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Emergencies -- How Organized and Prepared Are You?

Being ... is ... about saving. It's about saving time … saving money … and saving those things that are precious and ... to you so you will readily have them when you want them in t

Being organized is frequently about saving. It's about saving time … saving money … and saving those things that are precious and important to you so you will readily have them when you want them in the future.

How prepared and organized are you to save those important things when an emergency strikes? Natural and man-made disasters are in the news almost every day -- fires here, floods there, an earthquake somewhere else, and a tornado touching down in your own backyard. Sometimes you are fortunate enough to have 30 minutes notice to leave your home. Other times there is no advanced warning at all. For the survivors of these horrors, life must go on once the clean-up begins. Before an emergency presents itself in your life, and to ease your re-entry process after the fact, you can take a few simple steps now, just in case you do have a chance to take more than the clothes that are on your back.

Implement these ideas TODAY, so you will be better organized and prepared for an emergency when and if it happens.

1. Create a notebook to capture all the important household and family informational details. Include things like birth dates, social security numbers, health history, and every aspect you can recall. Many products are available that require little more than filling in the blank for each item for each person.
2. Keep your household information notebook current so you have what you need when you need it. Store the notebook in a place you can grab easily without having to search for it.
3. Put one complete change of clothes for each member of your household into a pile for quick access. Store the entire pile in one large cloth tote bag or box, or in individual ones for each member of the family. If you choose an individual bag or box for each person, put a few other vital or precious items that will be valued by that person into their respective container.
4. Keep a supply of collapsible crates and large cloth tote bags at the ready. When you're packing in a hurry, there is no time to find boxes. The tote bags and collapsible crates can be stored flat and take up minimal space when they are not being used.
5. Use a child's plastic pocket organizer that fits over the back seat of your car or a door to prepare children's items to take with you in a moment's notice. Things like a flashlight, tissues, map, and an umbrella can be stored in that kind of container to grab on the run as well.
6. Put your most important photographs and documents into protective photo storage boxes. This helps preserve them and makes them easy to take with you. Select the photos most meaningful to you and keep the box current.
7. Color-code the emergency containers you use for family members. That makes it easier to grab and identify valuables in an evacuation situation.
8. Carry a small family pet to safety in a large cloth tote bag with shoulder straps. A frightened pet can be more swiftly rescued by placing it into that type of bag, and be comforted by being close to your body.
9. Examine the exit routes from various parts of your home and from room to room within your home. Look at what is stored at or near each thoroughfare within the house.
10. Relocate things to safer places than in doorways and walkways. Put magazines into magazine holders on shelves. Place large items into storage boxes in less accessible places. Find other homes for children's toys. Use doors to safely hang things that might be strewn on the floor.

Spend a few minutes each week to review your emergency preparedness. Decide what items you want to purchase. Shop for them little by little or all at once. Many products to easily assist you with these ideas and more can be found at
Contact Home Oasis™ InternationalArticle Submission, "Organizing Life Together" for all your ongoing and emergency organizing product and service needs.

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Susan W. Miller, President of Home Oasis International, a Denver-based company selling organizing products and services through home parties and online. She is the author of the “PRO NOTEBOOK” a Personal Resource Organizer, a life-planning tool to gain control over your personal and financial records. Home Oasis International professionals are available to speak to your group. 1-877-725-8300,

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