Getting Back To Life After An Earthquake

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

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

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

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

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

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Your Get Back To Life Plan

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

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

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

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

How To Organize Your Digital Life

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

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

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

After All It’s YOUR Birth Certificate

8 POST Birth Certificate SanDisk Extreme Pro
Updated 3/22/2021

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

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

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.

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

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

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

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

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

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

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

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

How To Make Your Family Findable

61 POST Twitter FB stock-photos-image359107613
Updated On 3/2/21

In the middle of a busy, but quiet day in a Midwestern university lecture hall, the silence was pierced by a sudden hail of gunfire. Students ran out of the hall and ducked under tables.

As the police and security were struggling to control the situation, a number of the student’s parents not only knew that their children were all right, but they knew exactly what was happening in real time.
So how did some people have a window into the NIU tragedy while others did not?

Facebook and Twitter!  

As unlikely as it sounds, students ingeniously found a way to use their favorite method of keeping in touch with friends, as a tool to connect to the outside world in the middle of a crisis.
Students caught under desks and tables grabbed their smartphones and started communicating.
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Tweets went out on Twitter, notes and messages went up on Facebook pages, telling friends and family that students, who were literally in the thick of things, were all right.
Others told loved ones or security officers the location of trapped students, facilitating their rescue. Friends started texting each other to find out where everyone was and, in the hours that followed, created Facebook pages memorializing the fallen.
It was an amazing display of people, who are connected 24/7, using that same technology to communicate, connect, survive and heal. 
Since disasters are completely unpredictable, the only way to prepare yourself and your family is to give yourselves as many different avenues of communication as possible. You never know which one will make the difference. 
Want to learn how your family can use technology to communicate during an emergency? Then let’s get started. 

Make Your Family Findable

Smartphones, tablets and notebook computers are a phenomenal way to stay in touch with each other during an emergency.  Whether you send an email, text, tweet or Facebook message, you can find out the location and condition of everyone you love in seconds.
In a dire emergency, you can even send help, confirm or update emergency plans and even mobilize family and friends to be at the side of someone who’s been injured, using real time information. 
Since emergencies are by nature, completely unpredictable, the best way to prepare yourself and your family is to give yourselves as many different avenues of communication as possible.   You never know which one will make the difference.
For example during Japan’s major earthquakes cell phone towers barely worked because of earthquake damage and overloaded networks.  But Wi-Fi was up and running.  So what kept the Japanese connected with their families and the outside world?  Twitter, Facebook, Skype and YouTube!   
Whether we’re talking about earthquakes, wildfires or tornadoes, giving yourself and your family options is a smart idea.

Update Your Smartphones

When you created your Family Evacuation Plan (if you haven’t done that yet, you’ll find one in our book “Keep Your Stuff Safe“), you listed the phone numbers, email addresses and social media addresses for each family member in your household. 
Now we’re going to take that one step further by adding all of that information to each family member’s iPhones, Galaxies, and other smartphones.  While you’re at it, add new contacts on everyone’s phones for all of your out-of-area emergency contacts.

Direct Messaging

If cell phone service is down and you are unable to text, don’t forget that Twitter and Facebook can also be used to send direct messages.  Those are personal messages that only go to the recipient – not broadcast to the whole world. If you don’t know how to send a direct message, here’s a quick tutorial. 
First, you need to make sure that every member of your family is following or has “liked” all of the other family members on Twitter and Facebook.  That will enable you to direct message each other.
For Twitter, click on Messages, then Direct Messages and then type in @ and the family member’s username.  Then type in your message and hit send.
  • For Facebook, click the little message icon at the top of your page (between the little people and the little earth).  Then click Send New Message and type in the name of the recipient or recipients and click send.

When Time Is An Issue…

Using a social media platform like HootSuite.com may help.  With HootSuite, you can send a single message that can be posted to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn simultaneously, ensuring that your family or friends would see your message immediately, no matter what site they happen to be on at the moment.

The Value Of A Photo

During a few recent tornadoes, even lifelong residents found themselves disoriented when the tornado turned their normal landmarks into kindling.  
If your spouse or kids don’t know where they are after an emergency and need help a quick photo texted or uploaded to Instagram or Facebook could help you locate them.  This is especially true of GPS enabled phones or cameras, like the Sony HX400V Compact Digital Camera that can send or upload those photos to others via Wi-Fi.

Creating A Communications Plan 

Once you and your family have updated your phones and completed your evacuation plans, sit down with them to discuss the ways you can use technology to stay in touch with each other during a disaster. 
Come up with some sample scenarios; for example, if a disaster were to happen while your family members were at work, at school or running errands during a normal day. 
  • How would you connect with each other? 
  • Would you text each other, or would calling or emailing be faster? 
  • If you have teens or young adults at home, their natural proclivity may be to send out a text or a tweet on Twitter, to update everyone, including you, on their location or situation. 
Find out the types of communication everyone prefers and then create an emergency communication plan that makes sense for your family.

What If?

Another great discussion to have with your family, especially with school age children, is what they would do if they had to get a hold of you but the cell phone system was out, or what to do if there was an area-wide blackout.    Don’t laugh, that actually happened to us in California!
Kids are so used to technology that they might not have the experience that they need to do things the old school way.   The best way to plan is to give yourselves as many ways as possible to stay connected.  Then if one or two normal methods are unusable, you’ll all simply turn to a different method to reach each other. 

Grab The Sat Phone!

If you’re in an area with frequent emergencies like tornadoes or hurricanes, live out in the country or have a family member in a foreign country, consider getting satellite phones. 
One of our personal favorites is the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone.  It works in remote areas where there is no cell phone coverage and when cell towers are down.  If you don’t want the expense of a dedicated satellite phone, there are a few devices that turn your smartphone into a satellite phone, like the Iridium GO! Satellite Phone Wi-Fi Hotspot.

Code Word Clearance Or Higher?

Lastly, consider creating a Family Emergency Code or Word.  This is a code or word that only you and your immediate family know. When a family member says it, texts it or emails it to the rest of the family, it signals that they’re in trouble and need help. 
It’s only to be used in extreme emergency and means that everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and establish contact with each other, immediately. 

Find My Family ASAP

Find My Friends is an iPhone app that is designed to let you know at a glance where your friends are.  But you can also use it to immediately locate your children, spouse and loved ones in an emergency.  
All your family has to do is allow you access on their phones, and if need be, you can immediately see where everyone is in real time, complete with map and directions.
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on keeping your family safe, sound, healthy and findable, pick up a copy of our book “At Your Fingertips” in paperback or via instant download.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

At Your Fingertips | Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter

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

 

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

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

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

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

Recently Scott Haskins, the “Save Your Stuff” guy attended the Jewish Genealogical Fair and while he was there, stopped for a moment to show us a scrapbook that was badly damaged by water. Scott sees keepsakes like this all the time, when he and his restoration experts are called in to save the day — or at least save as many memories as humanly possible.
It just goes to demonstrate how important it is to take that few minutes to ensure that the things that are important to you and your family — photos, documents, certificates — even music and videos — are backed up, saved to multiple locations and the originals saved in a safe, moisture free, secure location.
Those of you who are familiar with Scott’s work from his book How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster, already know that he’s a world-renowned expert on preservation.  But if you’ve never seen him in action, take a look at the video below.  We highly recommend his work and his website, which you can find at saveyourstuff.com.
Take it away, Scott and thanks for being our person in the field this week!
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

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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 An Earthquake – Part Three

17 POST Earthquake 3 stock-photos-image472572774Updated 3/23/2021

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

Having two plans can make all the difference, in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.  What are the plans?  They are our Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our 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.

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

So are YOU prepared to deal with an earthquake?  Here’s a video with Senator Evan Bayh, describing his experiences during the Christchurch New Zealand earthquake.

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!

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