Getting Back To Life After An Earthquake

After the earthquake in Nepal, plus the ongoing effort to rebuild after the Fukushima Japan and Haiti earthquakes, we’re rerunning one of our most important posts. It’s not just about getting ready for disasters, but it’s about getting back to LIFE after a disaster. That’s something very few people talk about. Yet millions upon millions of people are facing that question right this moment. How do we get back to our normal lives after this magnitude of disaster. It’s the third piece in a series and you’ll find the links to the other two parts below.
Not only does the series tell you how to prepare for an earthquake, but it gives you tips on being prepared for ANY disaster — the right way! In case you didn’t see part one and two, you’ll find the links at the end of the post. Having made it through Southern California earthquakes and a jumbo jet crash right across the street from our home, we know how difficult the coming weeks and months will be for the people of Nepal as they deal with this horrendous disaster.  Our prayers are with them. LG

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!

Getting Back To Life After And Earthquake | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.Having two plans can make all the difference, in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.  What are the plans?  They are our Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our new program The Backup Plan 3.0.  The evacuation plan is pretty simple.  It all comes from one question…  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
As you think about the locations you’ll use for your evacuation, consider, the people  travelling with you,  how you’ll get there (car, bus, plane), any pets travelling with you and whether those locations will actually work for you – for instance are they close to stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors.
We suggest that people have three different locations in mind, to give you different types of locations and choices depending on the circumstances.   As you create your plan, write everything down in detail.  If you have to use this plan, you and the people you love are probably going to be in panic mode and following an easy to understand plan, will help calm and focus you.
Write down the people who will be travelling with you, and any special instructions you’ll need to gather everyone together, in case a disaster or emergency occurs while you’re all away from home.  Name the location that you and your family will use to meet up with each other and the location you will be evacuating to, if you cannot live in your home, but your immediate area is still safe.  Include the address of the location, contact phone, email address and directions.
Next choose a location (writing down the details, address and contact information) that your family will use if you not only need to evacuate your home, but your immediate area or city.  This might happen during a moderate hurricane or a tornado.  Your third location is out of state, for a serious, widely destructive emergency like Hurricane Katrina, the Iceland Volcano, or other disaster that will make your entire region uninhabitable.
You will also include these locations in your family’s ICE Contacts and emergency wallet cards.  Now, no matter what the disaster, even a fire or local emergency, you and your family will now know where and how to gather, and who will be responsible for what, so you can quickly reunite and travel on to your emergency location together.  If you like, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact as well.   Will you have any pets travelling with you?  Be sure to fill out the pet section, so that you will have all the information you need for them, like the name and numbers for the veterinarian, their licenses, and names/numbers of kennels in the location you are evacuating to and any prescriptions or special instructions you’ll need until you return home.
So are YOU prepared to deal with an earthquake?  Let’s see how Victoria Beckham dealt with an “earthquake” when they moved to LA.  Okay it was a simulator, but you’ll get the idea…   And so did she 🙂
Your Get Back To Life Plan
The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair.  That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived an earthquake, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.   You’re in your evacuation location two days after the hurricane subsides.  The phone rings.  It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.  After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your Backup Plan 3.0 Notebook.   There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss.  You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school, and begin calling the contacts you need (that you jotted down just in case), to help you settle in.  Getting settled is easier than you thought, since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local bank.  It takes some time, but with hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living in a matter of weeks.
Now imagine the same scenario, the same phone call, holding your family, talking and then realizing that you have no plan and no clue how to get back to living your life.   It’s CNN coverage all over again.  The best part of this little scenario is that it hasn’t happened to you and that you have time right now, to make sure no matter what ever occurs in your area, you and your family will be prepared.
Either download our Get Back To Life Plan, or grab a piece of paper.  Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:
  • How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills and receiving our paychecks?  How much emergency cash do we need to have, while traveling?
  • What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
  • How will we work?  Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions?  What people or contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
  • How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription needs while in the new location?  What doctors and dentists can we use while there?
  • How long can we stay in our evacuation location?  If we need to remain evacuated longer, where will we go/stay?  Who will our real estate contacts be, if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
  • How are we going to secure the property or vehicles we had to leave behind?
  • How will we take care of our pets, during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
  • How will we handle our transportation needs?  What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
  • How will we handle our daycare needs?  How will we handle getting our children into school if necessary?  What schools or contacts will we need, to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
  • How will we handle any special needs in our family?
Once you’ve answered the questions, get your family together to work out any potential problems you have uncovered and then draft your plan.  And don’t forget to compile a list of real estate agents, financial contacts and jobs, schools, doctors and other professionals or information that you might need to establish yourself in the new city temporarily or permanently.
Starting over is never easy, especially when it happens because of a disaster or other life changing emergency.  But taking a few hours now to think through and draft a plan, will give you and your family the direction, information and support that you need, to get through not only the first hours and days after a disaster, but the first steps back to living the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
In case you missed any parts of the series, here are the links to the first two posts…
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part One
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Two

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! 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 Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

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 Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comYour mission is to learn how to back up all of those voice mail messages you’ve been saving and resaving, so that you can keep them safe and sound without worrying about losing them.   
When we first started writing our books, I was really surprised to hear how many people have old voice mails on their phones and answering machines that they keep resaving over and over again for sentimental reasons. 
For some people it’s the news of a new arrival to the family, or a job offer they’d been waiting for.  For others it’s the last message or the old voice mail greeting of a loved one who’s passed away. The problem with trying to save voice mail messages this way, is that one hiccup from a cell phone carrier or badly timed power outage and that message will be gone forever.  
That’s what happened to one woman.  When her fifteen year old son unexpectedly died in his sleep, she couldn’t bear to erase the greeting on his cell phone’s voicemail. So she kept his phone and service, just so she could call every once in a while to hear his voice.   Until one day when her cell phone carrier changed storage systems and lost his voicemail greeting.  
She was absolutely beside herself.  
Thankfully, weeks later, the cell phone carrier found the greeting, put it on a CD and sent it to her.  But when a recording is THAT important, you can’t just leave it up to chance, hoping that it never gets erased.   And backing it up is so easy to do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it months ago! 
Do you have a message that you want to save?  
Well the first thing you have to do is to figure out what method is best. 
Usually old messages are in one of three places.  
  • Your cell phone’s voice mail
  • A digital answering machine or landline voicemail system
  • Or an answering machine that uses a cassette tape

 Let’s Start With Your Cell Phone’s Voice Mail   

  • Most smartphones have an option within the voice mail to save the message to your Dropbox, iCloud or One Drive. That’s the easiest method, because your phone will save the recording for you, usually as an MP3.
  • Or you can save the file and email it to yourself.
  • Once the file is on your computer, store the message to your backup files as well as a portable hard drive for safe keeping

What If You Have An Older Cell Phone That Doesn’t Let You Save Your Messages As Files?

  • You can turn it into an MP3  (we’ll cover this one in a minute)
  • Or you can call your cellphone carrier and ask them how to download a voice mail from your particular phone.
  • Or you can play the message on speakerphone and record it onto a digital recorder as an MP3 

What if Your Message Is On A Cassette Tape? 

ansphonegraphic

The easiest way to archive it is to simply save the tape.  Which would be fine if this was just a simple message.  Since it’s not, and since cassettes have a habit of breaking, you really need to back up the message and save it to your computer as an MP3, for safekeeping.  
One easy way we’ve found to convert your cassettes to MP3s is the ION Tape Express

What If Your Message Is On An Answering Machine With A Digital Chip Or A Landline Voicemail System? 

Play the message out loud on your digital answering system and record it onto a digital recorder, like your smartphone. 
If the message is on a landline voicemail system, use a speakerphone to play the message out loud and record it.  
This is also the best way to save a voicemail greeting from a smartphone, since a greeting can’t usually be saved like a message can. 

Or You Can Leave It To The Professionals…

If you have an old cell phone with a treasured message or voicemail greeting on it on it and would rather leave the archiving to the professionals, it’s time to go to CBW Productions.  You can find them at www.cbwproductions.com.
They’ll make a copy of any message that’s on your cell phone’s voice mail and email you the MP3 copy.  Or if you would rather, they’ll send it to you on a CD.  
The next time someone leaves you a message that you never want to lose, do yourself a favor. Take five minutes to back it up.
And if you have any type of message that you need to back up that we didn’t cover here, let us know on the comments below, so we can help you figure it out. 
We’d love to hear your questions and comments below and don’t forget to use the share buttons, to share this post and video with your friends on social media.
Want to download these instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF Shortcut Sheet.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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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

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

Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?

There’s one question about ICE Contacts that we get from iPhone users all the time that’s so important, we decided to take care of it in its own blog post.  

Should I even bother putting an ICE Contact on my iPhone if I use a password to lock my phone?

Great question!  
After all, ICE contacts are great – as long as emergency personnel can actually SEE your ICE information.  But what if you lock your iPhone with a password? 
Believe it or not, in many cities emergency workers aren’t allowed to break into a password protected mobile phone, even in an emergency.  Which means that having an iCE contact on a password protected phone is useless, right?  
Wrong!
As long as you set up your iCE contact correctly, all an emergency worker has to do is ask Siri to retrieve it for them!
And THAT is why we suggest that you put nothing but the word iCE in the Name field of your iCE Contact.   Then put the contact’s name in the Company Name field instead.  If you don’t already have an ICE Contact on your iPhone, be sure to read the blog post.
Even when your iPhone is password locked, all you have to do is Press and Hold Down the Main Home Key on your phone to access Siri.  Then say to Siri, “Contacts ICE”.   Siri will then display all the information you have saved as iCE.  If you place any other words in the name field besides iCE, your phone will sort it differently and Siri won’t recognize the contact as iCE.  Depending on your version of iOS (the Apple operating system) you might have to say “Siri” or “Hey Siri” first and then “Contacts ICE”.  
Remember, if someone is looking for your iCE Contact, you may be unconscious and unable to communicate medical information for yourself.   In fact, if you do tend to password lock your phone, you should definitely put vital medical information like allergies or chronic illnesses into the Notes Section of your contact as well, just in case the iCE contact is the only contact on your phone that medical personnel can access.

 

Take a look at the graphic below or at the video at the beginning of this post, to see what happens when you ask Siri for your iCE Contact.
And if you’re a healthcare professional, remember these instructions the next time you encounter an unconscious patient with a locked iPhone.  Press and hold down the main home key to access Siri and say “Contacts ICE”. 
If it doesn’t work the first time, try saying “Siri” or “Hey Siri” first and then “Contacts ICE”.  As we said, newer versions of Apple’s operating system, do things a bit differently.
You never know.  That one little question might just uncover all of the information you need to save a life!
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone? | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Introducing… Connected

Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

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Connected | The Book Inspired By The Blog.

Connected | Saving Lives & Connecting Families One Smartphone @ A Time. rnn10.wordpress.com

What if I told you, there was one thing that you own and probably have with you right now, that can give you the support, information & ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are. What is it? It’s your smartphone! Introducing Connected, an easy to read, easy to use guide that gives you everything you need to turn your smartphone into your very own life preserver. Purchase Connected @ Amazon.com

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…
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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

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 Get Ready For A Wildfire

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

Courtesy of KRDO, Waldo Fire

The chaos of that moment is overwhelming. 

The moment a firefighter’s knocks at the door or the flames of a wildfire near.  
What should you take, where will you go and, if the worst happens, how will you go on?  No one knows that better than hundreds of thousands of people who had to evacuate their California homes for the Thomas Fire, Mendocino fire or the Carr and Ranch Fires. 
That’s why it’s SO important to have an evacuation plan before a wildfire strikes.  That way you don’t have to answer those questions while you’re on your way out the door.
Here’s a video we did discussing Colorado Spring’s Waldo Fire with the local Fox affiliate. Although the book offer is over, it gives you a great window into what Colorado was facing during the Waldo Fire.
So what’s the best way to prepare for a wildfire?
Even though you might not technically live in a disaster zone or directly in the path of an approaching 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 hardest part about a wildfire is that they’re impossible to predict  One important realization from previous fires 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.  Another is to heed warnings when their given.  Stubbornly staying behind to help protect their own homes instead of letting the firefighters handle it has gotten thousands of people killed.  
So how do you prepare for a wildfire? As we tell our clients, we always follow the Three Step Approach.
The First Step, is to make sure that you have your disaster survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when a wildfire strikes.
The Second Step, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safer location, in less than ten minutes. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is to do is to take the necessary steps now, to ensure you have access to all the items and information that will help you get back to living your normal life, as quickly and easily as possible. You’ll also want to make sure that the things that are most vital to you — your important papers, financial and insurance information, treasured photos, videos and music and scannable keepsakes are backed up onto a portable hard drive and stored in a safe deposit box or safe, in the town where you will go during evacuation. That way it will be safe, sound and waiting for you when you arrive.
The Third Step is to make sure that you have a pre-written plan of what you’ll do and where you’ll go when a disaster strikes, including a plan for how you’ll get back to your normal life, once the disaster is over.
If you live in an area of the country prone to fires, you absolutely need an Evacuation Plan and a Get Back To Life Plan.  If you don’t know the evacuation routes in your area, call your local fire department for this information way before flood 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 the wildfire doesn’t reach your home, your neighborhood and city might still without power or basic city services for a few days.  Telephone and/or cell service could also be down.   That not only means you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
So your first defense is making sure that you always have an alternative source of power, battery powered flashlights, extra cash, a supply of canned or frozen food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten, and the all-important supply of water – enough to last you and everyone in your family for three days. Since your home or neighborhood might have significant damage, keep rubber-soled shoes, a warm jacket and other emergency gear within reach of your bed or right inside your closet. Rubber soled shoes will protect your feet from the broken glass and rocks that will probably be strewn everywhere.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for a wildfire, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information, including a few of our favorite guides and manuals below:
Wildfire Preparation Guide        Wildfire Checklist       Fire Guide            Fire Recovery
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 wildfires and floods you saw on CNN. Remember the faces of the people in the midst of the disaster?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost. Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster. Those in wildfire 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 slash program Ready.  
The evacuation plan starts with one question.  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
As you think about the locations you’ll use for your evacuation, consider, the people traveling with you, how you’ll get there (car, bus, plane), any pets traveling with you and whether those locations will actually work for you – for instance are they close to stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors.
We suggest that people have three different locations in mind, to give you different types of locations and choices depending on the circumstances. As you create your plan, write everything down in detail. If you have to use this plan, you and the people you love are probably going to be in panic mode and following an easy to understand plan, will help calm and focus you.
Write down the people who will be traveling with you, and any special instructions you’ll need to gather everyone together, in case a disaster or emergency occurs while you’re all away from home. Name the location that you and your family will use to meet up with each other and the location you will be evacuating to, if you cannot live in your home, but your immediate area is still safe. Include the address of the location, contact phone, email address and directions.
Next choose a location (writing down the details, address and contact information) that your family will use if you not only need to evacuate your home, but your immediate area or city. This might happen during a moderate hurricane or a tornado. Your third location is out of state, for a serious, widely destructive emergency like the Japan or Chile Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Colorado Wildfires, or other disaster that will make your entire region uninhabitable.
You will also include these locations on your emergency wallet card and your family’s wallet cards. Now, no matter what the disaster, even a fire or local emergency, you and your family will now know where and how to gather, and who will be responsible for what, so you can quickly reunite and travel on to your emergency location together. If you like, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact as well.
Will you have any pets traveling with you? Be sure to fill out the pet section, so that you will have all the information you need for them, like the name and numbers for the veterinarian, their licenses, and names/numbers of kennels in the location you are evacuating to and any prescriptions or special instructions you’ll need until you return home.
Your Get Back To Life Plan
The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair. That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived the fire, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location two days after the fires 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…
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

Taking The Chaos Out Of Emergencies

This week we have a special treat for you.  Kathryn Bluher, AmeriCorps Communications Coordinator of Seattle’s Branch of the American Red Cross, is our guest blogger.  Seattle’s Red Cross branch serves King & Kitsap Counties, which is an enormous area for a state that is not unused to natural disasters. 
We asked Kathryn to share what she and her colleagues do for the people of Washington state as well as a few tips and bits of advice.  Kathryn doesn’t disappoint. 
Check out Seattle Red Cross’ web site and Facebook page at the end of this article for some terrific resources.
Thanks Kathryn!

Taking The Chaos Out Of Emergencies

The American Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties is dedicated to preparedness. Our goal is to prepare our community, friends, family and peers for disasters. Specifically, here in the Pacific Northwest because disasters are continually knocking at our door – windstorms, earthquakes, floods, snowstorms and volcanoes are just some of the potentially devastating natural disasters we face. What’s worse is that there is nothing predictable about a large-scale disaster, and that’s why we want you to be ready.  It’s never if a disaster will strike; it’s when.
We know, at times it may seem like our job is shrouded in the fear of imminent disaster, but we love what we do. The topics we discuss are serious but preparedness can be fun, lots of fun. We don’t want preparing for disasters to be overwhelming. We want it to be easy for you and your family.
So, how do we better prepare our community?
The Red Cross tries to reach individuals from all walks of life. Our main focus is to educate at-risk populations, but each program and service we offer is fine-tuned to meet each individual’s needs. We want everyone to be prepared, which is why we help educate children, teenagers, seniors, community groups, businesses and nonprofits.
For our preparedness experts in training, elementary through middle school kids, we have developed a program that fits their needs and attention spans. We play games to help the students identify potential disasters, help them build emergency kits, make a plan and even teach basic first aid. For high school students we give presentations that intertwine disaster preparedness knowledge and pop culture. It may seem strange that we talk to students about a zombie apocalypse, but high school-aged students really get into the subject matter. We’ve essentially taken their interests and added a disaster preparedness twist. We want youth to be excited about preparedness and build on that excitement throughout their lives.
Even if you’re out of school we still want to educate you. We help prepare community groups, nonprofits and organizations for disasters through comprehensive classes and awareness campaigns. We’ve even established a Ready Rating program to help organizations better prepare for emergencies. We often go out into the community to give presentations on preparedness, earthquake preparedness, pandemic flu, how to use 9-1-1, how to build a kit, make a plan, stay informed and much more. But if we can’t make it out to your organization, we have www.readyrating.org at your disposal. Most businesses don’t realize that after a disaster strikes, up to 40% never re-open. We want to lessen that percentage, because a disaster shouldn’t close your businesses doors for good.  We can be your expert preparedness partner and help you prepare for nearly anything that comes your way.
That’s not all we do though. We’ve also embraced technology quite a bit when it comes to disaster preparedness. When disasters strike things can get a little chaotic, so we’ve developed applications and systems to help you through that chaos. If you need to find a shelter we have an app for that, if you need safety tips before, during or after a disaster you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We want to be both a personal resource and technological resource for you and your family. Disaster preparedness and the way we respond to disasters will continue to change as technology changes; it’s our job to stay up to date with that trend.
So, whether it’s preparing for the “big one” or updating your emergency kit, we’re here for you. Just remember, make a kit, build a plan and be informed. If you have questions, just ask us. Find us on Facebook and chat with us there! Learn more about what we do and ways in which you can get involved by visiting our website at www.seattleredcross.org.
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 Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

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 Be Ready For Anything In 10 Minutes

How To Be Ready For Anything In 10 Minutes

People are always asking us what our Ready In 10 System is all about.  Sometimes they ask over lunch and sometimes in an elevator (which must be where the term elevator speech comes from), but the great part is that they’re asking! 
So we thought we’d use all that practice we’ve had answering that question and take a few minutes to tell you exactly what you can expect from Ready In 10.  
The short answer.   Ten easy steps broken down into bite-sized tasks, that will have you ready to deal with any emergency in ten minutes or less.  
The long answer.   A book that teaches people who are totally unprepared for a disaster, how to be able to grab everything they need — necessities, keepsakes, vital information — and evacuate in less than ten minutes.  Then once the disaster is over, they’ll be able to get back to living their normal lives, as quickly and easily as possible, even if they’re completely disorganized and have never been through a real emergency.  
Ready In 10 comes with our cutting-edge downloadable disaster preparedness systems  and is specially designed to help people get through a disaster or emergency with their loved ones, vital documents and keepsakes intact.  In other words they won’t just survive a disaster, they’ll be able to pick up their lives and go on, as quickly as possible.
And without fail, everyone always has the same reaction.
“Wow.   Where do I sign up?”
The good news is, you don’t have to sign up.  You just order the book from Amazon.com for $19.99.  And then of course you have to read it…  But honestly, it couldn’t be any easier.
So what are the ten steps?  Thank you for asking.   Here they are.
Step 1: Gather all your vital documents and information and sort into two piles. Pile One is for documents that you’ll  actually need to refer to in an emergency.   Pile Two  is for documents that you don’t need to physically have – only the information they contain.
Step 2:  Using the information you just located, fill in one Vital Information Form for each member of the family who will be evacuating.  We’ve included one for you to download (just click on the link) so you can see how the forms work.
Step 3:  Fill in one  Medical Information Form for each member of the family who will be evacuating.
Step 4:  Scan and store your information in at least three places:
  • One copy in your smartphone or password protected online storage,
  • One copy in a safe deposit box near your home and another in your evacuation location
  • One copy in your Ready In 10 Notebook.
Step 5:  Fill in your Evacuation Plan, detailing where will you go, where will you stay, and how will you get there.
Step 6: Put the emergency information and contacts you and your family need into your cell phones and smartphones, so that you will have the information you need at your fingertips for emergencies large or small.  In other words, ICE Contact time!
Step 7:  Fill in and print wallet cards for each family member.   Place copies in everyone’s wallets, backpacks and an additional set on badge holders/lanyards and toss them in your emergency bin.
Step 8:  Fill in the Evacuation Checklist to create a list of the critical items, you and your family need to take with you when you evacuate.
Step 9: Create your Get Back To Life Plan, which you’ll follow if an evacuation lasts more than a week, along with your Quicklist of vital get back to life contacts.
Step 10:  Create a Home Inventory of the valued objects in your home and grab some photos and video of each object, so you can quickly identify damaged items and speed up insurance reimbursements.
And that’s it.
To make things even easier, the print versions of our books Ready In 10 and our latest book The Backup Plan 3.0 come with all of the Grab It and Go Forms, Action Plans and Checklists we mentioned in the steps.  They’re not only inside the book so you can fill them in by hand, but you can also download a copy of all the forms, so you can fill them in on your computer.  That way you can change them, save them, print them, reprint them and store them on a portable flash drive or in the cloud for easy retrieval whenever you want, wherever you are.
Ten steps, ten minutes. 
So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor.  Get a copy for yourself, get a copy for your best friend and get a copy for the people you love.   
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