Fireproof Important Documents

If I understood correctly, household fires are the most common emergency that Red Cross responds to. Keep in mind that although you may be preparing for a hurricane or another likely emergency in your area, that household fires are a danger to us all at any time.

A fireproof box can be purchased to include documents like wills, passports, birth certificates, and other important documents and identification. These are portable, so you can grab it if you need to evacuate. But, fireproof so that if you are unable to, these items should be protected. Different strengths and sizes are on the market. Research what you need. You may also want to include important pictures, family history information, or key contacts. Some small amount of emergency cash. Inventory of items owned–lists or pictures for insurance.

Other ideas for fireproofing documents include:

Store copies of important items and computer backups off site.

Use a bank safety deposit box

If you have other ideas, please submit them in a comment. I’d love to learn from you and help to pass it on.

Homeowners or Renters insurance may be able to insure you for replacement of most items. Take a moment to assess what is not replaceable and how to best protect that. Prevention including working fire alarms and extinguishers is always preferable to recovery.

June OTA (step 6)

Although Supplies and Equipment are listed as the 6th and final step to building your 72 hour emergency kit, I’m listing it here 4th or in June rather than August because of the Florida Tax holiday.

Greenies: Be sure you have tarps, flashlights and/or candles or oil lamps, plus the batteries and matches or lighters and oil to keep them going. Of course, flashlights would travel well in kits, oil lamps/candles might last well in an extended power outage at home. A good first aid kit is a must.

Experienced/maintaining: Add weather band radios, rotate batteries so they are all fresh, Start eating up the expensive items in your freezer and replacing it with ice or blue ice blocks, check and update your first aid kit. Make sure you have large enough tarps with plenty of ropes to tie them up in trees for shelters or homemade tents. These can also be tacked over leaky roofs or placed on the ground to protect sleeping areas. Keeping things dry will most likely be difficult. Extra rope can also be used to rig up laundry lines, etc. to dry wet items, etc.

Advanced: Take the opportunity to see if you want to purchase items like a generator and/or perhaps a chain saw (learn how to run one, buy protective equipment, I know you also need bar oil for this). Stock up on a reasonable amount of gas, oil, and bar oil. Learn precautions for any of this big equipment. Generators, for instance, should not be running indoors. If you have a generator or want to buy one, research what you would need. Does it have a refrigerator type plug? Could it charge your cell phone? Do you have enough heavy-duty, long extension cords (it has to be running outside and reach to your appliance, etc.). Gas cans need stabilizer added to them so that they are less flammable and less likely to explode, etc. in the heat. Take the time to study the safe use and storage of these items.

Gift your friends or neighbors with candles, oil lamps, flashlights or other emergency equipment to let them know you care.




Store food for 3 days, Prescriptions, glasses, a spare can opener or include no cans. Examples of food you might pack are granola bars, emergency bars, MREs, etc. You can pack any kind of food, but you want to ensure it is light and easy to pack and carry and you want it to stay good for 6 months.

For example: cold cereal would be light and easy to carry, but it takes up tons of space and is not very filling and goes stale quickly.

Look for items that are compact, filling, light and last a while.

Greenies: Start with what you have that would work. Maybe cans of beans, fruit, tuna, instant oatmeal, crackers, peanut butter. These things would keep you alive and work fine if you remember to rotate them at least every 6 months. Keep them dry and in containers that resist bugs and moisture. If cans, include a can opener. Remember baby food and/or formula and any special dietary needs.

Maintainers: Take this opportunity to rotate the food in your kits. Evaluate if the food is still good. I’ve found it is easy to rotate these items on family vacations or packed in school lunches. Buy the same things, eat the old, store the new. Or take this time to see if you want to upgrade some of the food items to items that take less rotation like emergency rations or MREs. (Remember baby food and/or formula and any special dietary needs.)

Ideas for Advanced:
___ Your kit is waterproof, transportable and packed with fresh food, water, and medications. IF not, try upgrading your kits into wheeled or backpack style containers. Take action to reach this point before moving on.

___ Consider increasing your medication supplies up to 3 months if you must have it to live and if you can safely store it and rotate it and get approval from your doctor

___ Share your tips that come from your experience here on this blog or with others on facebook or at your church or with your neighbors.

What food items last well?
What are the best containers for your area?
How do you rotate?
How do you remember to rotate?
What dishes or equipment have you found worth their weight and space?

___ Donate storable emergency food items to your church group, Red Cross, family or friends who are working to build their kit for the first time.

The big picture: 72 hr kits in 6 time periods (months, weeks, or days)

A Summary for those that like to see it all in one shot:

1.  (March) Plan, Gather information, 1 gallon of water per person

2. (April)  Water (3 gal/person), Communication plans, means, and important documents

3.  (May) Food and prescriptions including glasses, baby items, needed eating equipment

4.  (June) Clothing and Hygiene items: include Emergency blankets, ponchos, shoes, etc. in waterproof bags or containers

5.  (July) Shelter and First AId:  Protection from rain, sun, bugs, heat and cold.  Extra bandaging for disaster type injuries.

6.  (Aug)  Equipment, Light, and Power sources:  whistle, flashlight, glowsticks, small shovel, rope, can opener, hammer, batteries, etc.

Beets Mom

This year for Mothers’ Day, my youngest son gave me a hand written, colorful note.

It says, “Happy Mothers Day. The best moms teach yoga!” I laughed and had to share it with my yoga class. Thank heavens I teach yoga or else, how could I be the best mom?

Best, Beets–They are about the same thing and this year my thoughts on Moms went straight for that vegetable. The week before Mother’s day I found in the grocery store the largest, most beautiful fresh beets I’d ever seen. They were large and had big red and green stems that were leafy, not wilted and looked very fresh.

I bought them and prepared them for dinner. I thought they were wonderful, but most of my children did not appreciate them at all. In fact, it is a good thing I like them because I’m still eating left-overs.

I think beets are the best symbol for a good mom. They might not always have the most attractive skin, but they are good for you and wonderful. All the beauty they have inside colors everything they do. My hands were red from the contact for two days. The water they cooked in was red. A gentle, unintentional influence. So, so beautiful and natural and nutritious.

So, maybe yoga is the best, but this year for me, beets beat all as the symbol for the Mom I want to be (whether the children recognize it’s beauty, it’s value, or it’s significance or not.)