September is emergency preparedness month. Do you have your bottled water, flashlights and three days of canned food? I don’t either. I’ll get right on that and you should too. The Red Cross has a great list for plans and prepping HERE.

As an added bonus, here is my list of seven overlooked preemptive measures for emergencies.


Practice fire drill with kids

Kids have emergency drills at school, but it is often overlooked at home. Review your family’s plan for fire alarms or emergency evacuations. Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside or a nearby home.


Emergency Bedside Bags

In addition to a kit for major emergencies, create small emergency bags for every family member’s bedside. Fill quart size sandwich bags with a small flashlight, whistle, recent photos of all family members, even pets and a list with everyone’s cell phone numbers, your home address and extended family contact numbers. Fall is the perfect time to update these kits with wallet sized school photos. Include all insurance information and doctor phone numbers. If you have to leave your house without warning, even the young kids can give this important information to authorities.


Routine Auto Maintenance

Make sure your car maintenance it done – an oil change, air filter or a 50,000 mile checkup. Make sure your brakes and tires are in good shape before you need to evacuate for a hurricane or wildfire.


Tree Maintenance

When a power outage occurs, local utilities give priority to main power lines. If a power outage is caused by down lines on your property, you may be the last to get power. You can avoid some outages on your property or a tree coming through your roof by calling an arborist. Get a review for trees that need thinning or removal. Get several estimates and opinions.

Every year I eye an ash tree ten feet from my house. I fear it will come through my bedroom one day. Every year our arborist tells me it’s fine. But this year he found a different tree on our property line. It was dead with roots in a saturated creek bed. It threatened the neighbor and my house’s power lines. Our neighbor happily paid for half the removal cost.


Insurance Check-up

Call your insurance agent to make sure you have enough insurance, whether you rent or own your dwelling. You may remember new items you need to insure or you may find savings. Remember flood insurance is now a function of the National Flood Insurance Program, with annual paperwork that is separate from your homeowners or renters policy.


Emergency Notification Texts

If your local government has one, sign up for their emergency text system. You may be able to select local events, traffic alerts, or just emergency issues. Also check Facebook for a local community page. It can a great resource for reaching out during an emergency.


Microchip Pets

Take care of every member of the family. Pets are often overlooked or run away in emergencies. Shelters fill up with lost pets and many are relocated out of the area. Please put collars and tags on pets. But also microchip your cats and dogs! Most rescue shelters automatically microchip cats and dogs as part of their checkup before adoption, but you need to claim the chip online. If you don’t know whether your pet has a chip, your veterinarian can check.

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Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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