I’ve been thinking a lot about the victims of Hurricane Sandy this week. We were lucky and the storm did not hit Pittsburgh too badly. However, if it did, would my family be prepared?
Like the rest of you, I love my electricity – hot showers, microwave, computer, tv, etc, but if we were without electricity for days/weeks because of the storm our more pressing needs would be food, water, and heat.
Now, I’m not suggesting you run out to your local Giant Eagle and hoard all the bottled water, turning your basement into a potential disaster prevention/hoarding zone, but it is a good idea to have some necessities on hand at all times, JUST IN CASE. It never hurts to be prepared!:
- Bottled water – enough for your family to use for 3 days.
- Canned food – enough for your family to eat for 3 days.
- Flashlights and (current) batteries – be sure to check batteries on a regular basis and replace old ones. Does anyone else find that when a storm hits all the batteries are dead or is just me???
- Matches and candles
- First aid kit, with basic medications (please make sure they are NOT expired!)
- A week’s worth of prescription medication
- A water and fire proof strong box containing all important records – passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, medical records, medical insurance information, life insurance policy, a will, etc.
Wait, did I just read that right? A will? What? I’m only…well, if you don’t know how old I am, I’m not telling. (However, I’m pretty excited when someone thinks I’m my daughter’s older sister! Not too shabby for a grandmother!) 🙂
It is imperative to have a will, especially if you have children or dependents. It does not need to be a gigantic fancy-smancy document that only lawyers would understand, but a basic outline of your wishes – what you want to happen in case you are in a situation where loved ones need to make a decision to keep you on or off life support, your thoughts on organ donation, who will be responsible for raising your children, where you want your assets to go (charities, family members, etc), and how you want your body disposed. I’m not trying to be the grim reaper, but it is a fact of life that we will all die one day. If we knew the day and time, we wouldn’t need to worry about preparing, but it’s a mystery. Why not make it easier on our loved ones by having our wishes clearly stated in writing?
Please don’t hide your will. Have an open and frank discussion with family members. My three (adult) girls roll their eyes at me when I tell them where to find our documentation and the family friend who we have appointed executor of our will. “Geez Mom, you’re so morbid!” But I know that each of them knows what to do if something were to happen to myself or my husband. Instead of leaving your family members with the burden of decision-making during a tragedy, help them a little. Be prepared!