Are you ready for…

This newsletter is not about just ‘being prepared for disaster’ although it is good to be prepared for the major catastrophes as well as the little incidents.

So let’s talk about being prepared in the case of disasters first. One of my clients gave me a very useful booklet put out by Auckland Council and Civil Defence & Emergency Management called “Get Ready Auckland”. I have to say I only just read it today, and found it very informative, and a reminder that I really should have at least a kit of the basic supplies tucked away should the unthinkable happen. The booklet contains everything you need to know about being prepared in the case of emergencies and disasters, including very helpful lists of what to put in your Get Away Kit and what emergency supplies to keep in your home. I imagine you could get the booklet from Auckland Council or Civil Defence, check the Civil Defence website: www.aucklandcivildefence.org.nz

I think living in Auckland one can become perhaps a little complacent about disasters, although we really shouldn’t given what tragically happened in Christchurch, and more recently in Kaikoura and Wellington. And some areas in Auckland have experienced massive flooding in just the last few weeks. So I believe this preparation bears thinking about.

What I want to touch on now follows along the lines of what to organise in case of emergency, but it’s also about being able to put your hand on what you need in your home when you absolutely need an item immediately.

Medical kit: our home is the most common place where injuries happen and the absolute minimum necessities include sticking plasters in different sizes and shapes, crepe rolled bandages, sterile gauze dressings, antiseptic cream, safety pins, disposable sterile gloves and tweezers. The kit needs to be easily accessible and restocked as items are used. I have, in the past of course, been in the situation where I’ve had to hop around the house with blood streaming from a cut ankle desperately seeking a plaster or bandage… I won’t tell you what I ended up using, but suffice to say I decided to be more prepared next time.

Torches and batteries: how quickly can you find a torch during a power cut? I keep a torch in the kitchen, beside my bed, and in my car. And I check the batteries to make sure they work. Candles are not always safe to use, you need to find matches or a lighter and then think about placing the candles somewhere stable. Speaking of power outages, a torch in the kids’ bedrooms would also be a good idea.

Important documents and photos: an emergency such as a house fire would have us vacate our home immediately with the children and pets and no time to grab anything else. With such web based storage areas as Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud it is possible to store our important documents and photos so they’re not lost when our computer or laptop goes up in flames. If you’re not using one of these, you can also use a USB port or external hard drive to store documents and photos however you would need to grab such devices before you leave the house, or keep them off-site.

A continuation on the previous theme, Civil Defence recommends you store online or on a hard drive copies of such items as personal identification: birth and marriage certificates, passport, mortgage and insurance information, and financial documents. You might even like to include a list of the websites you subscribe to with your login and password details [you could create clues as to your passwords]. It would be a simple matter of photocopying and scanning the documents and saving them to store either on a device or online.

Spare keys for the house and car: always a good idea to have a spare set tucked away safely outside somewhere [somewhere dry, and obscure]. This is also where the torch in the car can come in handy if you arrive home at night and can’t find the house keys, or lock your car keys in the car…

Car kit: I would include here a mini medical kit and a torch. You can also buy a small car kit from The Warehouse which contains a tow rope and jumper leads.

Next of Kin: as I thought about items I wanted to include in this newsletter I also thought about what would happen if I dropped dead and my next of kin, being my brother, needs to get into my home, find my Will and important documents, and sort things in the case of my demise. That may sound dramatic, but not so much when you live on your own, so I’ve decided to get a house key cut for him and wrap it in a note which tells him exactly where he will find my Will and other documents. And I’ll give it to my sister-in-law for safe keeping because I know she is super organised and will remember where she’s safely tucked it away.

I know none of this sounds very ‘joyous’ however once we put these simple steps in place, and discover how useful they are the next time circumstances call for the medical kit or a torch, we will be thankful that we’re prepared. And can feel quite proud at how organised we are.

Joy and blessings from me to you for a wonderful month ahead.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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