How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Printed Photos 

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of earthquakes — like the quakes in Ecuador and Japan — is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a photo of their wedding or of their children.  
In today’s world, now that we have cell phones, taking photos has become almost a daily event.  If one gets harmed or destroyed, we just print out another copy.  Not true though for old family photos that are hanging on the wall, or worse, stuck like glue inside a yellowed photo album.  
And where will you find most of those old photos?  At your parent’s and grandparent’s house — where unfortunately one-of-a-kind can mean just that.  One copy and that’s it! What a horrible thing it would be for them or for you to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound is so easy.
So give this post a quick read, grab the tools you need for the job and let’s get Mom and Dad’s photos squared away once and for all!
As you know, there are two types of photos.  The first are photo prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.  That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this chapter.  The second type of photo is a digital photo – which we help you back up and archive in another post.  
One thing that makes print photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
So your first task is to locate all of your parent’s physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all the albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on the bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.  
If there are a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.
1. Grab a pencil and paper, and go around the house jotting down all the non-digital photos or photo collections you want to secure and their current location.
2. Gather all of the photos that you located. Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to your parents than others.
Take a few moments to look at the photo albums, prints and framed photos and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
  • In the second pile, place photos that you:
    • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
    • Have numerous other copies of the photo in other locations. Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
    • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.
3. Scan Away!
Take the photos in the first pile, scan each one and download it to your computer, placing them in a brand new folder. When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital photos on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.
4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations
Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.
How To Scan Your Photos
There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other scanner we wanted to mention is one that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   There are several models on Amazon.com.  Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Fixing Faded or Damaged Old Photos
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
No matter what method you use to scan and back up your parent’s or grandparent’s old photos, the beaming grins on their faces will tell you exactly how much this — and you — mean to them!
wpa1fe5b79_05_06

wp17fceb67_05_06

If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

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

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

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

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

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

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

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

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

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How To Archive Your Print Photos

How To Archive Your Printed Photos | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com. I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of recent tornadoes and earthquakes is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a keepsake.  Even a photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories.  What a horrible thing it would be to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound no matter what the disaster is so easy.  Here is a clip of an interview Ann Curry did on MSNBC November 1st with a woman who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
Ann Curry Interview With Woman Who Lost Her Home In Sandy
Have you been through the family photo album lately?  What shape are your pictures in?  Are they sparkling and colorful or faded and lifeless.  Have you taken the time to scan them so they’re backed up and secure or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
One thing that makes photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
And it’s not just us.  Relatives are notorious for being the keepers of their part of the family history, to the point where many times they won’t even take a favorite photo out of the frame, let alone, allow you to take it home with you to scan.  The good news is that with the advent of portable wand scanners, you can see that photo any time you want.  The bad news is, you may have to be at Aunt Sadie’s house to use it!   But, not to worry.  We have some fabulous tips and tools that will give you access to all of your favorite pictures and get them easily and painlessly archived for all the members of your family, including dear Aunt Sadie.
As you know, there are two types of photos, digital and print.  In this post we’ll be dealing with prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.
In a few moments we’ll ask you to locate all of your physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.
If you have a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.
Take Action! 
1. Photos, Oh Photos…  Where Are You?
First, locate and gather all of your physical photos.
Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.
2. Which Ones Do I Scan?
Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to you than others.  Separate your photos into two different piles.
In Pile  1, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
In Pile  2, place photos that you:
•Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
•Have numerous  copies of in other locations.  Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
•Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.
3. Scan Away!
Scan all of the photos in Pile 1 saving them to your computer, as you scan.  If you have a lot of photos, get the kids involved or throw a scanning party for your relatives, and let them help you scan, then give them a copy of the photos they want to take home with them.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.
4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations
Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.
 
How To Scan Your Photos
There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other method of scanning that we wanted to mention is the Kodak Personal Scanner.  It’s a bit different than the others, because you can feed photos into it and it scans them as they pass through an inch thick scanning bed.  The interesting part is that it comes with an attachment that feeds negatives and slides into the scanner and – are you ready for this – actually makes a digital copy of the photo, just as if you had taken it to the photo processor.  We actually had some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides, we didn’t have the equipment to look at them.  With the Kodak Scanner, all we did was feed the slide into the scanner and suddenly we had full color, beautiful photos from the sixties, that looked like they were processed yesterday.  Absolutely amazing!
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
wpa1fe5b79_05_06

wp17fceb67_05_06

If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to fix your photos yourself, we’ve found one scanner that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

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

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

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

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

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

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

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

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

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

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

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How To Get Ready For A Tsunami

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

How To Get Ready For A Tsunami

There once was a man who was so afraid of earthquakes that he did everything he possibly could to prepare for one.  He had water, food, and first aid kits lining the walls of his ocean front home.  He had his bookcases and cabinets bolted to the wall.  Everyone in his home knew where to run and where to hide when “the big one” eventually hit.
Then one morning the big one came.  He and his family ran into the spots they had practiced, into doorways, under the heavy tables.  It seemed like an eternity before the rumbling stopped.  Everyone just looked at each other, scared but smiling.  They’d done it!  They were okay.  They had food, they had shelter – this wasn’t so bad.
The man rushed to the door followed by his family.  The sun was shining, and they were thrilled to be alive.  Then one of the kids heard a strange roar.  Seconds later they could all hear it.  And then they saw it.  A ten-foot wave was headed right at them.  They ran up the street, up the hill as fast as they could.  They made it to the top just in time to watch the water swallow up their neighborhood, their home and with it, all their supplies.  The man looked at his wife and said,  “That was strange.  I never saw it coming.”
The moral of the story?  Just because you’re ready for what you think might happen, it doesn’t mean you’re ready for something you would never expect in a million years.    Tsunamis are exactly that type of event — especially if you live in the western United States or anywhere in the Pacific Ring Of Fire.  In other words earthquake country.
So what’s the best way to prepare for a tsunami?
Next to earthquakes, tsunamis are probably the second most difficult type of disaster to prepare for, because you usually don’t get a lot of warning when one is about to strike.  Since tsunamis are usually set off by earthquakes, the earthquake itself provides the warning that a tsunami might be imminent.  But that’s only if the tsunami strikes the same area as the original earthquake.  In Japan for example, the earthquake struck and the tsunami followed later.  In other instances, an earthquake struck one area of the world while the tsunami went the other direction striking people who never felt the earthquake.   And when they do strike, they usually hit so quickly and with so much force (like the tsunami in Thailand) that people in it’s wake have no time to do anything but run for their lives.
Even though some countries have tsunami warning systems in place, they still aren’t that reliable.  So the best way to prepare your important documents, files, information and keepsakes for a tsunami is to make sure that your earthquake preparation is up to date.   We have a great blog post on preparing for an earthquake at this link.   Make sure you check this one out as well, How to Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom.
Besides knowing where your tsunami evacuation routes are and how to use them, the most important part of preparing for a tsunami is having everything you need for an evacuation:
At your fingertips
or Already in your evacuation location
Which is exactly what the family of Katsutaro Hamada wishes he would have done.  This heartbreaking story came out of the 2011 Japan Earthquake:  “With each passing day, more and more poignant stories of survivors and victims are emerging.  Immediately after the quake, Katsutaro Hamada, 79, fled to safety with his wife. But then he went back home to retrieve a photo album of his granddaughter, 14-year-old Saori, and grandson, 10-year-old Hikaru. Just then the tsunami came and swept away his home. Rescuers found Hamada’s body, crushed by the first floor bathroom walls. He was holding the album to his chest, Kyodo news agency reported.  ‘He really loved the grandchildren. But it is stupid,’ said his son, Hironobu Hamada.”
The saddest part of this story is that it was completely avoidable.  If Mr. Hamada or his family had simply scanned those photos and left copies with a relative in Tokyo or uploaded them onto a flash drive, or onto Dropbox or an online photo sharing site, they would have had their photos and Hamada would have had the rest of his life to enjoy them.
So how do we prepare for tsunamis?  As we tell our clients, we always follow the Three Step Approach.
The First Step, is to make sure that you have your earthquake survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when an earthquake or tsunami strikes.
The Second Step, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safer location, in less than ten minutes. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is to do is to take the necessary steps now, to ensure you have access to all the items and information that will help you get back to living your normal life, as quickly and easily as possible.  You’ll also want to make sure that the things that are most vital to you — your important papers, financial and insurance information, treasured photos, videos and music and scannable keepsakes are backed up onto a portable hard drive and stored in a safe deposit box or safe, in the town where you will go during evacuation.   That way it will be safe, sound and waiting for you when you arrive.
The Third Step is to make sure that you have a pre-written plan of what you’ll do and where you’ll go when a disaster strikes, including a plan for how you’ll get back to your normal life, once the disaster is over.
If you live in an area where a tsunami might strike, you absolutely need an Evacuation Plan and a Get Back To Life Plan.  If you don’t know the tsunami evacuation routes in your area, call your local fire department for this information immediately and do one or two trial runs finding and using the evacuation route to ensure that you know where you’re going, without a wall of water in close pursuit.  And while you’re at it, make sure you also ask them where the emergency shelters are in your area in case  you suddenly need one.  You always need to know where you’re going and what you and your family would do if your area becomes uninhabitable.   If necessary make a plan with other relatives or neighbors to evacuate together and share transportation and costs.
Even if your home is safe from rising flood waters and away from the areas predicted to feel the heaviest impact of the storm, your neighborhood and city might still without power or basic city services for a few days — or a few weeks.  Just as survivors of Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina!  Telephone and/or cell service may also be down.   Not only does that mean you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for an earthquake, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information.  In fact here are a few of our favorite guides and videos:
Tsunami Guide/Checklist    Tsunami Preparedness from NOAA    
You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days. This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.
We want you to think about something.
Think about the coverage of the last few tsunamis and earthquakes you saw on CNN.  Remember the faces of the people in the midst of the quake zone or the eye of the storm?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost.   Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster. Those in earthquake country most likely had stockpiled some food and water, those in hurricane country might even have evacuated and done everything their local news and emergency authorities told them to do. And yet, after the disaster, they were standing there, scared and helpless, because their homes, the people they loved, and basically their entire lives have been destroyed to the point that their own existence was now unrecognizable. All of those people, rich and poor, young and old — they all had one thing in common. They had NO idea where to go and what to do from here.   That’s exactly what happened to families in Japan after their earthquake and tsunami.  If you’d like to read more about that, take a look at Living In A Cardboard House.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster, is step three.   The most important step of all.
Facing a disaster without giving yourself a plan to recover from it, is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!
Having two plans can make all the difference in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.
What are the plans?  They are the Family Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our newest book slash program The Backup Plan 3.0.  
The evacuation plan starts with one question.  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
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.

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
Your Get Back To Life Plan
The worst part of any disaster, short of losing a loved one, is the possibility that the home you love and care for and everything in it would be damaged beyond repair. That is what your Get Back To Life Plan is all about.
Imagine that you and your family have survived a tsunami, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location two days after the flood. The phone rings. It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.
After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your 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
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

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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 the 36,000 people who had to evacuate their Colorado Springs neighborhoods.  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
We also wanted to include a link to a poignant article in the Chicago Tribune about a reporter’s struggle to rebuild his own life after a fire.
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 The Backup Plan 3.0.  
The evacuation plan starts with one question.  If you were at home or at work and suddenly had to evacuate your home, or your general area, where would you go?
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

How To Get Ready For A Hurricane

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

As Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the New Orleans coastline as a category 1 storm, residents couldn’t help remembering another storm just a few short years earlier that took the lives of at least 1,836 people and changed the lives of tens of thousands more.  You can get a little taste of the action and the chaos Isaac caused through the eyes of ABC News reporters in the video below.
But even with a category 1 storm like Isaac, lives can change.  Just ask the residents that didn’t think that Hurricane Sandy was going to be as big a deal as Katrina and decided not to evacuate.  People who thought that their homes would be okay, ended up having to grab whatever they could — not necessarily what they would need – and evacuate with just a few minute’s notice.
It certainly proves one thing — you just can’t count on history or predictions, to help you decide what’s right for yourself, your property or your family.
So what’s the best way to prepare for a hurricane?
It’s a good lesson for us all.  Even though you might not technically live in a disaster zone or directly in the way of an approaching hurricane or wildfire, it doesn’t hurt to have the things that are important to you, ready to go. As we tell our customers (and practice ourselves), you have to keep your vital information, documents and keepsakes backed up to at least three different locations and your emergency bin packed ready to go at a moment’s notice.  That way if you suddenly have to evacuate, those things will already be taken care of.  It’s just one more thing you won’t have to worry about doing at the last minute or doing without, later.
The best thing about a hurricane — at least as opposed to earthquakes and tornadoes — is that you usually get a few days notice that they’re coming.  Like our friends in New Orleans and Tampa, Hurricane Isaac was predicted giving some residents time to gather up their belongings and evacuate.  But of course Isaac turned the opposite direction striking areas that weren’t originally expected.  One important take-away from these disasters is the importance of staying aware and using evacuation warnings to get your own stuff together even if the homes on your particular street aren’t in immediate danger.   Heed warnings when they are given!  Stubbornly staying behind because residents think they can “handle it” has gotten thousands of people killed.  Another lesson is to always purchase flood insurance.
So how do you prepare for a hurricane? As we tell our readers, we always follow the Three Step Approach.
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 hurricane 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 hurricane country, you absolutely need an Evacuation Plan and a Get Back To Life PlanIf you don’t know the evacuation routes in your area, call your local fire department for this information way before hurricane season.  And while you’re at it, make sure you also ask them where the emergency shelters are in your area in case  you suddenly need one.  You always need to know where you’re going and what you and your family would do if your area becomes uninhabitable.   If necessary make a plan with other relatives or neighbors to evacuate together and share transportation and costs.
Even if your home is safe from rising flood waters and away from the areas predicted to feel the heaviest impact of the storm, your neighborhood and city might still without power or basic city services for a few days — or a few weeks.  Just as survivors of Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina!  Telephone and/or cell service may also be down.   Not only does that mean you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
So if your hurricane plan is to shelter-in-place make sure that you always have an alternative source of power, battery powered flashlights, extra cash, a supply of canned or frozen food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten, and the all-important supply of water – enough to last you and everyone in your family for three days. Since your home or neighborhood might have significant damage, keep rubber-soled shoes, a warm jacket and other emergency gear within reach of your bed or right inside your closet. Rubber soled shoes will protect your feet from the broken glass, turbid water and rocks that will probably be strewn everywhere.  There’s also a great new tool that got a serious field test during Hurricane Isaac.  It’s called Hurricane Fabric and is a safer, reuseable and easier to use alternative to wood for boarding up windows.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for a hurricane, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information, including a few of our favorite guides and videos listed below:
Hurricane Guide       Hurricane Checklist       Hurricane? Be Prepared, Plan Now Video   Hurricane Video by Weather Channel’s Bryan Cross
You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days. This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.
We want you to think about something.
Think about the coverage of the last few hurricanes and floods you saw on CNN.   Like Hurricane Sandy for example.  Remember the faces of the people in the midst of the storm?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost. Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster. Those in earthquake country most likely had stockpiled some food and water, those in hurricane country might even have evacuated and done everything their local news and emergency authorities told them to do. And yet, after the disaster, they were standing there, scared and helpless, because their homes, the people they loved, and basically their entire lives have been destroyed to the point that their own existence was now unrecognizable. All of those people, rich and poor, young and old — they all had one thing in common. They had NO idea where to go and what to do from here.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster, is step three.  The most important step of all.
Facing a disaster without giving yourself a plan to recover from it, is like trying to build a house with no blueprint and no tools!
Having two plans can make all the difference in getting you through those first few days and weeks after a disaster strikes.
What are the plans?  They are the Family Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our newest book slash 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 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 hurricane, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location a week after the waters subside. The phone rings. It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.
After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your Backup Plan Notebook. There you find your Get Back To Life Plan and begin making calls to your insurance agent, your contractor and your boss. You call the local real estate agent in your evacuation city and ask her to begin looking for temporary housing, register your children in the local school, and begin calling the contacts you need (that you jotted down just in case), to help you settle in. Getting settled is easier than you thought, since you have copies of all of the vital documents you need, like your birth certificates and property deeds in a safe deposit box at the local bank. It takes some time, but with hard work and a lot of courage, you and your family are back to living in a matter of weeks.
Now imagine the same scenario, the same phone call, holding your family, talking and then realizing that you have no plan and no clue how to get back to living your life. It’s CNN coverage all over again. The best part of this little scenario is that it hasn’t happened to you and that you have time right now, to make sure no matter what ever occurs in your area, you and your family will be prepared.
If you don’t have a copy of our Get Back To Life Plan yet, just download it here.  
Take a few minutes to think about the following questions:
  • How will we handle our bank accounts, paying our monthly bills and receiving our paychecks?   How much emergency cash do we need to have, while traveling?
  • What are our credit card limits and toll free numbers for emergency increases?
  • How will we work? Will we work remotely or have to look for new positions? What people or  contacts can we call about temporary or permanent jobs?
  • How will we handle our medical, dental and prescription needs while in the new location? What doctors and dentists can we use while there?
  • How long can we stay in our evacuation location? If we need to remain evacuated longer,  where will we go/stay? Who will our real estate contacts be, if we need to find new permanent or temporary housing?
  • How are we going to secure the property or vehicles we had to leave behind?
  • How will we take care of our pets, during the evacuation and until we find new permanent housing?
  • How will we handle our transportation needs? What contacts will we need to purchase or lease vehicles?
  • How will we handle our daycare needs? How will we handle getting our children into school if necessary? What schools or contacts will we need, to enroll them in a new school in a temporary or new location?
  • How will we handle any special needs in our family?
Once you’ve answered the questions, get your family together to work out any potential problems you have uncovered and then draft your plan. And don’t forget to compile a list of real estate agents, financial contacts and jobs, schools, doctors and other professionals or information that you might need to establish yourself in the new city temporarily or permanently.
Starting over is never easy, especially when it happens because of a disaster or other life changing emergency. But taking a few hours now to think through and draft a plan, will give you and your family the direction, information and support that you need, to get through not only the first hours and days after a disaster, but the first steps back to living the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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Purchase Paperback Edition on Amazon.com        
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 A Tornado

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

Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. (Mark Schiefelbein / AP / 5/22/11)

How To Get Your Stuff Together For A Tornado

The past few years have been horrible for tornadoes.
As Oklahoma, Tuscaloosa and Joplin still struggle to rebuild, this year’s tornadoes are already impacting families across the US.  The best way to deal with it is to make sure that your family has everything it needs.    In this blog post you’ll find a quick rundown of ways to get ready, links to tornado prep materials, videos and a few other great resources.  First, from our friends at ABC, here is a look at the havoc created by one night of tornadoes…
I’ll admit that in a major disaster, you only have control over a few things. For instance, you can’t suddenly pick up your house and move it to tornado-free zone and you certainly can’t stop the ground from shaking during an earthquake. But you CAN make sure the people you love, the things you love and the things you need are out of harm’s way, before a tornado strikes.
So what’s the best way to prepare for a tornado?
The worst thing about tornadoes is that  you don’t usually have plenty of warning that one is about to strike. But if you take the time to create a simple plan, you’ll know how to get the people you love and the stuff that is most important to you to a safe place, as quickly and easily as possibly. If you consider this post (and the latest tornadoes and earthquakes) your warning, you can prepare.  With preparation comes the ability to not only survive a tornado, but to thrive after the emergency has passed.
As we tell our readers (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.
So how do you prepare for a tornado? As we tell our readers, we always follow the Three Step Approach.
The First Step, is to make sure that you have your disaster survival gear at your fingertips and that you know how to secure your home and personal safety when a tornado strikes.  Know where your tornado shelter is — if it isn’t in your home — and the quickest and easiest routes to get there.  In fact, it might be a good idea to hold practice drills to see how quickly you and the kids can get out of the house and sheltered from the storm, with everything you need.
The Second Step, is to make sure that you have everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – in the shelter with you or waiting for you in your pre-determined evacuation location.  This is a lot easier than it sounds, if you have a storm shelter in your home. 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.
Because tornadoes can happen so suddenly, most families end up having to ride out the storm in their shelter, storm cellar or bathroom.  But having to shelter in place doesn’t mean that you don’t need a plan, not only to survive the storm and evacuate if necessary once it passes, but to ensure that you and your family have everything you need to get back to living, once the emergency is over.  We’ve got two other blog posts I’d like to recommend for two very specific tornado-related challenges.  One is communication.  Technology has completely revolutionized the way we ride out tornadoes.  We interviewed a reporter from Arkansas recently who spent last tornado season in her bathtub, staying safe using up to the minute storm tracker apps and disaster safety utilities on her iPad and iPhone.  If you have a lot of tornadoes in your area, you’ve GOT to read this interview.  It could literally save your life.
The second post is about a TV show — CSI: Miami to be exact.  They did an episode about a tornado last season that was not only very well done, but one of the characters lost her life because her parents failed to do one simple thing.  Find out what it was at this link.
If you live in an area of the country prone to tornadoes, 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 tornado 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 tornado doesn’t physically impact 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 means not only means you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios. Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function. Name any tool or convenience we rely on in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity.
So your first defense is making sure that you always have an alternative source of power, battery powered flashlights, extra cash, a supply of canned or frozen food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten, and the all-important supply of water – enough to last you and everyone in your family for three days. Since your home or neighborhood might have significant damage, keep rubber-soled shoes, a warm jacket and other emergency gear within reach of your bed or right inside your closet. Rubber soled shoes will protect your feet from the broken glass and rocks that will probably be strewn everywhere.
We aren’t going to get into the details of how to turn off your gas, when to boil water or a list of items to have on hand for a tornado, because there are literally hundreds of sources for that information.  In fact here area a few great downloadable resources that we recommend.   Tornado Guide       Tornado Checklist
You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days. This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.
We want you to think about something.
Talking about a tornado is one thing.  But experiencing that devastation first hand puts things in perspective.  Just read this story from LA Times reporters Nicholas Riccardi, Matt Pearce and Robin Abcarian, on the scene in Joplin, Mo. (5/23/11)
“When the tornado hit, Staci Perry, a scrub technician at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, had just left the operating room to grab a piece of equipment for a surgery in progress. An urgent announcement came over the loudspeaker: “Execute condition gray.” That was the hospital’s code for an impending disaster, though in drills, the command was always preceded by “Prepare for condition gray.”
There was no time to prepare. As she heard the massive glass walls crack, Perry, 33, dashed back to surgery. “The pressure in everyone’s ears was just tremendous,” she said. A physician’s assistant threw himself against the door so it wouldn’t blow in and destroy the operating room. The lights went out. The wind howled.
“Literally, the hospital imploded,” said Dr. Jim Riscoe, an emergency room physician at the 230-bed facility. There is an emergency plan for disasters, he said, “but they don’t anticipate the emergency being the hospital.”When it was over, just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the storm had gouged a six-mile swath roughly half a mile wide in this city of 50,000 people. At least 116 people died, five of them hospital patients.The apocalyptic after-images were depressingly familiar, reminiscent of those from the deadly April tornadoes in the South: rubble as far as the eye could see, cars buried under pieces of houses, trees wrenched from the ground with massive roots reaching toward the sky, columns of smoke rising from gas fires, emergency vehicles with lights flashing. And everywhere, knots of people stunned by nature’s violence mourned their losses, counted their blessings and told their harrowing stories.”
Amazing isn’t it?   So what do you think?  Is it worth a few minutes of your time to make sure your family is ready to deal with any emergency — including a tornado?
That article always reminds me of CNN’s coverage of the last spring’s tornadoes and floods.  Do you remember the faces of the people in the midst of the storm?
They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost. Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster.
Those in tornado 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.
Preparing your home for a tornado is vital, but there is really only so much you can do. For example, in any of the recent F4 or F3 tornadoes, people did a phenomenal job tornado proofing their homes.
But the one thing they could do nothing about, was the tornado itself. Based on the way the storm approached and its intensity when it touched down, there was no level of tornado preparedness that could save the homes in the path of the twister. In many neighborhoods every single home, tornado preparation or not, was gone, with nothing but a foundation left standing. And along with tornado, went the contents of those homes and businesses.
That’s why your tornado emergency plan, must include a way to instantly locate and safeguard the vital information, documents and keepsakes that you’ll need to have access to after the emergency has passed.   And once you create the plan, you can use it in any emergency – not just tornadoes.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster is over, 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 Backup Plan Evacuation Plan and the Get Back To Life Plan — the same plans that we’ve built into our newest book/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 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 flood, but had to leave your area because it is uninhabitable.
You’re in your evacuation location two days after the waters subside. The phone rings. It’s a good friend of yours, who has just toured your neighborhood and is calling to tell you that your home is badly damaged and he doubts that you will be able to live in it for several months, if ever again.
After you and your family hold each other for a while and talk, you finally feel strong enough to open your Ready In 10 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 actual Get Back To Life Plan grab one from the blog post or just  grab a piece of paper.
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.
Of course those are only two parts of your Backup Plan.  Your family’s complete Backup Plan should also include:
1. Your Vital Information List: Copies of documents and a way to make them secure and accessible.
2. Your Medical Information List: Medical, allergy and prescription drug history and insurance information for each person evacuating.
3. Your ICE Contacts, Emergency Wallet Cards/ID, and optional Mobile Command Center.
4. Your Backup Plan Evacuation Plan: Who is going to be evacuating with you, where will you go, where will you stay, and how will you get there?
5. Your Evacuation Checklist:  The items, you need to take with you.
6. Your Get Back To Life Plan: What you and your family will do if you are unable to live in your home, or city for an extended amount of time.
7. Your Home Inventory
That’s why we made sure that all of those things, plus all of the information you need to keep your family, your home and ll of the things you love and treasure, safe and secure, are in our newest book The Backup Plan 3.0.  By the way, all of the plans and checklists are both downloadable  and right inside the book, where we guide you through the process in quick and easy steps.
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

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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 Make A Home Inventory

How To Make A Home Inventory

How To Make A Home Inventory | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comClose your eyes for a moment.   Picture the room you’re sitting in, in your mind.  Picture each item, focusing especially on the items that mean the most to you or have the most monetary value.  When you’re done open your eyes.   Did you miss anything?   If you’re like most people, no matter how certain you were that you remembered everything, you still missed a lot of things that you would want to replace. 
And even if you did pretty well, do you know off the top of your head what items were still under warranty, what was insured and for how much?   In other words, if this hadn’t been an exercise, but an insurance agent or a police officer writing down a list of your valuables after a burglary or a hurricane, would you have been happy with the list you made?
I didn’t think so.  Memory is a wonderful thing, but it can be affected by many factors, like stress, trauma and fatigue – exactly the things that happen during an emergency.  That’s why putting together a list of your treasured or valued objects while they’re sitting in your living room and still in great condition is a MUCH better idea.
And while we’re at it, that reminds me of something else we all have to deal with.  I don’t know about you, but to us, it seems like there’s a new cellphone, computer, or gadget of some kind out in the stores every day.  
Every time you decide to plunk down your money to buy one, that new toy comes with more cords, software and manuals than you’ve ever seen.  And if you decided to spring for the protection plan too, that hits the mailbox a few days later.  With just a few new toys, you can easily end up with a folder full of paper.
Who can keep up with that?
YOU can!  And very easily, too.  In the Take Action steps below, we’re going to create a Home Inventory.  Just go through the steps, and decide room by room what items to include.  In fact if you have kids or grandkids in the house, this is a great project for them.  Once you decide which items to include, send them off on a scavenger hunt, list in hand along with a digital and video camera and have them take photos of each item.  Then when they’re done, enter each item along with its information into our downloadable Home Inventory Form, and you’re done.  
And if you want a copy of these instructions for later, just  click here to download the PDF Version.
Take Action  
1. Download Our Home Inventory List
Click here to grab a copy of our Home Inventory Form,  or if you already own our book The Backup Plan 3.0, you’ll find copies in the book and in the downloadable forms.
2. Grab Your Cameras & a Pencil
Go get your video camera, your digital camera, your list and a pencil and begin walking through each room of your home.  Start with the living room, usually home to the most expensive electronic equipment.
3. Document All the Info You Can Find
For each valued item, (electronics, furniture, cars, art, jewelry or any other items that would be expensive to replace or repair),  fill in a short description, the manufacturer, serial number and any other information you know about it.
If you have a copy of your warranty information, or original purchase receipts for any of the valued items, note the information on them on the Home Inventory List, then put those documents on the side until Step 6.
4. Your Chance To Play Spielberg
As you stop at each item, take a digital photo of it, to show its current condition.  If the item is damaged in a disaster, you’ll have proof of the item’s original condition to give to the claims adjuster. It will also remind you what the item looked like, if it ever needs to be replaced
5. Spielberg Revisited
Once you’re finished with the room, grab your video camera and do a quick video tour.  At the beginning of the videotape, clearly state today’s date and the room you’re photographing.  And while you’re taping, be sure to show the general condition of the room as well as your valued items.
6. Paperwork, paperwork
Gather all of the warranties, protection plans, certificates of insurance, provenance papers and receipts that you have found, and put them in the same location.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a file folder or a section inside your safe.  Just make sure that every time you purchase a new item that comes with any of this paperwork, that you put it in the same place.
7. Now for safekeeping…
Print, scan or make three copies of the Home Inventory List, the walking tour photos, the video and the warranties, receipts and other documents that you located earlier and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
And that’s it!  Just follow the steps and you’re done.  No more having to remember every single thing in your house.  Just be sure to update your list every six months.  Or if you watch a lot of QVC or HSN, every four months…
Want to download a copy of the instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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 Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Have Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

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

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

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

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

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

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

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

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

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources