Plan B is Really Plan A

stormSome natural disasters can come so quickly and without warning, we wonder if there is anything we can do to fully prepare. However, we can take some steps to ensure a certain level of peace of mind that not all is lost.

I’m sure you’ve heard, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If that “basket” is somehow destroyed, then you’ll have other “baskets” to fall back on. Okay, how does this relate to Prepping? Aside from a lot of prayer and a bug-out location, is there anything you can do?

Look at your resources and most valuable possessions. Without hesitation, people are the absolute most important blessing in your life and there is no denying that protecting them comes first. But you have assets that you will want to safe guard that will help you recover from a catastrophe and take care of the people that you want to protect. Money and important documents come to mind. Let me explain…

#1  What would you need to do to hold you over should a disaster hit? Cash and COPIES of important documents. Be sure to copy both fronts and backs (where necessary) of your Driver’s License, insurance papers, birth certificates, social security cards, your family’s immunization records, credit cards, and more. Money will buy personal necessities that may have been lost but the copies of your documents could provide life-saving information. You can either scan these, photo copy them, or even take pictures of them on your iphone or camera (but don’t lose these!) Another idea is to put this info on a thumb drive. Guaranteed, someone somewhere will have a working computer for you to retrieve your information. Either way will work (hard-copy, pictures, or a thumb drive) but with a thumb drive, you can add other information such as phone, address, and medical info; kids’ names, birthdays, allergies, and so much more.

#2 The amount of money you set aside (to have on hand – readily available) is up to you, but consider your needs and the size of your family. You certainly don’t want to carry any significant amount of money on your person. Place the money and thumb drive in a waterproof container (even something as simple as a freezer-strength Ziploc bag.) Write your name and phone number on the outside with a black permanent marker.

potted_plant#3 Decide where you want to safely keep your money and thumb drive. Safety deposit boxes sound ideal, but keep in mind that banks could close their doors depending on the event. Have a back yard? Secretly bury the money and thumb drive (in the waterproof container) deep enough into the ground so nothing can disturb it. After refilling the dirt, place a large rock, planter, or something else on top to mark the spot. If you live in an apartment or similar dwelling, bury them in the bottom of a large pot filled with dirt and plants. Make it heavy enough so no one will walk away with it and plain enough that nobody would want it! (smile) A thumb drive is small enough that it can be kept on your person, but it’s super important to keep it safe from theft or getting lost. The call is yours! Don’t forget your buried money if you decide to move or evacuate!!!! And don’t forget to share all this information with at least one other TRUSTED person so they will know what to do if you’re not available.

#3 Another thing to consider… after a fire, flood, tornado or other catastrophe, often times authorities will not let you immediately back on your property so you can retrieve your money and/or other information. In this case, you might want to consider giving them to a trusted relative or friend in the same general proximity. Of course, ask them if they’re willing to do this for you. Tell them you’ll throw in a plant in a big pot!  Who knows? They might want you to do the same for them.

NOTE: This idea may sound lame to some, but I keep thinking of all the people that went through the Black Forest fire in Colorado in 2013. They literally lost their homes and all their belongings because they were away from their homes and didn’t have time to evacuate. As I write this article, a fire is burning out of control in Washington and a couple lost everything. They wish they had protected some of their pictures and items that were irreplaceable. Consider copies of these items, too. I’m sure all or most people going through this kind of devastation had money in the bank and important documents in a safety box. But banks closing their doors is a real possibility. It has happened before! That’s why it’s so important to get copies of everything. And, don’t forget to keep a bug-out bag in your trunk at all times. This will provide a change of clothes and a lot of necessities to get you through the next 24-72 hours. More on this later.

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