Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do It Yourself: The Family Emergency Binder

Hello all!

We've gone over plenty of times all of the items that you want to put in your disaster preparedness kit. You’ll want the basics of course; water, non-perishable food, flashlights and batteries, a portable radio, a first aid kit, medications, and the list goes on. In the event of an emergency evacuation many of us are reluctant to leave our homes, and there are many reasons for this. Perhaps you have valuables that you couldn't bare to leave behind, or important information that you just can’t leave without such as birth certificates, passports, and social security cards. What about those photo albums full of family memories? These are all things that we can prepare for beforehand, ensuring that in the case of an emergency evacuation you can get out as soon as possible and not feel the need to go back inside. Here are some ideas! 

For all of you technologically savvy folks out there, consider scanning all of those important documents and photos onto your computer and then saving them on a thumb drive. These are inexpensive and small devices that are made to store information. Once you have everything saved onto your thumb drive, you can then attach it to a key chain or keep it inside your already prepared emergency kit. 

If you’re more of the crafty type, consider putting together a binder like this family did:  An emergency binder is a place to store all of your passports, birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, home and car insurance information, emergency cash, and family photos. It's all in one convenient place that is easy to grab on your way out the door.   

Make it your own! Cater it to you and your family's needs, and decorate it together. You could have each member of the family add an item that is important to them, or set aside a section of the binder for each family member. Remember, putting together your preparedness kit can be fun! Include all members of the family when assembling it, and make sure everyone knows where the kit is kept upon completion. 

For more ideas on Do It Yourself preparedness tips, visit

Samantha Minks
Preparedness Coordinator
AmeriCorps NPRC 2013-2014
American Red Cross - Kern Chapter


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