Disasters don’t plan ahead – but you can!

Disaster planning
Hurricane Harvey and its subsequent catastrophic flooding in Houston and the surrounding areas make the theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month – “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead – You Can” – all the more urgent. As people in Texas fled their homes to escape the rising water, usually with no more than the clothes on their backs, they risked losing not only their physical possessions but also important papers that can be difficult to replace. While there are many steps you can take to prepare for an emergency – as outlined on Ready.gov’s Make A Plan Checklist – I am highlighting two of the items featured on that page (under “Shareables”) that are especially relevant for my organizing clients.

Document and Insure Your Property

  • Inventory the contents of your home. If you don’t have time to write everything down, then take out your smart phone and walk around the house, photographing or videotaping each room and its contents – even a basic inventory is better than nothing. Then make sure the video is backed up in the cloud and not just residing on your phone.  Vimeo.com is a free web-based service that allows you to store videos and access them from anywhere, should the need arise.
  • Review your property and casualty insurance coverage.  Be sure you know what’s covered, and for what amounts, both in the main policy and in any riders covering specific items (such as jewelry). Check to see if you’ve bought anything new that needs to be added to your policy, or if you’ve sold anything that’s still covered but no longer needs to be.
  • Do you need to add flood insurance, which is sold separately? If so, you should learn about the National Flood Insurance Program. (You can see reviews for insurance companies that participate in this program at this link.)

Protect Critical Documents and Valuables

  • Digitize important documents and store them in the cloud. That way, if your key paper files are destroyed by flood, fire or other disaster, you will still have access to their contents.  ZokuVault.com helps you do this by creating a “virtual safe deposit box” to store, organize and share the most important details of your life with loved ones and trusted advisors. This includes financial and insurance information, vital records, wills and Powers of Attorney, taxes, trusts and estate information, and even any final wishes. ZokuVault is a highly secure web based platform with mobile apps that makes your most important information available to you from anywhere, any time. If you are interested in signing up for ZokuVault, feel free to use the coupon code OYLZOKU2017 to get 20% off your annual subscription.

While one always likes to think that an emergency can never happen to you, the fact remains that one could strike anywhere, at any time.  Be prepared – plan ahead!

Want to keep your key documents safe? Try ZokuVault. Save 20 percent off your annual subscription by using the code OYLZOKU2017.


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  • Did You Know…

    Getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home? (National Soap and Detergent Association)

  • The average employee wastes $5251 a year in time searching for information. (ARMA International)

  • 28% of adults say they pay bills late (thus incurring late fees and interest charges) because they lose them. (Harris Interactive)
  • 80% of what we file is never looked at again. (The Leader-Post)

  • Employees spend 3.5 hours a week searching for information they cannot find. (ARMA International)
  • Americans waste 9 million hours a day looking for misplaced items.
    (American Demographics Society)
  • The self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 40 years.
  • As of year-end 2014, of the approximately 58,000 self storage facilities worldwide, 48,500 of them are in the United States.
  • Almost 9% of all American households currently rent a self storage unit (10.85 million of the 113.3 million US HHs in 2013).

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