Three Steps to Preparedness

We’ve had quite a month on the East Coast. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and the memories of September 11… All in the span of about three weeks.

But, naturally, as New Yorkers, we’re resilient, and it’s on to the next. While our flexibility is fantastic, let’s use our recent experiences as an opportunity to be even better prepared for whatever comes our way. Plus, September is National Preparedness Month, a natural reminder each year to be prepared.
This week, here are three easy steps you can take to be better prepared for any emergency situation.
1. Prepare a Go Kit. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel on this one, instead visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website,, for the list of 12 items that should be included in a basic emergency supply kit. It’s only 12 items; you could pull that together in no time! also provides a list of additional items to consider including like cash and first aid books.
Once you have a Go Kit, make sure you find a place for it in your home or office, a location that is easy to get to and everyone in the family can locate.
2. Plan with family. It’s clear we can’t rely on cell service to reach loved ones during an emergency, so it’s important to plan in advance so you know how you will contact each other and make a plan to get back together. Even if you hate Facebook and Twitter (AHEM, like my husband), it might be worth having an account to access in an emergency situation. Finally, identify an emergency contact out of town to call and pass information through. It’s often easier to make calls out of the local area in an emergency.
3. Know your local resources. We’re lucky as New Yorkers that the City of New York offers so many resources like Notify NYC that sends emergency notifications and messages through the telephone or text message. Another great resource is the 2011 Ready New York Downloadable Calendar. The calendar has regular reminders that break planning into small, quick steps to help everyone work preparedness into their schedule. Perfect for busy New Yorkers.
Go to to quickly figure out resources available in your area. Search your location under Local Information.
If the thought of preparing in advance for an emergency is overwhelming, a professional organizer can help. Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for additional guidance to pull all these important pieces together.