How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

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 cell phones, taking photos has become almost 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.  
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 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 chapter.  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.
Fixing Faded or Damaged Old Photos
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
No matter what method you use to scan and back up your parent’s or grandparent’s old photos, the beaming grins on their faces will tell you exactly how much this — and you — mean to them!
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If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

Help Your Friends & Family Prepare for Hurricane & Tornado Season

Question.

If you could keep your friends and neighbors from losing the things they love most in the next hurricane or tornado, would you do it?   
Well the good news is, now you can.  And it only takes the click of a mouse.  
Here’s how.
Now that hurricane season and tornado season are here, I started thinking about the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
There was this one woman that I’ll never forget. Her name was Phyllis.
She was talking to a reporter outside of what was left of her Staten Island home, when she saw a large, yellowed piece of paper lying across the yard. Phyllis grabbed it, clutched it to her chest and began sobbing. It was her mother’s wedding photo, the only copy she had, now mud-soaked and disintegrating in her hands.
The worst part is, the pain she felt over that destroyed photo was absolutely preventable.
We’ve been through more than a few disasters ourselves, including an earthquake and an airplane crashing into our neighborhood. In fact that’s the reason we wrote “Get Your Stuff Together”.
But the other day when I thought about Phyllis, I knew I had to do something more.  Something else that will keep people from having to experience that kind of pain.
Not just one family at a time, but hundreds.
So here’s the plan. There’s something we can all do, right now, to prevent pain with just one click.
We just negotiated a special discount on “Get Your Stuff Together” for everyone who wants to buy 10 or more copies of the book. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for your church, your business, your Air Force base, your kid’s school, service organization or your Little League team.
Just let us know how many copies your group, company or organization wants, and we’ll get the books to you ASAP.   Are you ready, because here comes the link you need to click to make it all happen.
Click here https://www.createspace.com/3823528 to order your copies directly from our publisher’s website.  Just make sure you enter coupon code: BWXNWPZ7 to get your discount. 
Or if you want us to order them for you,  email us at webmaster1 at nokep.org, let us know how many copies you want, and we’ll take it from there.
So what do you think? Are you ready to help the families in your community stay safer this hurricane and tornado season?
All it takes is One Click.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…

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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Have Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan

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

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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.
If you’d like to have a copy of these directions for later, download the PDF Version of How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan.
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?

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 or download a copy of our How-To Sheet.
And if you’d like a copy of these instructions for later, click here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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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

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 Set Up Your ICE Contacts

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

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority. 

Here’s what to do to keep YOUR family safe.

When a patient is brought in the emergency room unconscious, aside from obvious injuries, the doctors caring for him basically have no information about their patient.  They have no idea what he might be allergic to, what medications he’s taking or the surgery he had the month before. Elaine Sullivan was an active seventy-one year old living on her own in Chicago.  One day while getting ready to take a bath, she slipped and fell, striking her head and mouth on the side of the tub.  Her neighbors realized they hadn’t seen her all day and called the paramedics, who went in and found her, conscious, but unable to speak.
Elaine had previously been a patient at the hospital she was taken to, she had private insurance, Medicare and everything she needed.  Or so she thought.  Even though she was stable, injuries to her mouth made her unable to speak or swallow, so she was unable to speak for herself.  Over the next few days, after a series of serious medical errors and a critical drug interaction, her condition worsened.

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Elaine Sullivan was my grandma.  Despite the fact that the hospital had my mother’s and my contact information for our home in Los Angeles, the hospital neglected to call us for 6 1/2 days.  By the time they did, Grandma was in critical condition from a lack of the most basic care.  By the time we found out she’d been hospitalized, we were unable to get to her bedside before she died, unnecessarily and alone.
As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority.
Even though most hospitals try to find an unconscious patient’s emergency contacts and notify their families in a reasonable amount of time, hospitals can sometimes become so busy or are so understaffed that they don’t make that call as quickly as they should.
We later found that one of the main factors that caused Grandma’s death was the fact that the doctors treating her didn’t have her medical or prescription drug history at their fingertips.
But the lesson we want to point out is, how critical communicating a person’s vital medical information can be.
And recent natural disasters and terrorist attacks have only amplified the need to get a trauma victim’s identification, medical history and emergency contact information to the physician treating him as quickly as humanly possible.

Your Emergency Medical Information 

There’s nothing worse than having something on the tip of your tongue and not being able to remember it – except when the word you’re trying to remember is the name of a medication that the emergency room physician needs to save your daughter’s life.
Emergencies can rattle the best of us, and the phone number or facts you know by heart are the very ones that will elude you when you need them most!
You just can’t leave information that important up to your memory.  Let’s get it down on paper, where it belongs!

Take Action! 

1. What Information Am I Going To Need?

Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of medical information you have for each member of the family.
This includes your family’s medical history, medical information, names of everyone’s physicians, specialists, dentists, optometrists and other health care providers and current and past prescriptions.

2. The Most Important Things Are…

Close your eyes for a moment & imagine that you’re sitting in the ER with everyone in your house.  One by one, imagine that your spouse, each child or your parent has an injury, like a broken arm, or needs emergency surgery.   The doctor – someone who doesn’t know you or your family’s unique medical or emotional needs – walks through the door.
What does this doctor need to know about them?   Jot down all of the things that just went through your mind.  Old injuries, allergies, surgeries, anything you think is important.

3. Locate and Gather All The Information You Have

Using those notes and the list you completed in Step 1, locate and gather all of the medical information you have at home, along with your address book or contact information for physicians and the people you’ll be using for emergency contacts.

4. Create Your Medical Information Forms

Grab a copy of our Medical History Form, or if you have our newest book slash program Ready, there’s a copy in the back of the book.  Create one for each adult and child in your family, adding all of the information you’ve located.

5. Choosing Your Emergency Contacts

Choose and name at least 3 emergency contacts for each person, including yourself.
  • Main Emergency Contact:  If you are married, include your spouse on your form and yourself on your spouse’s form.  For your children, this would be you and your spouse.
  • 2nd Contact: should be a nearby relative or good friend who you would trust enough to make informed choices on your behalf, if necessary.
  • 3rd Contact: should be an out of town/out of state relative or friend.

6. 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.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to put ICE (In Case Of Emergency) Contacts in your and your family’s smartphones along with a copy or link to your medical history forms.  That way if you ever need quick access to a family member’s medical history you’ll have it right at your fingertips.  Need instructions on ICE Contacts?  Click here to read the blog post.

7. Now For Safekeeping…

Print, scan or make three copies of the form you just completed, along with the documents or other materials you need and store them 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 you’ve decided to print out your forms and medical documents on paper, you can place them:
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • 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.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In your file cabinet at work/office.  If your spouse, child or relative is injured while you’re at work, you can grab the medical information from your files and take it to the emergency room.
If your forms and medical documents are on your computer, you can:
  • Save the forms to your smartphone so that if a member of your family is ever rushed to the emergency room, you can send the form directly to the emergency physician, so that they’ll have a medical history immediately, before you even arrive at the hospital.
  • Place the forms and documents 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 computer or send a link to the forms to the hospital, from your iPhone or smartphone.
  • Save them to 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.
  • Place the password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • Place the password-protected 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.
How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comIf you’d like to download a copy of How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips, click here.  One important note:  DO NOT put your or your family’s social security numbers in your list of vital information or in online files or folders, no matter how secure they are.  If you have to have those numbers with you (and haven’t memorized them), copy or scan the originals and place them in a secure safe deposit box instead.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

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

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 Set Up Your ICE Contacts

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

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

Why Is Hurricane Sandy Different Than Other Storms?

Why Is Hurricane Sandy Different Than Other Storms? | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Hurricane Sandy touched people.

It wasn’t worse than Hurricane Katrina, more costly than the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami or more deadly than Haiti.
It was just different.  And that difference affected us.
It was so easy to say that the neighborhoods Katrina affected weren’t built as well as other areas.  Or that the people didn’t have enough money to get out of the storm’s path and ended up being victims of the system they thought would protect them.  And with Japan, well low-lying islands + the threat of tsunamis + the nuclear power plants that spanned those islands spells disaster in any language.
But Hurricane Sandy hit neighborhoods that we all recognized.  Regular houses, safe for decades, most of them far enough away from the water not even to be considered beach adjacent, let alone beach front — now lying blocks away from their foundations.
People just like the parents and grandparents everyone has or grew up knowing — now picking through the rubble for whatever remains of their beloved photos and keepsakes.
The woman we saw standing in the rubble of her home on MSNBC (video above) says it all.  That pile of sticks and mud and wood is what’s left of her life.  She and her husband struggled to work and save and raise their family and retire.  And they made it!  They achieved everything they had worked so hard for.  And then, in just a few hours, their dream was gone along with their home and their future.
Hurricane Sandy was different.
It’s was the Jersey Shore of MTV.  It was Archie Bunker’s Queens.  It was the Staten Island of a thousand tv shows and movies.  It was America.  And it was our friends and neighbors.  It was Everyman and Everywoman.
When Mom and I saw the expression of the woman in the video clip above on MSNBC,  we just looked at each other.  We said almost in unison, “That’s it.  That’s what we’re fighting against.  That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”
Loss.
Not just the loss of data when a computer decides not to turn on.  Not just monetary loss, when someone doesn’t have access to the account number they need to get cash when they’re evacuating.  That’s important, don’t get me wrong.  And those are things every one of us can and needs to prevent.
But we’re talking about real loss.  Head turning, stomach churning loss.  The loss of things people love.  The loss of things that make their lives unique and special and lovely.  The things that make their lives, theirs.  The photos of their wedding.  The home movies of their child walking for the first time.  The music that played during their junior prom or that they danced to on their tenth anniversary.
Loss.
Every one of those keepsakes, are things that can be backed up, archived, scanned and protected, quite easily.  All people have to do is decide what things in their life are unique and special and important to them, then back them up and place those archives in at least three different locations.  If one location is damaged or destroyed, they still have their stuff in the other location.
That’s all there is to it.  Yes it might take them an afternoon or two.  But we’ve walked thousands of people through it.  All it takes is a few simple steps with simple tools.
Loss is a horrible feeling.  It’s the feeling of someone wrenching something you love away from you and there’s nothing you can do to get it back.  It’s an awful combination of sadness and powerlessness and guilt, that no human being should have to experience.
The victims of Hurricane Sandy lost their homes and their neighborhoods and their livelihoods.    There’s nothing that they could have done to prevent that.   But those precious families didn’t have to end up without a plan of where to go and what to do next.  They didn’t have to end up without the vital information and the documents they’re going to need over the next few months to pull their lives back together.  And they didn’t have to lose the treasures and the keepsakes and the precious memories that make their lives so rich and full and special.
Loss.
That’s what we’re working so hard to prevent.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00  Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Archive Your Print Photos

How To Archive Your Printed Photos | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com. I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and the California Wildfires, is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a keepsake.  Even a photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories.  What a horrible thing it would be to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound no matter what the disaster is so easy. 
Have you been through the family photo album lately? 
What shape are your pictures in?  Are they sparkling and colorful or faded and lifeless.  Have you taken the time to scan them so they’re backed up and secure or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
One thing that makes 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.  
The good news is that with the advent of portable wand scanners, you can see your favorite family photos any time you want.  The bad news is, you may have to peel them out of Aunt Sadie’s clutches to use it!  
But, not to worry.  We have some fabulous tips and tools that will give you access to all of your favorite pictures and get them easily and painlessly archived for all the members of your family, including dear Aunt Sadie.
As you know, there are two types of photos, digital and print.  In this post 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.  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.
In a few moments we’ll ask you to locate all of your physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.
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.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.

Take Action! 

1. Photos, 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 and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.

2. Which Ones Do I Scan?

Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to you than others.  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.
You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

3. Scan Away!

Scan all of the photos in Pile 1 saving them to your computer, as you scan.  If you have a lot of photos, get the kids involved or throw a scanning party for your relatives, and let them help you scan, then give them a copy of the photos they want to take home with them.
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 3 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 like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox, or on the file directory of your 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 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, 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 method of scanning that we wanted to mention is the Kodak Personal Scanner.  It’s a bit different than the others, because you can feed photos into it and it scans them as they pass through an inch thick scanning bed.  The interesting part is that it comes with an attachment that feeds negatives and slides into the scanner and – are you ready for this – actually makes a digital copy of the photo, just as if you had taken it to the photo processor.  We actually had some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides, 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 from the sixties, that looked like they were processed yesterday.  Absolutely 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.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results. But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
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If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to fix your photos yourself, we’ve found one scanner 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.   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’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

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

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 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 Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected 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

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

How To Choose An Evacuation Location

How To Choose An Evacuation Location

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.
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!    We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan

How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan

How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Courtesy of KRDO, Waldo Fire

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. 
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.
How To Create A Get Back To Life Plan | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

Click picture to download instructions

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.
Want to download these instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF version.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…

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More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
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The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Get Ready For A Hurricane

How To Get Ready For A Hurricane | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.

Nothing is more unpredictable than a hurricane.

As Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the New Orleans coastline as a category 1 storm, residents couldn’t help remembering another storm just a few short years earlier that took the lives of at least 1,836 people and changed the lives of tens of thousands more.  
But even with a category 1 storm like Isaac, lives can change. 
Just ask the residents that didn’t think that Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Irma were going to be as big a deal as Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Katrina and decided not to evacuate. 
People who thought that their homes would be okay, ended up having to grab whatever they could — not necessarily what they would need – and evacuate with just a few minute’s notice.
It certainly proves one thing — you just can’t count on history or predictions, to help you decide what’s right for yourself, your property or your family.

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

It’s a good lesson for us all.  Even though you might not technically live in a disaster zone or directly in the way of an approaching hurricane or wildfire, it doesn’t hurt to have the things that are important to you, ready to go. As we tell our customers (and practice ourselves), you have to keep your vital information, documents and keepsakes backed up to at least three different locations and your emergency bin packed ready to go at a moment’s notice.  That way if you suddenly have to evacuate, those things will already be taken care of.  It’s just one more thing you won’t have to worry about doing at the last minute or doing without, later.
The best thing about a hurricane — at least as opposed to earthquakes and tornadoes — is that you usually get a few days notice that they’re coming.  Like our friends in New Orleans and Tampa, Hurricane Isaac was predicted giving some residents time to gather up their belongings and evacuate.  But of course Isaac turned the opposite direction striking areas that weren’t originally expected.  One important take-away from these disasters is the importance of staying aware and using evacuation warnings to get your own stuff together even if the homes on your particular street aren’t in immediate danger.   Heed warnings when they are given!  Stubbornly staying behind because residents think they can “handle it” has gotten thousands of people killed.  Another lesson is to always purchase flood insurance.
So how do you prepare for a hurricane? As we tell our readers, we always follow the Three Step Approach.

Step One

Make sure that you have your disaster survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when a hurricane strikes.

Step Two

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.

Step Three

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 hurricane country, you absolutely need an Evacuation Plan and a Get Back To Life PlanIf you don’t know the evacuation routes in your area, call your local fire department for this information way before hurricane season.  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.
So if your hurricane plan is to shelter-in-place make 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, turbid water 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 a hurricane, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information, including a few of our favorite guides and videos listed below:
Hurricane Guide       Hurricane Checklist       Hurricane? Be Prepared, Plan Now Video   Hurricane Video by Weather Channel’s Bryan Cross
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 hurricanes and floods you saw on CNN.   Like Hurricane Sandy for example.  Remember the faces of the people in the midst 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.
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 Ready.  
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 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.

Location, Location

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 Mexico Earthquake, Hurricane Irma or Maria, the California 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 the hurricane, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location a week after the waters subside. 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!    We’ll talk later…

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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

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 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 Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected 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

How To Get Ready For…

How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

After All It’s YOUR Birth Certificate

 

How To Archive Your Important Documents | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.
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 Hurricane Sandy.
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.

How To Archive Your Important Documents | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.

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.
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!    We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00  Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, 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.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible.

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.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Make A Home Inventory

How To Make A Home Inventory | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comClose your eyes for a moment.  
Picture the room you’re sitting in, in your mind.
Picture each item, focusing especially on the items that mean the most to you or have the most monetary value.  When you’re done open your eyes.   Did you miss anything?   If you’re like most people, no matter how certain you were that you remembered everything, you still missed a lot of things that you would want to replace. 
And even if you did pretty well, do you know off the top of your head what items were still under warranty, what was insured and for how much?   In other words, if this hadn’t been an exercise, but an insurance agent or a police officer writing down a list of your valuables after a burglary or a hurricane, would you have been happy with the list you made?
I didn’t think so. 
Memory is a wonderful thing, but it can be affected by many factors, like stress, trauma and fatigue – exactly the things that happen during an emergency.  That’s why putting together a list of your treasured or valued objects while they’re sitting in your living room and still in great condition is a MUCH better idea.
And while we’re at it, that reminds me of something else we all have to deal with.  I don’t know about you, but to us, it seems like there’s a new cellphone, computer, or gadget of some kind out in the stores every day.  
Every time you decide to buy a new one, it comes with more cords and manuals than anyone has room to store.  And if you decided to spring for the protection plan too, that hits the mailbox a few days later.  With just a few new toys, you can easily end up with a folder full of paper.
Who can keep up with that?
YOU can!  And very easily, too.  In the Action Steps below, we’re going to create a Home Inventory.  Just go through the steps, and decide room by room what items to include.  In fact if you have kids or grandkids in the house, this is a great project for them.  Once you decide which items to include, send them off on a scavenger hunt, list in hand along with a digital and video camera and have them take photos of each item.  Then when they’re done, enter each item along with its information into our downloadable Home Inventory Form, and you’re done.  
And if you want a copy of these instructions for later, just  Click here to download the PDF Version.

Take Action  

1. Download Our Home Inventory List

Click here to grab a copy of our Home Inventory Form,  or if you already own our book Ready, you’ll find copies in the book and in the downloadable forms.

2. Grab Your Cameras & A Pencil

Go get your video camera, your digital camera, your list and a pencil and begin walking through each room of your home.  Start with the living room, usually home to the most expensive electronic equipment.

3. Document All the Info You Can Find

For each valued item, (electronics, furniture, cars, art, jewelry or any other items that would be expensive to replace or repair),  fill in a short description, the manufacturer, serial number and any other information you know about it.
If you have a copy of your warranty information, or original purchase receipts for any of the valued items, note the information on them on the Home Inventory List, then put those documents on the side until Step 6.

4. Your Chance To Play Spielberg

As you stop at each item, take a digital photo of it, to show its current condition.  If the item is damaged in a disaster, you’ll have proof of the item’s original condition to give to the claims adjuster. It will also remind you what the item looked like, if it ever needs to be replaced

5. Spielberg Revisited

Once you’re finished with the room, grab your video camera and do a quick video tour.  At the beginning of the videotape, clearly state today’s date and the room you’re photographing.  And while you’re taping, be sure to show the general condition of the room as well as your valued items.

6. Paperwork, paperwork

Gather all of the warranties, protection plans, certificates of insurance, provenance papers and receipts that you have found, and put them in the same location.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a file folder or a section inside your safe.  Just make sure that every time you purchase a new item that comes with any of this paperwork, that you put it in the same place.

7. Now for safekeeping…

Print, scan or make three copies of the Home Inventory List, the walking tour photos, the video and the warranties, receipts and other documents that you located earlier and store them 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 that’s it!  Just follow the steps and you’re done.  No more having to remember every single thing in your house.  Just be sure to update your list every six months.  Or if you watch a lot of QVC or HSN, every four months…
Want to download a copy of the instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

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