Having an emergency kit handy is a good idea for everyone. Your emergency doesn't have to be a bush fire, it can be as simple as a sick child in the middle of the night. Get together a bag with essential information, some coins, a puzzle book (waiting can be boring) and something to eat and drink and keep it somewhere easily accessible. Then when you need to rush out the door in a hurry you don't need to scrabble around gathering things up - just grab the bag and go.
Emergency Safety BoxLike many Cheapskaters, I live in a rural area and the threat of fire this year has been quite significant. I have taken on board the notion of having an emergency fire box filled with things suggested by fire personnel such as spare batteries, portable radio, first aid kit, precious documents etc. However I have a couple of tips to add:
1. Copy all precious photos onto disk or USB - do this well in advance and keep one or two of these in the box. Do this also with all key documentation such as insurance papers, personal identification such as drivers licenses, birth and marriage certificates, qualifications etc.
2. Also important is current medical advice - such as medical conditions, medic alert bracelets etc. You may not lose these in a fire, but even losing a wallet may make you feel relieved that you took copies of personal cards and drivers licenses etc.!
3. ALSO, whilst it is an added cost in setting up an emergency box, I suggest toothbrushes, toothpaste and some clean spare underwear for each member of the family.
4. For the pets, a couple of spare cans of food and WATER BOTTLES. (keep a couple of these frozen and ready to go in your freezer if you have room).
5. A small amount of cash is also likely to be very useful.
If you need to leave in a hurry, flustering about to "grab" things is far from ones mind. So do this well in advance, and put it right near your door. On busy high alert times, I actually carry mine in my car so all I have to worry about is people, pets and RUN!! All of this will fit in a small cardboard box or if funds allow, a plastic one with clip on lid, or a cheap or re-purposed small suitcase.
Contributed by Lisa Jardine