Friday, December 12, 2008

So what's in your emergency preparedness files?

Awhile back now, one of my poll questions dealt keeping track of your emergency preparedness information. Quite a bit of the information I have gained has come from the internet, but the problem is that in an emergency situation, the internet or other sources of information might not be available. So I put the question out about storing information, and here are the results:

How do you keep track of your emergency preparedness information?

Emergency preparedness is a way of life for me, so it is all in my head 42%
I collect recipes, pointers for emergencies, etc., in a folder or notebook 64%
I have a list of blogs that have the information I need so that I can refer to them if necessary 42%
I have emergency preparedness manuals that I can use in an emergency 42%
I know people that I can call and ask for information in case of an emergency 28%
I have a backup of emergency information in a file on my computer 50%
I don't yet have a system for storing emergency information 7%
Other 21%

And now, (drumroll, please :) for a quick commentary on the results:

There is something to be said (and it's all good) for having practiced/learned a skill to the point that you have it in your head--it would be great to not even have to think about how to deal with food preparation, or look in a manual for directions, because you know how to deal with a situation already, and you're with you 24/7. I am honestly impressed with those who are at this point of emergency preparation. Alas, that is not me--you may have noticed my disclaimer about not being a professional posted handily and prominently on this very blog. But I and others like me need not despair, if we think ahead, and use perhaps....

A folder or notebook in which we keep a collection of written reminders of what we have learned. This question actually prompted me to start my notebook, a project which I had been planning on and procrastinating for quite awhile. I have printed out the recipes I use most frequently, but there is a lot of information out there that would come in handy when I am nowhere near internet access or people more knowledgeable than I am, if said information could easily be found gathered in one place. I can gather some of said information more easily if...

I have a list of blogs readily available from which to glean information. You can see a blog list on my blog of blogs that I read regularly, but I have also found other blogs that provide useful emergency preparedness information that I will likely share in the future. Some much information, so many blogs, and so little time...

That sometimes it may be easier to buy your emergency preparation pre-packaged, as it were, in an emergency manual. When we talked to the emergency expert in our area recently, he suggested some manuals to us--and some that he mentioned to me before I have already checked out at the library and perused. We will probably end up purchasing some, and should probably plan on it now. People who have read my blog for awhile, will know, however, that....

My best source is my mom, who I call when I have an emergency. This can be helpful, but seeing as how some emergencies can cause loss of power, phone connections, etc., it would probably be best to converse with your best sources before an emergency situation. Since my best source lives in another state, I'm just hoping that she will never have an emergency situation at the same time as we do....

And that the electricity won't be out forever, but there are no guarantees. I don't have a backup in computer form, but for those who do, please make sure that you can access the information you need in an emergency situation. And those of you who marked that you don't yet have a system for storing emergency information...

You are not that far behind me. Like I said, I finally started a notebook because of this question, even though I knew I should have started before. (Amazing what looming feelings of guilt and hypocrisy will do for your motivation... :) So I will let you know how I have started.

One, I have started to practice. I am pretty sure that the process for harvesting pumpkins is now firmly entrenched in my head. Yay! For other situations, ones that I have never come up against (and hope that I never will) I have started a notebook collection. It could be better organized, but the beginnings are there. I will probably share some of the info I have collected on different types of emergency information occasionally in the hopes that it will help other people , because the sources I am going to cite have certainly helped me. One example of great information is.....

The Stealth Survival Site, written by Riverwalker. He has information on his site about a multitude of subjects, and here are a few recently added entries to my own personal notebook:

--On the main page, there is a recipe for making your own electrolyte beverage in an emergency.

---If you search for Tuesday Tips, you will find a vast amount of information on many different posts. I appreciated his tips on salvaging burnt rice and prolonging the usefulness of tomato sauce/paste here, and his tips for dealing with wounded fingers and navigating by the moon here.

Those tips have found a home in my notebook, but I am far from done gleaning information from his site. I would recommend checking it out and seeing what you might want to add to your own information system.

Those of you who mark "other" should start a blog....I would love to know the information you have in your head.... or you could just leave a comment to satisfy my curiosity... :)


The Scavenger said...

Marie, I have a notebook, with my name on the front of it. That's the only way I can remember my name. haha!! I started my notebook some time ago when I discovered that in times of emergency things that we take for granted now may not be there. Electricy, internet and phone lines are some of the things that we/I use to help gather information. When their down, I don't want to be down with them. I hope this post encourages others to 'click print' when they read something online that is useful to them. Good Post.


Marie said...

Chris--I remember you mentioning your notebook in a post, and remembering that I shouldn't procrastinate anymore, because I had been planning to write stuff down, but procrastinating is so easy... :) My original thought was to post things in my storage room, and while I might do that with some things, I do think that having everything all together is a better idea, and in case we had to go anywhere, much more portable in notebook form. You never know when you might need a good old-fashioned printed copy... Thanks for commenting--it's always appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Marie, I have been keeping "data" for a good number of years. I keep things I have gotten off the interbet in files on the computer, backed up a Memory stick. If it is what I consider really valuable I print it off and it goes in the many Notebooks I have accumulated. Periodic I review what is in all three places for value and/or redundancy. I do have a UPS on my computer so if something drastic happens short of an EMP I can printer some or most of what I don't have printed. I am in the Mortgage industry and I have cases of paper at home. Business is so bad that I could probably print off the Library of congress.LOL

If I may suggest a topic for you, if you haven't covered this already,. Inventory Records, how does every one keep them if at all, what do they keep and where do they keep them. I start a physical inventory in December every year ( since there is little else to do here in the Winter). It takes me until February to do it. I do a lttle every day.
Carl In wisconsin

Anonymous said...


Interesting post and survey! One thing I'd like to add, Al Qaeda has nukes (read The Day of Islam by Paul Williams, where he documents it, in spite of our government's denials). They're going to use them against us before long ... when they think the time is right.

In a nuclear detonation, the EMP produced will destroy everything controlled, or run by, a microchip.

So, keeping info on your PC will be useless. It's WISE to keep the info in a notebook!

There are some interesting (and scary) links at

They're on the home page.

God bless you!

Marie said...

Carl--Wow, your files sound comprehensive! Your suggestion about inventories is a great one--I don't really keep inventory, and so I have to guess what I have/need at times. It would be very useful and a lot wiser to have a record on hand--thanks for a great idea, and way to make things better and easier--that's something I need to work on!

Anonymous--Well, that would be a scary scenario, and it is scary how many ways we could find ourselves in need of our storage information--I do think that good old print on paper is usually the most portable and dependable if we have it--thanks for your comment!

riverwalker said...

Thank you Marie. Your generous praise makes me feel very happy that people may be getting some benefit from my efforts.



Marie said...

Riverwalker--Just mentioning your site doesn't do it justice--it's a treasure trove of information, and I hope that people check it out. I can't use all the information that you have on it,(in many cases I hope that I someday will) but it's good to know that it's there. Thanks for all your efforts in putting so much information out, and thanks for your comment!