This year has brought many violent storms to all parts of the country. Families have lost their homes in wild fires while others have been without power for days. Being prepared and organized for these catastrophic events will help you get through them a little easier. The storms that have brought down power lines and trees this year have been particularly dominant. A small amount of time spent organizing a tote will help you greatly. You probably have a cloth tote sitting around that you received at some conference or event you went to that you have never found a use for since receiving it. That will be a perfect item to pack with just a few necessities. For loss of power, make sure you have batteries to fit your best and brightest flashlights, large candles that are self-contained, and a radio with batteries. For those who still might have a land line phone, more than likely, you will not have it available, but you will have your cell phone. Having a car charger is going to be a big benefit for you to keep in touch with loved ones and the outside world. Have this tote in an easy accessible location such as the coat closet. If you have a generator you will be able to keep your food and if not, it's a great time to clean out that freezer. You probably have food you have been staring at for years. Make sure you get a cooler out to keep the necessities cold and using paper plates and utensils will be a big help. Most of my clients have paper plates and plastic ware left over from parties and cookouts. Keeping those in one place will be beneficial when the power goes out.
For natural disaster areas facing hurricanes for forest fires, your emergency tote will be a little different. If you are required to evacuate, the items you must have in your tote, should be a copy of birth certificates, social security cards, one bank statement from each account, copies of investments, marriage certificate, any military records, divorce papers, adoption papers, and any other paper that would be hard to replace. All these are replaceable, but the time and energy spent to do so, could be used on other tasks. If you have medicine requirements, a copy of the prescription or bottle will be helpful.
Every 6 months look in your tote and make sure the batteries are still good and you have everything you need. Having these items handy will make your time easier and less stressful.