Thursday, February 20, 2014

Preparedness on the Cheap: Making a Phone List

One of the cheapest preparedness activities you can do is to make a phone list. This very easy activity will give you and your family peace of mind when an emergency arises. This list will also let your family know who you prefer to do business with as well as who to call if they can not contact you.

You might think you have all the important numbers memorized, but that does not mean your children, any caretakers, or other family members do. When an emergency does arise, you can get very flustered quickly. You might blank out and forget the number just when you need that phone number the most!

I believe it is important to have these phone numbers in your cell phone as well as having a printed list in a preparedness binder and hung up by the main phone or in an office. If you are away from home, you have the list in your cell phone. If your cell phone dies and/or you are not able to recharge it, you have a printed copy of the phone list. This might seem excessive to have lists in that many places, but I believe in back-up to back-ups to back-ups.

My phone list is pretty simple. I use an Excel worksheet and have two columns: name and phone number. You can write this out on a sheet of lined paper also. For the list that I hang in my office, I use a sheet protector to keep it looking nice.

What you should include in your list:

Your area emergency number (911)
Your home phone number
You and your significant other's cell phone numbers
You and your significant other's work numbers
Any cell phone number of family members living with you
Any home and cell phone numbers of family members living close by
Any grandparents home and cell phone numbers
Any neighbors phone numbers 
Close friends' home and cell phone numbers who can be counted on in an emergency
School phone numbers if you have kids in school
Utilities - electrical, gas, water, sewer
Favorite repair persons/businesses - electrical, plumbing, handyman, vehicles, etc.
Phone companies
Hospitals, health clinics, doctors, dentists
Veterinarians if you have pets
Bank and/or credit card company (I will leave it up to you about the credit card company) 
Local sheriff's department, police department, and fire departments phone numbers (most have a local number you can call)

Also important is having one central location for any phone books as well as having a phone book in your preparedness binder and your vehicle. If you have a need for a phone number that is not on your list, you will have a phone book with you to look up the number. I get several phone books from different companies in March and April so I have enough to go around. You might be able to find extras at the local library or post office. I also keep the previous year's phone books just in case I don't have enough.

This is a very easy preparedness activity! With the snowy weather we are having today, this would be a perfect activity to do while stuck indoors!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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