Friday, August 26, 2011
Something to Think About....
We interrupt this book blog to bring you a public service announcement....
Seriously, what with earthquakes and dangerous hurricanes taking up a large part of the news lately, I thought it might be helpful to pass along a little bit of advice that has been learned through first-hand experience.
With many past mandatory evacuations due to hurricanes and recovering from the most catastrophic one, Katrina, I've learned a few important lessons that may be helpful to you in general, not just in the event of a natural disaster.
I tend to be a very organized person, so I didn't have a tremendous amount of difficulty in gathering the important things in life when we had 24 hour notice to leave before Hurricane Katrina hit -- but for those people who had documents in haphazard, unorganized places, I can imagine they were left leaving empty-handed or in a frenzy doing last-minute searches. The lesson here: Have a central place in your home where all your important documents are kept (life insurance, home insurance, health insurance, titles and deeds, passports, credit card info, certificates (birth, marriage, etc..), financial info, wills, and make sure you have a COPY of all this documentation! You want to file all the copies of this vital information in one type of file folder or container that you can pick up and leave with on a moment's notice. Having copies scanned to a disc is fine, but you also need hard copies. If you have a waterproof/fireproof home safe, it's even better to store your copies here. It's also a good idea to go room by room in your house and take a picture -- this is important documentation of your valuables in case of theft, fire, or water/wind damage. File the disc of photos with your vital info. *****Keep your originals and your copies of documents in two completely separate areas of your home.***** If something happens to one set, you still have another set of copies for backup in another place.
Many people lost everything -- everything -- during Katrina. Houses, furniture, tv's, cars, jewelry, clothes, etc.... You know what really hurt and caused the most distress? The lost wedding photos, the baby pictures, the portrait of a beloved family member that was ruined by the water. The lesson here: Material things don't matter in life, but sentimental things that are irreplaceable are heartbreaking to lose. Do you have backups of your photos, wedding albums, baby pictures, family pictures, etc...? If you have priceless family photos that were before the days of digital photography, make scans of one-of-a-kind photos and save to a file and backup with a cd or some other type of backup service. The disc can be stored with your documents as mentioned above. I took my entire wedding album and my children's baby books with me when I evacuated because they were well before the digital age and I had no copies, but I have since scanned them in the event I have to evacuate again. Heaven forbid!
Believe me, I hope you never have to experience a catastrophe, but no one is immune to the dangers of a house fire or a dangerous weather situation no matter where you live in the world. Start implementing a plan to organize and safekeep the important documents and photographic treasures that you value and it will give you great peace of mind.
If you live on the east coast of the U.S., stay safe!
Posted by Joanne at 9:30 AM