I was speaking to a producer for FOX News just now and relating to her some thoughts on hurricane preparations as Hurricane Isabel bears down on the east coast of the United States. We all know the usual drill about boarding up and stockpiling food and water and batteries and, better, getting the hell out of Dodge, but there is one thing that so very many folks tragically forget in preparing for a natural disaster.
Getting beyond the general death and destruction, their in nothing so tragic as watching a survivor of a hurricane or similar natural disaster pick through their ruined belongings and then suddenly break down completely upon discovering the scrapbook with years of memories, a sodden mess or burned crisp, totally destroyed. Or, the family bible, or great granddad's naturalization papers, or...well you get the idea.
You can replace the furniture and the house. You can replace a lot of things, but family heirlooms and personal mementos are irreplaceable. And, in the rush to get ready or escape, these are exactly the things that are most often forgotten, then it is too late. Don't forget what you can never replace. Take it with you if you leave, protect it as best you can if you're going to stay.
For those not already getting ready for this hurricane, use this as a reminder to be prepared for the next natural disaster that comes your way. Inventory those irreplaceable items you own and make a list. Then, if you ever need to evacuate or get ready in a hurry, grab the list and you'll not forget anything important. If evacuation is a possibility, assemble the items ahead of time so they are ready to go. Better to waste a little time and then have to return them as opposed to being too rushed to grab them.
Moreover, you can also at least retain digital copies of family photos and such offsite if you take the time to scan them into digital format. Especially where there is no tiem to evacuate, such as in case of a home fire, this can help.
Also, just a reminder to also take with you all your current important papers such as insurance polices and the like. You may be needing that information and having it all at hand will be a big help.
Be smart. Be Prepared. Be Equipped To Survive.
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Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
First Published: September 16, 2003
Revision: 01 September 20, 2005
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