Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saving Important Documents

Saving Important Documents

I'm one of those people who likes to be super organized and have "a place for everything and everything in it's place," not that I always succeed; but it's really important to keep track of certain things and organize them before you really need them and it's too late.

It's a good idea to make copies of your important documents and/or save them together in a safe place in case of emergencies/disasters.  I have a list below of some documents to consider saving in a special place.  If possible, keep them in a fireproof box or safe or have copies in different places in case something happens to your house.  You can buy a small fire box for a reasonable amount.  Also, you might want to keep documents in a plastic bag to keep them dry on the move.  If you go to grab them, better to have them in a bag than have to try to find one in a rush.

When I posted this, I could find this fireproof
 box for under 20 dollars.

~~Save your receipts!  Save receipts on anything you are still paying for and on recent bills.  If (when) a major economic collapse happens or a major disaster happens that could include computers crashing, you don't want anyone to be able to say "well, we don't see that you've made a payment on that for the last six months."  This would include your house, car, electric bill, etc.

~~Something to consider.  A lot of people look up and save information on their computers for emergencies; but an important thing to remember is, if a major disaster happens, chances are you won't have access to your computer anymore or have the time to look up a bunch of information.  It's very important to take notes and print information and keep it in a safe place for when you need it.  I especially like Pinterest to save photos with links to information, but I try to take notes or print the things I may need in an emergency.  Also, it's a good idea to buy books on certain subjects that will come in handy in an emergency.

~~ID photos. Also, it's a great idea to have a photo of each family member in case you get separated in an emergency. 

~~I don't know about flashdrives myself, but you can store information on those to take with you. 

~~Some suggested documents to get organized and keep in a safe place:

Birth certificates
Identification cards
Next of kin information
Emergency numbers
Driver's license copy
Social Security card
Marriage license
Divorce papers
Tax information
Recent bank statements
Recent bill receipts
Property deeds
Mortgage Agreement
Rental agreement
Wills, including living wills
Power of attorney papers
Medical insurance and cards
Eyeglass prescriptions
Medication prescription list
Vaccination list
Pet vaccinations, including rabies
Gun permits
Business licence
Car insurance policy
Life insurance policy
Credit card information
Court orders
Other important legal documents

Also see my post on having a BOB, Bug Out Bag, and items to store in there, including important papers.  (click here)
Thanks for checking out my blog.

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Purifying Water in an Emergency

Purifying Water in an Emergency

This is not far from my home, a river going out 
into part of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.  :)

If you are caught in some sort of an emergency without healthy tap water or stored water, there are several ways you can make water safe for drinking.  The first choice, if possible, would be to boil it...

Bring the water to a boil and boil for a minute.  

Some sites will tell you to boil it for 5 minutes; but really, just getting it to a boil will do it.


Use regular household bleach (5.25-8.25%) that hasn't had perfumes or dyes added.

Use 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) per gallon of water and let it sit for 30 minutes.

For cloudy water, use double the amount of bleach.


Use 3 drops per quart or  12 drops per gallon of water and let sit for 30 minutes.

Use double if the water is cloudy.

Iodine Tablets

Use per the directions on the bottle.

Home-Made Filter
Use layers of gravel, sand, and charcoal to drain the water through.  You can cut the bottom off of a 2-liter bottle, turn it upside down, layer charcoal, then the sand, and then the gravel at the top.  Use a cheesecloth,  coffee filter, or  nylon over the opening where the water comes through the bottom.  
You can use different types of sand in the layers also with the more coarse sand above the fine sand.  You can even include cloth in between some of the layers.

Emergency Filter Straw
You can purchase special "straws" to drink water through like these: (great for a backpack)


You can use a clear water bottle and lay it in the sun for at least 6 hours.  The ultraviolet light kills pathogens in the water.  Here is an informative article about using sunlight to purify water.  (click here)   


I found this interesting article about how you can use Alum to remove "suspended particulates" from the water before filtering it.  I had never heard of doing this, but you can check it out.  (click here)

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