Organizational Design, Emergency Prep, and Chocolate Covered Bacon
I love being a blogger. I love the hours, the opportunities, and I absolutely adore the community! Not only do I get to connect with bloggers all around the world, I also have a chance to meet some amazing readers and hopefully entertain them and help answer questions. The number one question I receive is “How did you get so freaking awesome?” Well, unfortunately I have no answer for that one. However, I do have an answer for the second most commonly asked question about this blog: “How are organizational design and emergency preparedness related?”
I can totally understand why someone would wonder about the two seemingly-unrelated focuses of this blog. To the untrained eye, they have absolutely nothing in common! However, if you start digging deeper on either of these topics, you’ll quickly realize that emergency preparedness is nothing without organization, and vise-verse. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it!
Why organization is important to emergency preparedness
Say you have your recommended three month supply of food plus emergency supplies. Great! Now you’re good to go, right? Not quite. Do you have an inventory of your food that lists expiration dates? Do you know what batteries your flashlights require and were both the flashlights and spare batteries are located? Can you pinpoint the place of all your important documents and quickly gather them if you needed to evacuate right now? There is so much more to emergency preparedness than just having food and supplies on hand. Organizational systems will help your to track and maximize your supplies, and save you time and money when it comes to using them. Here are a few ways organization is essential to emergency prep:
- Creating a meal plan complete with recipes and THEN purchasing your food storage according to that plan will put you in a much better position than trying to desperately come up with meal ideas from a large supply of random food items when an emergency strikes. (Check out the Thrive Q that allows you to build your food storage based on recipes)
- Along the same lines, scheduling a “food storage meal” several times a month will not only give you practice using your food storage, but with also help you tweak recipes, test your families tolerance for the food, and help you rotate regularly and efficiently.
- Your ability to cook with your food storage isn’t the only thing your need to practice. Take several camping trips and various times of the year to test your emergency kits and survival knowledge. You can even practice emergency situations by shutting off power and water in your home for a day or two, or participating in a “quick evacuation” camping trip where your family only have access to the items in your 72 hour emergency kit.
- Creating an important documents binder with copies of birth certificates, insurance papers, and more can help your rebuild your life after many emergencies. Keep this information in a well hidden spot that can be accessed quickly and easily if needed, such as during a fire or evacuation. You may want to keep a digital copy of this information with a trusted friend or family member as well.
- Print articles on emergency skills you may need to review during a crisis. Whether it is fire-building or bread making, if you don’t have the skill committed to memory, you may want to consider having a hard copy available. As much as I LOVE my “Simply Prepared” pinterest board as a resource for all things Prepper, I know that more than a few disasters have the ability to knock out the power and leave me (literally) in the dark.
- We can’t leave out physical organization. If you can’t find an item, it is just as bad as not having it in the first place. Maybe even worse because you’ll probably spend extra money buying another! Make sure all your supplies have a logical home, and keep a written list of their locations in your emergency binder.
- Keep a running inventory of your emergency food, their storage locations, and their expiration dates so you can use and rotate them as necessary. Also be sure to store them properly, preferably in FIFO order (first-in-first-out) so that you never end up storing a can of green beans that expired 5 years earlier. Organizing food rotation units like these not only help you track and rotate your food supplies properly, they also look pretty darn awesome!
Why emergency preparedness is important to organization
So maybe organization in your emergency prepping isn’t too surprising. Organization can make anything better. It’s like bacon. Or chocolate. Have you ever had chocolate covered bacon? It’s actually pretty good. And just like chocolate goes surprisingly well with bacon, emergency prep can also add a surprising yet beneficial kick to your organization. Lets look at the example of a friend of mine.
She is an amazing mom. She runs all her kids to school and sports activities, maintains a pretty clean house and manages to make a healthy dinner for her family most nights. Yep, she’s pretty awesome. She thrives on routine and has the schedule down pat! She is the very definition of “organized.” Everything was going really well until she ended up on bed rest during her last pregnancy. Unable to do much more than update her Facebook status and catch up on her reading, she started watching her house fall apart around her. She knew when and where everything thing and everyone was supposed to be, but the rest of her family didn’t. Kids were late for soccer practice, fast food was picked up more often than not, and cleaning fell to the wayside. While not an “emergency” in the traditional sense, some of the preparedness skills could have helped her and her family during this difficult time. Lets take a look at some of them:
- Extra food (especially quick cooking or homemade freezer meals) would have kept the fast food at bay. On top of that, it can would minimize the need for extra shopping trips, at least for a little while.
- Schedules for everything. We have a home binder that keep track of appointments and activities, and my husband (who keeps track of the bills) has a list of what is due when, to whom and how much. I even have a weekly cleaning schedule. If one of us were unable to preform our usual tasks, the other person would know where to look so they can pick up the slack.
- Luckily my friend was only out of commission for a short while, but not all families are so lucky. Do you know where to locate life insurance information? What about other financial accounts or even passwords to social networks? Final wishes and wills? Nobody likes to think of these things, but the only things certain are death and taxes. Preparing that information now will save your precious sanity when needed.
- Most people have at least some form of a loose financial budget, but consider creating a strong monthly plan for your income that includes saving a bit each month for a “rainy day.” This could help you alleviate debt (and the stress that goes along with it), feel more comfortable and confident in your day to day purchases, and when that unexpected expense occurs you will already have the means to tackle it!
- Finally, it will focus your perspective. Organizing often involves purging and sometimes this is a painful process. In emergency preparedness, you consider what your really need to survive. Usually these are the bare basics, the essentials. Family, food, water, shelter. It helps you recognize your needs as opposed to your wants, and you are able to let go of the extras that may be holding you back. No, you don’t need to rid yourself of every luxury, but the perhaps you wont fret quite as much about getting rid of those spare stuffed animals in favor of solar oven.
So you can see that the the lines between organization and emergency preparedness are often blurred. I’m tempted to say that organization is simply pre-emergency preparedness. One cannot quite function without the other, and both help improve the quality of life considerably. Both take practice, dedication, and the occasional adjustment to find the correct personal balance. While they may appear unrelated, I firmly believe that emergency preparedness and organization both deserve a place in our lives and on this blog. What about the occasional crafty post like my painted family tree? Well, a girl’s gotta have some fun If you agree, the join me in our little community. It’s always nice to have another awesome person around!
I want to hear from you!
Do you believe organization and emergency preparedness are related and to what extent?
Do you consider yourself organized? How about prepared for emergencies?
What is your favorite chocolate covered treat or are you more of a bacon wrapped kinda person?
(ps I like to give props where props are due. I can’t find the origin of the chocolate covered bacon image. If it happens to be you, give me a shout out so I can credit you!)