Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Practical Skills - The Preparedness Portfolio

Editors Note: The following is an article I wrote as a guest writer for the Barrie ON based blog www.civiliansheepdog.com back in February of 2011 It has gone through a mild revision for posting to my home blog.

Today we are going to talk about building a preparedness portfolio. This is one of the first steps that I personally feel you should do before buying any fancy knives or emergency tools. Basically this is a document that covers not only your plans for emergencies and disaster preparedness but also personal records, financial data, insurance information and medical information.

A lot of people like to prepare for the end of the world and zombies and all that cool stuff but not enough people prepare for the hospital trip that they might have to take next Tuesday. This document is intended to cover any and all aspects of emergency preparation.

Step 1: Build a survival portfolio.

As everyone knows knowledge is power so as such it makes sense to have a plan for everything. Becoming “prepared” isn’t something you can really do in a weekend with a few YouTube videos and a trip to Costco it is a complete change of your entire lifestyle that will occur over many years. The first thing I feel you should do before spending any real money is simply get a binder and some paper and write down your plans, where do you live? Whats the terrain like? Where do you want to go?, what do you want to do?, develop specific plans for specific disasters, write down any information you feel you may need such as your contact information, family contacts, friends, phone numbers and addresses for any local agencies, hospitals, emergency centres, poison control centres etc If you have a family member with a life threatening condition such as diabetes write down all specific details about this individual, medications, allergies etc so you can provide accurate rapid information to paramedics/medical responders, have any insurance details handy that you can give to your insurance agency in the event of a fire or some other disaster.

Keep a detailed record of the contents of your evacuation kits and first aid kits. Also write down a purchase list of all of the things you need to buy for each specific kit, If some supplies have an expiry date write it down and check the list regularly so you know when to replace things. Write down the serial numbers of any equipment and keep a record of it if only for insurance purposes. This exercise is not only good for personal preparation and insurance purposes but its also a good way to instill some discipline and consistency into your daily routine.

Keep records of all of your information in this binder even copies of things like birth certificates, marriage license, any contracts you sign, any documents with your name on it. It not a cool sort of preparedness that can make you look like a ninja on YouTube and if zombies are tearing down your front door then sure its not going to do much of anything but this binder might save your neck one day even if its just with an insurance agency.

Now as this binder is going to contain a lot of personal information related to banking, health, and supplies plus other vital pieces of information maintaining a solid state of security is of the utmost importance. I keep mine in a locked case. You might want to consider the same. Sentry brand fireproof boxes are only a couple bucks at walmart they aren’t the most secure thing on earth but its better then just sticking it on the bookshelf.

While taking some sort of high speed zombie slaying course is all well and good you need to build plans for all levels of disaster this doesn’t just include earthquakes and riots it includes deaths in the family, divorces, job loss, identity theft, car accidents etc. Basically anything that can go wrong in your life make a note of it in the portfolio and then build a plan for it.

This is a very simple exercise that only calls for a few bucks at Staples and little bit of your time.

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