In An Emergency…

Fires…Floods…Snowstorms…(all are an emergency) and thank goodness we haven’t hit the snowstorm part yet, but Colorado has certainly seen it’s share of natural disasters this year.  The current floods are just one more example of how nature reminds us that we are not in charge. Anything can happen at any time, whether it’s a natural disaster or a personal emergency.  The most we can do is be as prepared as we can be for what life can throw at us.  As many of my family and friends are dealing with the current flooding situation, it seems appropriate that September is Emergency Preparedness Month.

There are steps that you can take to make dealing with an emergency easier to handle. Most of them are simple – we just don’t take the time to do them in advance.  A few minutes of preparation now can save you hours of time if you do experience an emergency.  Here are some simple tips to follow when you are in an emergency:

  • Create an “important documents” box or drawer.  Birth certificates, passports, social security cards, and insurance policies should be in one easily accessible place.  If you use a drawer, make sure it’s one that you can quickly pull out and take with you.  It’s actually better to use a file box, or a product such as a PortaVault, which helps you organize all your important documents. That way you will be able to just grab it and go if you need to.
  • Keep all your medications in one area also.  Again the idea is that you will be able to just grab and go if needed.
  • Know where your shut off valves are for water and gas, and where your fuse box is.  If you have to leave your home because of a natural disaster, shut off your water and gas, and your main circuit breaker.
  • Have a supply of bottled water, or a water purification kit, as well as enough canned food to last a couple of days.  Don’t forget to have a hand operated can opener – if you don’t have electricity, you won’t be able to use your electric can opener!
  • At the start of every season, it’s a good idea to put together an emergency suitcase or backpack with a change of clothes for each member of the family. You want to switch the clothes out at the beginning of every season – you won’t want shorts in January, or turtlenecks in July.  And don’t forget a change of underwear!
  • As my dad always said, keep your gas tank full, or at least over half a tank.  In some instances your best response to an emergency will be to drive as far away from it as you can and gas may be hard to get.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare in advance for an emergency.  We can never be fully prepared for the unexpected, but taking steps in advance can help you recover from an emergency faster.  If you find the task overwhelming, we can help.  Visit for more tips on preparing for an emergency.

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