Checklist : Emergency Preparedness for Beginners (Part 1 of 4)

Do you want to be better prepared for emergencies, but don’t know where to start or if you’re doing it right? 

This “Preparing for Beginners” Emergency Preparedness Checklist walks you through the most important and essential steps. When completed, you’ll be more prepared than over 50% of adult US Americans !

The basic steps:

  1. Prepare your home for two weeks of autonomy.
  2. Prepare to leave your house with instant notice.
  3. Be prepared when you are away from home.
  4. Practice and plan
  5. Share and recruit.

A prepper’s list includes various components. Basically, however, connoisseurs first differentiate between the elements that are needed as emergency supplies and the equipment that you provide for the fastest possible escape.

Equipment is needed when you no longer have time to pack the important things together and have to react immediately.

This is the case, for example, if your accommodation is overrun. If a large crowd of unauthorized persons is heading towards your shelter, you immediately grab the escape backpack and start the controlled retreat.

Therefore, it goes without saying that it is also crucial that all of your family members also have a packed backpack ready for the simple reason  in extreme cases, there is often no time left to gather various utensils.

Irrespective of what decision you have to make or are instructed ; you stay home, you leave your home, or you go home, regarding your preparations :

  1. they should be simple, practical and usable, otherwise they are worthless.
  2. Good preparations are a mixture of equipment, skills, planning, practice, community and “you”.

This is the best framework for thinking about preparation. Making it complicated makes you  less  prepared.

Before returning to the matter of preparation, it is wise to consider the following issues if you are going to be a successful prepper.

Are your finances in order ?

You are much more likely to experience financial hardship than a major disaster. Yet many people go straight to spending too much money on multi-year stocks of food and advanced commodities like bunkers, even though they live dearly on tons of credit card debt.

Don’t overlook the importance of a strong financial foundation in order picking – this lowers your risk of an emergency and makes them more manageable when they do occur. Research online money management principles for Normal Preppers, and note the advice and tips for creating an emergency fund for “rainy days” and changing the way you save, budget, spend and invest.

Prepare on a budget

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry so was I ! On your priority order of importance checklist, you should always start with the first item before continuing.

Some of the very first items you should cover are water, food, and light for your home. Better to have these things than to have a compass or a gun.

As we emphasize in our e-course, buy and save a little at-a-time, beginning with first item on the list.

Don’t ‘double-use

You will notice that there is a lot of overlap between the three zones (house, bug out bag (BOB), return home bag – (GHB) since each section contains medical kits, matches, knives, etc. Sometimes they are a little different (eg liquid candles for the house and solid candles for the car) and sometimes they are the same.

Resist the temptation to dual use. For example, you might want to take it a step further by buying a medical kit that you keep in the trunk of your car, and you think if you had to evacuate, you would take it and put it in your backpack.

Bad idea. You never know what’s going to happen and where it’s going to happen and you end up breaking the “the right preparations are always ready” rule because your equipment is scattered or missing.

Another common example is your basic emergency water supply. Too many people make the serious mistake of depending on what’s in their water heater or having time to fill their tubs. Because water is so important, it is worthwhile spending the extra few dollars to have dedicated drinking water source available at all times.

In the end, it’s good to have multiple tools or to accomplish a task. Most preppers take a “2 = 1, 1 = 0” approach with backups and redundancies. Following this guide is an effective way to have these backups. Rather than having three med kits in your basement to collect dust, each serves a purpose at all times by being ready in your home, in your bug out bag, and back home bag.

If You’re ready to absorb a ‘financial hit’ from the next world economic recession and / or pandemic outbreak, you don’t have to click on the link and read about our new EMERGENCY FUND ,self-teaching course which consists of a combined Powerpoint Slide & Mp4 Animated Video presentation.

What is an emergency fund?

An emergency fund is a bank account with money set aside to pay for large, unexpected expenses, such as:

  • Unforeseen medical expenses resulting from serious injury and/or illness
  • Major home repairs / replacement
  • Temporary Unemployment.

Why do I need an emergency fund?

Emergency funds create a financial buffer that can keep you afloat in a time of need without having to rely on credit cards or high-interest loans. It can be especially important to have an emergency fund if you have debt, because it can help you avoid borrowing more.

“One of the first steps in climbing out of debt is to give yourself a way not to go further into debt.”. [NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston ].

Here’s that link again. CLICK HERE, to learn more about the ‘taster’ image described below.

The72 Hours versus 14 Days ‘ Dilemma

Until recently, emergency preparedness guides generally recommended 72-hour supplies. Our emergency services, first responders and community teams can be quickly overwhelmed. As good and efficient as they are, they are simply not designed to handle sudden and widespread disasters.

Some groups, like the Red Cross, have updated their suggestions – their site now says: “3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for the house.”

Before actually discussing the 3 most important steps of emergency preparedness for beginners’ starting in Part 2, we’ll conclude this article with a visual checklist of the items that you will need to consider having in your possession. Needless to say, not all of them will be applicable to everybody.

The Family Emergency Folder / BinderIf the worst came to the worst, the emergency folder will help“.

For obvious reasons, it’s very difficult to predict every emergency or disaster but their effects can be minimized to a greater of lesser extent with an emergency folder also commonly refered to as an emergency binder.

This important piece of stationery can provide valuable, informative services as well as contact persons in the event of a disaster, crisis, major accident or climatic phenomenon. However, it should be stressed straight away that pre-cautionary measures must always be in place.

Anybody can be dependent on outside help at short notice. With this folder at hand, First responders, emergency doctors or hospitals are then able to access individual specifications, wishes and important personal information. In short, the emergency folder reduces irritation and improves efficiency especially as regards clarity in communication

Furthermore, ……...

not only is having something handy in your house for day to day use good, but in the event of a quick evacuation for something like a hurricane, flood, fire, tornado, or earthquake, you want to have something that is easy to grab that has all of your vital information, documents, and notes for your family.

  1. Proving who you are when returning to your home after a disaster
  2. Replacing important documents in the event your home is destroyed
  3. Getting benefits and help if displaced after a disaster may go faster if you have the appropiate documents.

Here is a checklist of important details and documents to include in your Emergency Binder, separated by category:

  • Personal Information for all immediate family members and pets. …
  • Medical Information. …
  • Insurance information. …
  • Emergency Contacts. …
  • Household Expenses. …
  • Usernames and Passwords + Crucial websites
  • Financial Account Information. ALSO……
  • Legal Documents (Healthcare Directives, Power(s) of Attorney, Wills, Death Certificates, etc)
  • Insurance (cards, policies, local agent contact information)
  • Emergency Evacuation  Plan (Where to go, Who to call, What to do) 
  • Keys to your vehicles, home and storage space rooms
  • Maps  
  • Photos / Pictures  (digitally stored on thumb drive)
  • Cash.

An emergency folder belongs in every household. In case of doubt, you may think you do not need an emergency folder but your relatives do if you have an emergency such as a heart attack, a stroke or an accident. With your emergency folder you can then help your loved ones and thus yourself !  A good emergency folder helps you, your family and relatives in an emergency. In addition, it saves time and money and reduces stress and anxiety.

You should keep the emergency folder in your apartment or house. It is important that someone knows the whereabouts of the emergency folder and has access to it at all times. In our following review of recommended product reviews, I have shown a bias to those emergency folders/binders which have excellent resistant properties to damage by fire and / or water. The reason for this bias is now plainly obvious !

Whilst on the subject of choice of emergency folder / binder, If you don’t want to use an emergency folder with numerous checklists, templates and filling-in aids similar to those reviewed below, you can create your own emergency folder. 

However, keep in mind that here in particular a considerable amount of time is required for Internet research and the creation of the documents. You should also create the most important questions and topics for an emergency folder yourself. 

What is important, however, is TO TAKE ACTION & DO IT ! Start your contingency planning today. “Thinking ahead is better than thinking” because there will always be moments in life when you can no longer think about how to proceed.


Cyber emergency binder: An Essential Back-Up to a Physical Binder

Not every localized emergency means that there will be no electricity, internet access, or access to printers, or computers. Your local emergency could just mean you need to leave your immediate area and go to another neighbourhood or city, but just don’t have access to those important items (documents et al) in your house.

If you are uncomfortable having a binder full of vital information in your house, especially if you can not keep it secure in your location because you are rooming with other people, consider doing a cyber emergency binder.

Even if you do keep a physical one, having one available in downloadable digital format may make its access easy if you lose your binder along the way and need to get to those important documents but have access to a computer.

You could also load that information onto a thumb drive that you can tuck into a pocket on the way out of the door. You can store multiple thumb drives in different locations, just in case.

Again, it is vitally important for you to understand that uploading your documents onto a cloud on the web, even if you think it’s a private place, does not mean that they will ultimately be safe from hackers and people looking for information. You have to make the decision as to whether or not to do it.

You can use places like or a friend’s server or even your own website. Just understand that nothing is completely safe and secure.

However, having your documents in more than one place allows you greater ability to get copies regardless of the type of emergency occurring.

Essential Features of An Emergency Binder

 Here are some fundamental materials typical of an emergency binder. Begin with what is listed and then make whatever changes or additions you need to make it your own :

  • Binder (typical 3-ring binder) 
  • Index Sheets- to separate each section so you can find what you need rapidly.
  • Page Protectors 
  • Water-proof Pouch (or 2-gallon zip top bag that you can fit binder into) 
  • Fireproof safe or lockbox- for additional security, just make sure it’s small and lightweight enough to grab and go. 
  • Laminator or Vacuum Sealer- If you are using a laminator we recommend only using it on copies of your documents and not on originals as any kind of alteration might make them invalid. However, if you are using a vacuum sealer you can use it on original documents as vacuum sealing doesn’t alter the document forever. Simply cut open the sealed pouch and pull out your document(s) when needed.

Product Reviews

Do you have an Emergency Binder set up with information and important documents to make emergency situations a little less stressful? What would happen if you – the husband passed away – suddenly and your spouse had no idea how to manage the family finances, or even how to access your bank account online ?

Maybe you (the head of the family) handles ALL of the bills and accounts, and your partner is blissfully unaware of your family’s financial state. If that’s the case, then what would happen if you fell into a coma? Or had a heart attack? Or died in a car accident ? disaster event ? pandemic outbreak ?
The loss of a family member can be stressful enough, without having to worry about begging and pleading with companies to release passwords and account access without you being listed as an authorized user.

Therefore to counter this scenario we propose a 2-Component Solution :

(i) An Emergency Binder, perfectly organized with all of the information that your would need in case of an emergency AND easily accessible

(ii) A Document Bag or Case which would be Fireproof & Waterproof to contain your emergency Binder and protect it from the most common forms of damage and/or destruction, namely fire (heat) and water.

(i) The Emergency Binder – a collection of important information and documents that is readily available in case of a natural disaster, family death, or a medical emergency that deems a household head incapable of performing household management duties.

NAME of BINDER UniKeep Emergency Preparedness Binder Kit. UniKeep Home Organization Binder/Storage Box. Smead All-in-One™ Emergency Planning Organizer.
DESCRIPTION The content of the kit has been updated this month to include 28 pages of information and worksheets. There are specific areas for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and times of social unrest. The kit still includes pocketed dividers and sheet protectors. Comprises Guides and Checklists to keep All your key information in one place. - Easy and functional way to manage and organize your home - This Home Organization Binder makes it easy for parents, kids, visitors, or babysitters to refer to specific information with tabbed dividers and pockets. If you had 15 minutes to evacuate your home would you be able to gather up all the documents you might need to contact service providers, pay bills or file insurance claims? - Provides peace of mind in the event of an evacuation due to weather or other environmental emergencies. - Has Latch Closure, 13 Pockets, Poly, Letter Size, Red/White.
DIMENSIONS ‎11.75 x 1.5 x 10.5 inches 11.75 x 1.5 x 10.5 inches ‎13.0 x 3.75 x 11 inches
OVERALL RATING website page link (CLICK IMAGE !) website page link (CLICK IMAGE !) website page link (CLICK IMAGE !)

(ii) The Fireproof Document Bag/Case or Pouch – The UNEXPECTED happens, both in a positive as well as a negative sense. Very few people who lose their belongings due to a fire OR Flooding imagined
it could happen to them. In such cases, what is particularly annoying and stressful is the loss of important documents as well as personal effects in addition to the damage or even worse, complete destruction to property.

Whether you’re a banker, a statesman, or a housewife, we’re all looking for the best fireproof document bag. We all have documents in the house that are essential and need protection; for that purpose, having a fireproof document bag is always useful.
If valuable documentation items e.g. birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, photos and similar documents are kept in a fireproof/waterproof container , even the most devastating disaster would not cause irreparable damage.

We shall now devote a bit of time to this particular sub-section after all there is no point in taking the time and expense to list, itemize and record all your important documents, files, passwords, contact names and addresses if at the end of the day you cannot protect them from more or less any form of damage or destruction.

What is the difference between Fireproof & Fire Resistant ?

Flame Resistant or Fire Resistant materials are designed to prevent the spread of fire and withstand heat. Flame resistant materials should self-extinguish once the source of ignition is removed. These fire retardant materials are chemically treated to be slow burning or self-extinguishing when exposed to an open flame. Many people view fireproof to be better than fire resistant, but this is a mistake. Despite its name, even Fireproof will not offer you absolute protection. In truth, there is no such thing as 100% fireproof. Given a certain amount of time and heat level, anything will burn eventually. What fireproof and fire resistant products do is give you TIME !

What you should consider before buying :

Most document bags differ only slightly from one another in their basic properties. 
If you have to decide between two models, you should pay attention to the size, the material and the workmanship/brand name.

Fireproof document bags are made from very tightly woven fiberglass. 
Fiberglass insulates very well and offers good heat protection. 
However, it has the disadvantage that fine fibers can detach when touched, which then itch on the skin. 
If possible, pure fiberglass bags should only be touched with gloves.
However, there are also models that are covered with a layer of aluminum foil on the inside and outside and can therefore be touched without hesitation without the need to wear gloves.

Also pay attention to the processing of the product. 
Unfortunately, some economical options are sewn very badly ; Most pockets are closed with Velcro. 
This should be sewn on firmly and cleanly so that your bag does not fall apart even after frequent opening and closing. 
The Velcro should be attached to a fold over hem, similar to an envelope so that nothing can slip out of the pocket and the hem offers a certain protection against moisture. 
The bags are not completely waterproof. However, they should be water-repellent.

Merely sticking your documents in a fireproof bag offers a measure of protection, but it’s not enough :

– Always store the bag in a safe spot.
– When selecting a fireproof document bag, consider going a size larger because you may very well want to add other items
– The higher the fire-resistant rating, the safer your items will be. For optimal protection, look for a bag that can withstand at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Put only dry items in the bag. Fireproof bags can trap moisture inside, making the documents smell musty or encouraging mold or mildew. Therefore, make sure all papers and valuables are dry before putting them in the bag.

BEFORE we go onto discussing a number of product fireproof/waterproof Document Bag options, please note well the following suggestions :

>>> seriously consider a digital online back-up option for your important documents et al. An emergency could very well occur where it may not be possible for you to get access to your document bag OR you may be outside your country of residence. (Refer back to our earlier section on Cyber emergency binder: An alternative to a physical binder ). Remember, A lot of documents, such as medical records, banking statements, and even bills, are stored in the cloud or on digital thumb drives. 

>>> Where should I store a fireproof document bag? Always keep important documents close to the floor. If there is a fire, it is only 50 °C at knee height, although the temperature on the ceiling can easily be 800-1000 °C.

NAME of PRODUCT FLYPAL Fireproof Document Bag. (16" x 12.6" x 6.5"). iNNOCEDEAR Fireproof Bag. (17" x 12" x 5.8"). OXZOH Fireproof Bag (Large). (17" x 12" x 6"). ROLOWAY Large Fireproof & Water Resistant Bag. (17" x 12" x 5.8") ENGPOW Fireproof / Water Resistant File Storage Bag Set. (14.2" x 10.0" x 6.4").
DESCRIPTION Works as a portable safe that you can grab in an emergency. Thanks to the Flypal’s unique U-shape zip closure and extra-large size, you won’t ever struggle loading large valuables, Eg : document folders ; 15 inch laptops ; This bag has four-layers for the ultimate protection against Heat & Water from flooding and fire extinguishers. Dual-layered silicon coated fiberglass PLUS heat-blocking aluminium foil provides the ultimate in fire protection by increasing heat resistance. 3-Layer Fireproof Material to withstand high temperatures. Meanwhile, the SILICONE COATED layers, and HOOK & LOOP CLOSURE bring great water protection, which can survive the spray of firefighter's hose on full blast. Supplied with a padded and adjustable shoulder strap & heavy duty and padded carry handle. Best 3-in-One 'SoftShell' carry bag on the market. A portable and lightweight document bag that is easy to carry around. The best combination fireproof bag with waterproof material alongside a high-quality TSA-approved lock. This large bag comes with a pair of small safe pouch bags for money, cards, or passports. The ROLOWAY is large enough to store a stack of papers along with other valuables, or even a laptop. Another SoftShell bag. - It also comes with a lockable zipper. - This bag also offers a measure of water resistance. Designed like a carry-on bag for flight travel ! Multiple fireproof layers and numerous compartments make the ENGPOW well suited for protecting valuable items while keeping them organized for easy retrieval. Therefore, searching for items will not take up time.
  The Flypal fireproof bag can protect against intense heat up to an amazing 2000° F. Can withstand temperatures as high as 2000°F (SGS TEST: UL94 VTM-0 Certified). This document fire resistant bag can withstand to 2192 deg. F Very reliable fire resistance at least up to 2000 deg.F which is proved by taking the UL94 VTM-0 experiment. Resistant to temperatures up to 2000 deg.F .This has been verified by SGS TEST(UL94 VTM-0 Certified).
  Features a built-in combination lock and strong lockable zipper heads. Waterproof YKK ZIPPER with Password Lock to provide more security guarantee. Quality TSA lock included. It also comes with a lockable zipper - lock NOT included. Comes with a combination lock that keeps the contents secure.
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENT POUCHES INCLUDED IN PACKAGE. NO ! YES ! 1x A4 size bag(15" x 11"). YES ! 2 x different size bags - A4 & A5 YES ! Small, safe sized mini pouch bag. YES ! 1 x fireproof document bag also included.
OVERALL RATING website link (CLICK IMAGE) website link (CLICK IMAGE) website link (CLICK IMAGE) NA. website link (CLICK IMAGE) NA NA

Fireproof & Waterproof Document Bags –

Your passport, your birth, marriage and other certificates, insurance policies and other documents, which are only valid in their original form should be protected from possible flames and damage from flooding  and extinguishing water.

Now let’s move to PART 2 and discuss the first step of emergency preparedness, namely preparing your home for 14 days of autonomy.




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