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How To Disaster Proof Your Life

in Life

Everyone has good intentions of being prepared for a disaster- but rarely do we actually sit down to prepare for life’s mishaps until they happen.  Disasters come in all forms- a stolen wallet, burglary, home damage, losing a phone or even- losing your keys.

Here are some simple tricks to disaster proofing your life-

1. Make A List Of Everything In Your Wallet

While many credit card companies do have some sort of fraud protection, they won’t know to protect you if your wallet is stolen or lost- you have to quickly get on the ball and call all of your banks and credit card companies immediately when you realize your wallet is gone in order to protect yourself.  Trying to remember every single piece of plastic in your wallet during a crisis is crazy making, so do yourself a favor and write down a list of all of your cards with the their hotline numbers that’s in your wallet.  Knowing what’s missing will help you not only curb the damage but make replacements less of a hassle.

2. Take Pictures & Digital Copies Of Important Documents

If you (for some reason) have the original 30 digit wifi key, how many times have you fumbled for the copy of the code when guests come over or you install a new device since you can’t remember that ridiculously complex length of numbers and letters?  Take a picture of any security codes and wifi keys so you can easily have them on hand.

While having a copy of your birth certificate might not be helpful for official use (copies of legal documents are often not accepted) it could be helpful to keep a digital copy on hand to retain important information for loved ones as well as any irreplaceable pictures, school records or paper momentos.  Having a digital backup not only keeps them safe but also makes them easily shareable with family and friends if needed for special events, memorials and weddings.

3.  Set Up Regular Backups

Everyone has files, digital photos and documents they can’t afford to lose.  While it costs money to store data on an external hardrive you have to purchase, you can back up some of your files on free services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Photobucket to name a few.

Many Apple devices now sync with each other on iCloud and if you lose an iPhone or your laptop, you can download one of several apps like Find My iPhone that will help you locate the missing device.

4.  Seriously, When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Smoke Detector?

While most smoke detectors beep to alert us when the battery is dying (beep is an understatement!), it doesn’t hurt to make sure that your detectors are actually functioning.  If you haven’t looked into it, do you know if carbon monoxide could be a problem in your home?  Carbon monoxide is an odorless toxin and may not be included with your existing smoke detector.

As you do a security sweep of your living area, make sure you have a fire extinguisher and that it actually works and a first aid kit that is easily accessible.  If you haven’t done it yet- add a list of emergency numbers to your fridge as well as numbers for your internet, phone and utility providers as well.

5. Know Where Your Valuables Are & Where To Grab Them

For people who live in areas prone to natural disasters- you  may have less than five minutes to collect your family, whatever valuables you can find and get to safety- would you know what to take with you?  Make a list of things (that if given the time in an emergency) which would want to be taken:  family heirlooms, official documents, medications, first aid kit and any emergency supplies you have on hand.  This list should be as specific as possible “Wedding rings- dresser drawer.  Grandma’s quilt- guest room.”  In a disaster, you may not always have time to grab the Nintendo Wii, but if you can save your wedding album, it helps to know where it is!

6.  Provide A Trusted Friend Or Family Member With All They Need To Help You

Does someone you trust nearby have keys to your house in case you’re locked out or need assistance?  Additionally, do the people in your life know who to call or have the information to help you in a medical emergency?  Give someone you trust a list of your healthcare providers, medications, family and friend’s name/phone number and any special procedures that should be known in case of an emergency- such as allergies, medical history or in some cases, special wishes.

While some emergency or last rite procedures require official documentation (that would be noted in a will or trust), it is a huge help to friends and family to know how they can help and who to call for updates in case of an emergency.  Putting together a list of lesser-known things about you (like what medications you’re on or allergies) can provide emergency workers with vital information that could save your life!

About Shannyn


Shannyn blogs at frugalbeautiful.com to help others save money on fashion, fitness and living a fabulous life for any budget!  Find her on Twitter @frugalbeautiful or her Facebook page.

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