The Go-Book: Medical Information

The Go-Book: Medical Information

aesculapian-307609_640This week we are going to be putting in our medical information. Not only will this be extremely helpful in an emergency situation, but it will also be helpful to just have this information written down. Having one location for the phone numbers of your doctors, pharmacists, dentists and the like will make it quite handy when you simply need to give them a call.

We’ve included a few other things under the medical information. If the company you work for gives you benefits, this would be a great spot to write that information down. I had to look it up this week because I wasn’t sure exactly what my benefits covered. You might be surprised at what is covered, like massage therapy.

Here is what we included on our medical information sheet:

Medical Professional. You want to put their name, the description of what they do (family doctor, obstetrician, dentist, etc), and their phone number. Under their description, you could put the name of the clinic, or the address.

Health Insurance. For each family member, put their provincial or state (if you have it) health card number. You will also want to include any benefits you and your spouse get from the companies you work for. That should include the name of the company your benefits are through and the policy number. It’s nice to have all this info when you lose your wallet, which had all your health insurance cards in it. You will still be able to let your health professionals know the policy number. That way you can still receive help while you wait for your replacement cards to arrive in the mail.

Prescriptions. Here you want to list each family member, their prescription, and the pharmacy you get it from. The pharmacists name and number should be located under the first section of this chapter, Medical Professional, but this could also be a great place to put their contact information so all your prescription information is in one spot.

Other Medical Information. This could be a spot to include things like any illnesses in your family history. Most health professionals ask if you have any of the major diseases in your family history. You would want to include the family members name and what they had or have. It will save you time and effort to have it already written down so when you go to a new doctor or have to let anyone know, you can give them all that information. This could also be a good spot to list allergies you or your family member have. In fact, I would make sure you include allergies in this section. This is a great section for babysitters or care givers to look to find out what foods or medicines to avoid when dealing with your family members. The last idea I have for this section is blood type. If you know it, you should include you and your family members blood type in this section.

I would love to hear what other Medical Information you think should be included in this section. Please comment and let me know what your ideas are!

The Go-Book: Emergency Contacts

The Go-Book: Emergency Contacts

GhostBustersI am sure for most of you, your emergency contacts list usually consists of your spouse, and not much more. Or if you’re not married, then one of your parents. Since we are doing this emergency contact list for our go-books, we will want to make a larger list of emergency contacts.

I know I have said this before but we always need a backup plan, and your backup plan needs a back up plan. The same is for your emergency contacts. It’s good to have your one emergency contact. That is better than nothing, but what do you do if you can’t get a hold of that one person. What do you do next?

I remember back in the day, before cell phones, we would memorize each others phone numbers. It was big deal to remember that cute girls number, because then she knew you really did like her. Now-a-days though, who memorizes numbers anymore? Not me. I just store it in my phone. This poses a large problem.

Your phone dies. Who do you call? (Not the ghost busters…I guess you might, depends on the emergency I suppose) You call your main emergency contact right? So, can you say what their number is right now without looking at your phone? Great job if you can! Not shocked if you can’t.

So now that your phone is dead and it turns out you haven’t memorized your main persons number (chances are this will be your spouse and is the only other number you would have memorized), how do you call them to let them know of the emergency?

This is why writing them down in your go go-book is such a good idea. Your phone is not the only phone in the world, so as long as you can borrow one or find a land line you will be able to call anyone on your list.

Who to include

Here is who I suggest be included on your list of emergency contacts:

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Church leaders,

4. Parents of your children’s friends.

5. Gas

6. Electric

7. Poison Control

8. Police

9. Hospital

What to include on your list

Here is what I suggest be included on your list of emergency contacts:

1. Are they a key holder to your home? Y/N

2. Do they have a 2-way radio? Y/N If yes, what channel will they be communicating on?

3. Name

4. Main phone number

5. Other phone number

6. Address

That’s it. Not much. But you want to do this for as many people you can think of. The more you have on your list, the more ‘backup plans’ you have.

 

The Go-Book: Evacuation Plan

The Go-Book: Evacuation Plan

evacPlanHow many of you have this as you’re evacuation plan? Grab iPhone, Get the hell out of there.

Not a very good plan. I really hope you’re dressed when you have to use this plan.

This post will cover the first section of your Go-Books, which is your “Evacuation Plan.” This will cover two things.

1. Your escape route,

2. Your 3 meeting places.

As my wife and I sat down this week and talked about our evacuation plan, we decided on a couple things. We wanted to draw out our floor plan and mark out our escape route depending on where we are in the house, and then create a checklist of things we want to grab when we evacuate.

Having an escape plan for your house is very important. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. You think you’re okay without it because you know your house and where your doors are, but wait until you’re in a real emergency. You’re in your office on the top floor of your house and there is a fire outside the door. Looks like the only way out is your window. Have you prepared for that? Do you have an escape plan? Is it simply to try to break your window and then jump? Or did you take the time to prepare. Now you have a window ladder set up so you don’t need to jump*.

After we drew out our floor plan, we talked about a checklist we would have when told to evacuate. It turned out to be a bit more complicated than we thought.

First off and most importantly, how much time do you have to evacuate? Does the military knock on your door and say “you have 5 minutes to get your things and get in the bus.” What do you grab then? Most likely it will be about 10-15 minutes, not 5. So we came up with a check list that is actually separated into three sections:

5 Min

10 Min

15 Min

That way we know what to grab depending on how much time we have. In the 5 min time limit you want to put the most important. Here is what we put:

5 Min

Gabby: Set timer on stove, Get kids into coats/shoes/outerwear then into van, grab purse

David: Grab go bags, go-book, and shut off water and power.

That’s it. 5 min isn’t much time. When we are done getting these go-books filled out, we will have everything information wise in our go-books. This includes passports, birth certs., SIN, etc. In your go bags you should have a pair of extra clothes including diapers for infants as well as phone chargers and maybe an extra key to your vehicles. I will actually do a whole post on our go bags and let you know what we put in ours.

So what if you have more time? Say 10 Min. What extra things should you grab? Here is what we put into our 10 min section:

10 Min

Gabby: Grab extra clothes for kids, blankets, and favorite stuffies.

David: Grab water supply and food storage (what you can carry) in a laundry basket.

Once you hit the 5-10 min mark, you are grabbing comfort things. Things that are not necessary but will make your time away from home a bit more comfortable.

Gabby and I actually did a test run for our evacuation notice. We didn’t tell the kids ahead of time either. We did however tell them when we started that we are practicing and wanted to see how fast they could get into their boots and coats and into the van. We gave our self 15 mins. This is what we found:

15 min is a long time. I want to add something here though. 15 min is a long time if you’re prepared. We had our go bags packed. They of course were sitting where they are being stored, in our basement storage room, but they were there ready. We got our kids in the van, got the go bags, go-book, water supply, food storage, cells and chargers, laptop and charger, kids favorite blankets and stuffies, shut off power and water, grabbed 2 sleeping bags, 1 tent, Gabby’s purse, and our new camera. You may look at that list and think, ‘man there is a lot of comfort/unnecessary things on there’. Yeah, there is. And the amazing thing was we were done and in the van in 8 minutes. We still had 7 minutes left. That is amazing. We thought, ‘man, what else could we bring?’

Again I want to point out that we were prepared. It would be a different story if we were in the middle making dinner or already asleep. I am curious to see how long it would have taken us if our go bags were not packed. That means we would have to get luggage out of storage and fill each one with, hopefully, enough of the right clothes. When you’re rushed you might grab all your socks but no underwear. Not cool. Imagine if we only had 5 Min and no go bags. Basically have to walk away from everything.

If you are prepared, you will be able to grab way more things. You can’t live without new socks everyday? Then get prepared! You wont have to worry about stinky day old socks because you have some fresh pairs in your go bags already packed. Plus, if there is more than 5 min, you could grab more.

Onto the 3 locations.

When there is an evacuation notice, you need to have a location you can meet family and friends at. So why 3? What happens if location 1 is flooded out? Do you know where to go next? Do not expect evacuations to happen when it is convenient for you. It will probably happen when one spouse is at home and another is not. It is smart to have 3 locations, set in a certain order, that both spouses know about. That way if I am at work, and Gabby gets evacuated, and phone lines are down (or cell towers, or your cell is dead) I know where to head first. If that location is inaccessible for what ever reason, I know where to check next. Here is what we recommend for your 3 locations:

1 Community(church, school)

2 Family(moms, grandmas)

3. Out of city(family or church in a nearby city)

Always have a back up plan. Always.

It was fun doing the trial run. I encourage all of you that when you get your evacuation plan mapped out, give it a test run. See how you do. You will find out what you missed putting on your list, and what you can change to make it faster and better. It will open your eyes to how unprepared you really are.

Here’s the plan for next weeks post:

Emergency Contacts

What you will need:

1. Pen,

2. Paper,

3. Cell phone full of contacts,

4. Utility Bills,

5. More wrist exercises.

We will be going into what and who to put into your emergency contact section. This may require you to make some phone calls to your family and friends to get some more information from them that we will include in this section.

 

* According to the Calgary Fire Marshall, you don’t want to use a window ladder. What they recommend is actually throwing a mattress out the window and jumping onto that. We found that out when my wife opened a day home here at the house and they told us that’s what we do with the kids. Throw a mattress out the window and then throw the kids wrapped in a blanket, so their arms and legs don’t flail…ummm. Okay. We will see how that goes when the time comes. I believe they said it is because windows ladders can burn. If the fire is on the bottom floor and then you throw a rope ladder out the window it could catch on the bottom and burn up. So there you go. Have a spare mattress in each room so you can throw your kids and your self onto it in case of a fire.

The Go-Book

The Go-Book

Not sure where to start with your preparedness plan? Don’t have the cash to drop on your 72 hour kits/go bags and supplies that go with them? Don’t worry, I know a great place to start your preparedness plan: Your Go-Book. Your Go-Book is a binder or folder that contains all your information. If you’re told to evacuate, you grab this book along with your 72 hour kits and the rest of your family and you leave. If your house burns down, or is taken away in a flood, all information about you could be burned or damaged. The idea behind the Go-Book is to have all information about your life in one spot. Anything and everything you or anyone else would need to know should be in this book. By the time you’re done filling in this book, it may weigh more than your first born. This project will not be completed in one sitting, but it is still a great place to start.

Because there is so much information that goes into your go-book, my advice is to set up a schedule, maybe once a week, where you take time to fill in one or more requirements. So let’s get into it.  Here’s 10 things you should have in your Go-Book:

1. Evacuation Plan

2. Emergency Contacts

3. Medical Information

4. Insurance Information

5. Financial Information

6. Estate Planning

7. Personal Identification

8. 72 Hour Emergency Kit Planning

9. Food Storage Inventory/Planning

10. Other

For the next 10 weeks I am going to hit on one of these 10 things and break it down for you. I will show you what we have been doing in our Go-Book to help give you ideas of what it should look like. We have barely started ours so this will be a great way for us to all work on it at the same time and get it done in just 10 weeks!

One idea I wanted to mention in here was sending your actual documents to someone else’s house. That way they are safe either way (unless that persons house burns down…but let’s not go there). Just keep copies in your home. If you need the actual document (passport for example), then just arrange to pick it up before your trip. Of course you will want to keep track of who has your actual documents. Last thing you want to do right before a trip is forget who has your passports.

Here’s what you should do before next week:

1. Get a binder. Any binder will do.

2. Get paper. Grid is preferred. We will be talking about Evacuation plans next week so be prepared to draw your floor plan. You can actually print off Go-Book templates. They aren’t necessary but it could help. We will be building a template as we go that we will have available at the end for anyone who wants it.

3. Get a pen. Sorry, no pencils. And no funny colored pens, stick to blue or black (really it doesn’t matter, just a pet peeve of mine).

4. Do wrist stretches. This will be a lot of writing so get those writing wrists ready!

There’s your list of things to do before next week. I may be giving out homework after each post for the next 10 weeks. Sorry but it will help out with getting your Go-Book done and getting you one step closer to being a preparedness all-star!