Tips for Emergency Preparedness – and Preparing for the Holidays
by: Amy Hannold,
247Moms Frugal Living Editor
Creating your own emergency preparedness kit can be done, a few pieces at a time. The Red Cross illustrates how an emergency kit can be created over the course of 20 weeks. One benefit of this list is that in addition to weekly shopping lists, there is an important aspect of preparedness to complete. www2.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/apendixb.html
Free resources at Ready.gov include an Interactive Family Emergency Plan (it asks the vital questions, and you create an easy to read form for you to give to important contacts); an email application to help you communicate your plan to those around you and links to emergency preparedness offices near you. Tip: Did you know that in an emergency, those living nearest to you may be the most difficult to reach by phone? Designate an out-of-state contact and be sure everyone has both the contact’s number and a way to reach them (phone card, collect call procedure, etc.).
Sesame Workshop has put together several kid-friendly resources, designed for preparing your kids for emergencies. Free online videos, downloadable forms, and more are available at: www.sesameworkshop.org/initiatives/emotion/ready.
Speaking of being prepared….. You can save yourself a whole lot of time and money when you start to plan your holidays now. Think of it as “Emergency Preparedness” – avoiding some of those expensive, stressful holiday “emergencies” that come up when you don’t have what you need. While on the search for costume supplies today I saw Christmas Cards! What a great Idea – start them now too! Think of the longer, more thoughtful message you can send, handwritten – when you have more time to compose your Christmas cards. If you’re the type that likes to send photos and a “Year in Review Letter” – here’s your notice that you can start the creativity – Now!
Start Your Holiday Shopping Now: Statistics and experience tell us that the most money spent, is spent as the holidays get closer. Avoid overspending when you buy gifts year-round. Make and maintain a list of whom you’re buying for and their likes/hobbies/etc. When you’re in the clearance aisles or other shopping places, consider what might make a great gift for someone you know. School supplies and backpacks, many of which are being clearanced at great prices now, make great gifts and gift bags.
OrganizedChristmas.com helps you design and plan a memorable, less chaotic (and likely less expensive) holiday. Printable planning forms are free, and guide you through the most important details of the holidays.