As every parent knows, the start of every school year is filled with a list of tasks which must be completed before classes begin. Of these tasks, the one that gave me the most anxiety, was coming up with the immunization records. We had moved quite a few times, so no individual doctor had a complete set of records. I always managed to find those little immunization record books. But not without an undue amount of stress. Now, imagine if you had to provide a complete set of medical records, and time was critical.
This same scenario can also apply to financial or legal paperwork in an emergency situation, medical or otherwise. It’s easy to forget a documents location. Whether it’s paper or electronic, once it’s placed in a “safe” location, our brains automatically quit tracking it, and move on to whatever concerns are most pressing.
In my book, First Steps For Success, I discuss the creation of a Master Index. This document is a single location to list and track the critical documents for your household. The Index can also be used to capture metadata related to a document such as persons, companies, or related documents. The book also discusses different types of documents and how they may be applicable to your home. Of course, it takes a few steps to do the initial setup for your existing documents, but you’ll find that knowing where your important information is kept and having a quick place to record the location of future documents, will save both time and anxiety in the future. First Steps For Success is available at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RQZJ2VD.
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And remember to take the next step.
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The current weather conditions in much of the United States make it dangerous to be outdoors for even a few minutes without proper protection. With the impending addition of icy streets, and the inevitable accidents and road closures, it is more important than ever to have an emergency kit in the car which contains provisions to mitigate these risks to our, and our families, health and life.
If you must be out in dangerous conditions, consider taking the steps below to prepare yourself with a portable kit containing the items below. For a full list of these items, with links to purchase them online, go to https://www.stepsfortoday.com/items-mentioned-in-posts/#AutoEmergencyKit/.
• It’s always a good practice to let others know your route and schedule.
• Keep your cars fuel tank topped-off in case you are stuck in snow or traffic and avoid ice forming in the tank.
• Keep your cell phone fully charged.
• Cell phone chargers and backup power supplies
• Rechargeable flashlights and/or battery operated lighting with replacement batteries
• Solar and/or hand-crank recharging devices with a USB output port
• Ice scraper with a brush. Clear snow and ice from windows, lights, the hood, and the roof before driving
• Can of De-Icer
• Jumper cables
• Tire inflator which uses the cigarette lighter
• A small shovel for removing snow or mud from in front of the tires
• Salt for melting ice and traction
• Warm blankets or a sleeping bag in case the car is stranded and fuel is in short supply.
• Boots, hats, and gloves in case the car is stranded and you must walk to safety.
• Chemically activated hand and toe warmers. HotHands makes these small enough to fit in your pocket. They have a 3 year shelf life and they last 10 and 8 hours respectively when opened.
• Food and water. Place some nuts and/or snack bars in a metal container, such as a cookie tin, to keep rodents from finding them.
• Matches and/or lighters
• Fire extinguisher
• Water-tight, puncture-resistant, trash bags (in case they’re needed for sanitation).
• A lidded plastic container big enough to hold most of this (and the plastic bags after use).
More information regarding winter preparation can be found at www.StepsForToday.com and https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/winterweather/.
Thanks again for the thoughts and suggestions; they really do help everyone who reads the blog!
As always, thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step…
P.S. And remember, don’t crowd the plow! They’ve got a lot going on; in very bad conditions. Don’t ever assume they see your car, or you on foot.