Is Your Emergency Information Ready for an Emergency?

Notebooks and Binders Full of Emergency Information

I have been reading about preparedness online for several years. I love all of the information I have collected over years of searching and reading. I have so many binders and notebooks full of information!


Binders Full of Emergency Information

At first, I wasn’t keeping paper records of the important information I found online. I had so much information saved on my computer. Then the thought came to me… What if the power goes out? What if my laptop dies? What if both of these things happen! The information I have been collecting would not be available to me when I really need it.

What Happens When the Power Goes Out?

In today’s world, we tend to forget that our phones, laptops, and tablets run out of power… until they die! Then we are scrambling to find the chargers and plug them back in.

Well, in a real emergency situation that’s probably not going to work. We all know it, but for one reason or another we delay, and we just keep doing things the same way. So what can we do?

The other day, I was reading another entry from the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. I realized that in all the years I have been following along, not much has been said about different ways to save the information that I have collected.

5 Steps to Get Your Emergency Information Ready for an Emergency

Here are five steps you can take to prepare your emergency information, so that it is ready to go when an actual emergency happens:

Step #1: Get an “Emergency Note Tote”
Any tote from your favorite store will do. The size of your tote depends on the amount of information you need to save – you might want a binder, or you might want a plastic file box. My tote is my favorite color – this helps me to remember it when I come across something new I want to add to it.

Step #2: Weed Out Your Electronic Info
Select only the most important information on your computer that you want to save. You won’t be able to take your entire library of information with you if you need to leave quickly. So narrow it down to the things you really need to have with you during an emergency. Print them out!

Step #3: Review Your Notebooks
You took the course, and you took good notes. Don’t forget to go through your hand-written notes and find the most important information that you want to take with you in an emergency. If your notes are clearly written in ink, you can just throw them right in. If your notes aren’t clear, or you wrote them in pencil, you might choose to type them up and print them out instead.

Step #4: Build Your Emergency Note Tote
Take the most important information from your computer print outs, and the most important pages from your notebooks, and add them to your emergency note tote. Organization is key. Separate information into useful categories like medical, water, gardening, etc. Color coding is a good way to find what you need quickly.

Step #5: Store Your Emergency Note Tote
Find an easy access spot to store your emergency note tote. If you have bugout bags, you should keep your tote in the same place. Keeping your tote in a designated spot will help you get to it quickly in any emergency situation – whether it’s Lights Out or Bugout!

Prepare for the Future

We place much importance on education in our society today. The biggest “What If” situations may seem improbable, but they are not impossible! The books, binders, and notebooks we collect today might be a large part of the education of our children tomorrow. In an extreme situation, they might be the only education!

Preparing food, water, and gear is very important. But let us not forget that we had to learn all of our skills from somewhere. Prepare your information so that your children and grandchildren can learn the same skills that you have now!


Thanks to Crystal Moore for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest.

We’re still getting the list of prizes lined up for the Spring 2016 Writing Contest. We awarded over $2,097 in prizes for the Fall Writing Contest, including all of the following:

– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
– 1 free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $239 value
– A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
– 2 large heirloom seed collections from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, valued at $103 each
– A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $59 each
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $43 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $33 each
– 4 copies of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, valued at $31 each

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  • Ginny says:

    Thanks for the reminder to print out electronic information! Just to add something though – make sure when printing out important stuff that a laser printer or similar is used, not an inkjet. I made the mistake of printing out some of mine with an old inkjet I had at the time. Some of it got wet and well, you can guess what happened; all those pages were just smeared with running ink and the info I needed was gone! Now I have a good laser and tested some pages with water and coffee and while some of the pages stuck together with the coffee, the printing was still clear and legible.

  • Sandy says:

    Over time, no doubt written records of how to do unfamiliar tasks will be priceless. I would love to know what you found essential!

    At the onset of an emergency, though, there will be so much information to assimilate in assessing the nature of the emergency and how to deal with it, especially if a family or group of close friends are involved, there may not be time to review and think out how to follow note.s.

    Now, beforehand, talking over scenarios, agreeing on a plan and acting out the plan together will imprint vital emergency instructions physically. Sure , grab your note tote on the way out the door, but know the plan and how to adjust for the unexpected by practicing together now.

    A very experienced kindergarten teacher who had organized many conferences and team projects once told me that confronted with a new situation, be prepared to explain everything as if you are talking to six year olds. This is not because they are dumb, this is what happens when there is no developed context for a group activity.

  • sueb says:

    another thing along with binders i have a nook, a kindle, and several usb with info on them all. each usb holds own categories… pdfs downloaded and transferred….solar chargers would probably be in order. not that expensive anymore either. just a thought.

  • Deanna says:

    I’m curious what kinds of things you put in your binder? I guess I’m new enough to this that I’m not sure I understand what would be important and what would be useless (or less useful). Thanks…

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Hi Deanna – I think any information that you might need right away would be good to store here. Maps, info on treating water, info on wild edibles, instructions for any gear you haven’t tested yet, etc. I think it really depends on you personally, and which information you think would be the most important for you to have if… you know, something happened.

  • Lynda says:

    This is one of the many things I’ve prepared for. I save all my data, first to an external drive, second to a series of flash drives that hold all of our photos, receipts. personal & health records, & prepping data. Lastly, I have backups of all those flash drives. I back the drives up monthly; this last set of drives is stored in the safe. When the EMP hits I might lose a few recent records that haven’t made it to the safe stored drives, but I’ll have most of our records in an easy to carry form. I have a brand-new laptop that has never been used & is stored in the safe with all the hard copies of things I feel we may need. Since it is always kept in the safe, it won’t be affected by the EMP when it hits. As for charging it, not only do we have close to 1,000 gallons of propane, but I also have a foldable & portable solar charger. It comes with numerous connections. This item is also stored in the safe. We don’t PLAN to bug out. We prefer to bug in. If we HAVE to bug out, all those things are right there together in the safe. I keep the drives, hard copies, camera, & 2-way radios packed in a ammo can. I chose that because it’s waterproof & very sturdy. Nothing is likely to either fall out or get damaged.

  • Kathleen Griffin says:

    Great ideas for the organization of all our collected information that I wouldn’t want to loose.

  • Crystal Chandler-Moore says:

    I am just curious, have the winners be drawn for this Contest time frame that was set? I have not seen who the “winners are” post made. All I wanted by entering was my membership to continue, that’s the best prize of all! The wealth of information on your site is wonderful!!

    1. butterfli117738514 says:

      Who placed? Can’t find the “winner’s are” post!?

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