft a plan, will give you and your family the direction, information and support that you need, to get through not only the first hours and days after a disaster, but the first steps back to living the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

After All It’s YOUR Birth Certificate

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Updated 3/22/2021

You can’t rely on City Hall to replace your birth certificate after a flood or a hurricane. Chances are good that their originals will be just as waterlogged as yours are.

Just ask the victims of the last hurricane.
After their vital documents were destroyed in the hurricane, many homeowners returned and went straight to the county recorder, bank, or schools to grab copies of their lost documents.  Unfortunately, many institutions and offices were destroyed too, along with all of their records.  It’s up to you to ensure that you have the copies of the documents that you and your family need, whenever and wherever you need them.
When you think about it, vital documents are more valuable to you, your finances and your family than they are to some local government official.  And if that’s the case, you’re the one who has to make sure that you know where your vital documents are and that you have instant access to them at all times.

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After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and more recently with the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Illinois, residents returned to their homes to find them destroyed.  Once they began to piece their lives back together, they realized they would need school transcripts and birth certificates or benefit determination letters.  So they went to their schools or state and city offices for help, only to find them under water or destroyed – along with all of the paper based records that had not yet been digitized.  You can’t count on your city to replace your records when they have just as good a chance of having their own copies destroyed in the same regional disaster.  And even federal buildings have had problems.  Fires in government buildings during the twentieth century destroyed many state censuses and at least one complete United States Census, wiping out the names, dates, and data of entire families.
And even when you can apply for a replacement copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, don’t count on getting an exact copy of the original.  We were very surprised to find that out when we went to get an additional original copy of our birth certificates and those of my mother and grandmother.  Theirs were the same as the originals, but mine was completely different.  Gone were the details of my birth, the signatures, my parents’ middle names and occupations.
The new copy is simply the child’s name, parents’ first and last names, hospital, county and birth date.  The clerk told us that they’ve decided to streamline birth and marriage certificates, getting rid of all those old “useless” details and replacing them only with what “matters”.  Why?  To save space, along with the money that it would take to transcribe all that data.  But along with it, go all the details that add history and uniqueness to people’s lives – the story of their birth.  We’re huge proponents of knowing your family history and working to preserve it and can’t fathom the fact that cities and states across America are deleting all of those clues people need to find out where they come from.  Wow!   There’s a case for having several backup copies of those originals if I ever heard one!
We suggest people keep copies of their vital documents in at least three different places.   Scan or copy the originals of each paper document.
1) Put the originals in a waterproof safe or bin or locking file cabinet in your home.
2) Once you’ve scanned the originals, place them on a flash or portable hard drive and put that flash or hard drive in a safe deposit box in your own city.  If you can’t scan them just make copies and place those copies in the safe deposit box.
3) Place the third set of scans/copies in a safe deposit box outside of your city, in your family’s evacuation location.  Wherever you and your family will relocate during an area-wide evacuation.

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Why do we advocate scanning?  Scanning allows you to have an exact, electronic copy of that original document, both on your computer and on a flash drive or portable hard drive. Not only can you secure it, you can even email it to someone else for safekeeping.  And with a scan, if that original is ever damaged or destroyed, you will be able to reprint it to create a clear, perfect original.  On the other hand, if you don’t scan a document and simply make another paper copy, it’s just as likely to be harmed or to fade and decay with age.  If you don’t have access to a scanner, go ahead and make copies.  Just make sure that you put them in different locations to minimize the danger of loss or destruction.
This leads me to my last point on vital documents.  If it’s so much better to have documents scanned and saved electronically, why do we advocate keeping paper copies as well?  For the same reason we advocate keeping prints of your cherished photos, even though you have them saved to your computer or on a CD.  For safe keeping!   As wonderful and trustworthy as electronic storage is, do you really want to trust the ONLY copies of your vital documents to a computer or an online file or photo archive?  We sure don’t!

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

What if I told you, there was something you have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! At Your Fingertips is an easy to read, easy to use guide that turns your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are