Survival Preparedness

Survival Preparedness-Are Your Ready For A Disaster

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Today I feel like I must address survival preparedness, are you ready for a disaster? Are you ready to evacuate your home within minutes, possibly seconds? If you have your TV on and listen to the news you may have seen the recent fires in Utah, and California, horrendous fires. Other states have had fires as well, it makes you realize how things can change in the blink of an eye, literally.

Here’s the deal, the California fires have made me realize I must keep more emergency items stocked in my car. It also makes me check the gas gauge more often, a lot more often. As I watched the homes, the churches, and the businesses burn to the ground, I thought to myself, these people have lost everything, luckily most of the people survived, as far as the news I have heard. I sure hope they grabbed their important documents, can you imagine having to get those duplicated?

Survival Preparedness

Your Surroundings

Be aware of your surroundings, can you smell smoke, is it really quiet, I mean too quiet? Is it windier than usual in your neighborhood? Do you see someone that does not live in your neighborhood looking suspicious?

Gas Tanks

Please keep your gas tanks at least 1/2 full, ideally 3/4 full. If you lose power and need to evacuate, the gas stations may have such long lines they may run out of gasoline by the time you get to the pumps. You also don’t want to run out of gas on the freeway, you may be in danger if some crazy deranged person wants food, water, or much worse in your vehicle.

Important Documents

No excuses here, my friends, I have a FREE download to help you gather your critical hard-to-replace documents. I even have instructions for you. Please get on it, it’s a piece-of-mind thing. You will be so grateful you followed through with this one. If your stuff is in a safety deposit box that’s great. I hope you have copies because if the bank loses power for days, weeks, or months, your documents will be locked up all right, but unable to access them. I used to work at a bank, I understand why some people have those safety deposit boxes. I just want you to think about power outages.

How To Compile My FREE Emergency Binder Download by FoodStorageMoms

FREE Emergency Binder Instructions:

  1. I have the link for you to easily print these pages at the bottom of this post. I suggest you get some colored tabs (ten tabs) to go with your binder like these: Avery Extra wide Ready Index Dividers, Laser/Ink Jet, 9.5 x 11 Inches, Assorted, 10 Tabs, 1 Set (11165)
  2. Get some zippered binder pockets like these: Cardinal Expanding Zipper Binder Pocket, Clear, 3/PK (14201)
  3. I used baseball cards pages or photo pages similar to these: Avery Horizontal Photo Pages, Acid-Free, 4 x 6 Inches, Pack of 10 (13406)
  4. I also purchased binder pockets like these: Avery Binder Pockets, Acid-Free, Pack of 5 (75254)
  5. Page protectors like these: Avery Standard Weight Sheet Protectors, Pack of 25 Sheet Protectors (75530)
Read More of My Articles  What To Do With Old Sandbags


“Emergency Contact Information” is a section to collect the home and cell phone numbers of family members, friends, etc. These are numbers we might not remember in a real disaster or emergency. We are so used to having the numbers stored in our cell phones or emails stored on our laptops, etc. What if we can’t use our cell phones, then what? What if we can’t use our laptops, then what? This is why we need these numbers or emails in the “Food Storage Moms Emergency Binder.”

Photo Pockets: It’s a good idea to have two pictures of your family members or friends in case you get separated in an emergency. This way you keep one picture and you post another picture of someone on a “search and find” wall should you get separated.


“Bank and Investment Accounts” is a section I designed to fill in your bank account numbers, bank phone numbers, bank street addresses, or email addresses. If you need to dash out the door in a real disaster or unforeseen emergency you might need these numbers if you can’t return to your home. I suggest you take copies of all of your credit and or debit cards (front and back) for two reasons. If you lose or have your wallet/purse stolen you have the card numbers and the phone numbers to reach the credit/debit card companies to report your loss.


“Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Religious Documents, School Graduation Papers, etc. This is where you will place your original, or copies if you prefer, and they are ready to grab and take should you need to leave your home in a short amount of time. They are all together in this binder, just grab and go.


“Zippered Bag” is for your original passports, Copies of your driver’s licenses, concealed weapon permits, Social Security cards, Medicare cards, etc.


“Medical/Dental Information” and “Insurance Information.” If we need to leave our homes unexpectedly we might be glad we have our Doctor’s, Dentist’s, and Pharmacy names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. We can include medical issues we have and medications with dosages we take. We might need the drug’s name, dosage, and how often to take it. Please write down any allergies you or a family member might have.

We might need our insurance policy numbers, agent’s phone numbers, and addresses. We might need our Medicare/supplemental insurance coverage documents. If we have this in our binder we are good to grab and go.

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“Accounts/Website Access Codes” This section needs to be kept in a safe place, as well as all of the documents listed above in all the tab areas. This section would be important if someone in the family is hurt and the other family member has no idea how to gain access to your joint accounts. If you need to check your accounts and you can’t go back to your house you will at least have these facts to “carry on” with your everyday family matters.


“Zippered Bag” is available to start collecting small bills like ones and fives. If we lose power the ATM machines will NOT work. The GAS PUMPS will NOT work. You will need small bills to pay for things. The stores, gas stations, etc. will not have change for a $20.00 bill. Period! Please start putting small bills in this zippered bag. You’ll be glad you did.


“Titles” This section is where you’ll want to place your Titles to Cars, Boats, etc.


“Will/Family Trust” This is where you could place the most important sections (copies at least) of your trust and/or wills.


I left this section empty so you may put anything else that you may need or want should you have to leave your home ASAP.

When you have an emergency in your neighborhood or community if you have the binder sheets completed and your important documents in a binder you can grab them and leave feeling more confident that you’ll be ok. Please remember your prescriptions, pets, and pet care. May God bless you for your efforts.

***Please download on a laptop or stand-alone computer, the file may be too large for your phone:

Food Storage Moms FREE Printable Emergency Binder Download


Please have a few ones, five, and ten-dollar bills available to take with you in your binder. Please store your binder in a safe location so you can grab it and go out the door.


Grab your prescriptions if you need to flee your home. Natural Remedies That Work in an Emergency


Grab your pet’s bug-out bag if it isn’t already in your car. Be sure and have a document showing vaccinations, this will be critical, I promise.


Please keep your car stocked with food and water for at least five days worth.

Emergency Car Kit

Please keep your car stocked with emergency items, Car Kit or Survival Car Kit

First Aid Kit

This post is one of my most popular posts. First Aid Kit

Final Word

I pray that all of you get prepared for the unexpected as soon as possible so you are ready to evacuate if you need to leave your neighborhood quickly. Practice telling one another to grab your emergency binder, prescriptions, etc. Monitor your gas tank, and rotate the water and food in your car. Survival preparedness will save your life IF you are prepared. May God bless this world. Linda

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  1. Linda…to some your advice and encouragement to get prepared may sound fanatical but you are so right on…thank you for this reminder again. Most of us cannot begin to comprehend the urgency in situations that would cause us to have to flee. Thank you for taking the time and energy to educate your readers…I very much appreciate you!
    Deb 🙂

    1. Hi Deb, you made my day, girlfriend! Sometimes I feel it may be redundant but if even one person gets on the stick to be prepared I know I tried. May God bless you, Linda

    2. Deb Samso

      Linda…to some your advice and encouragement to get prepared may sound fanatical but you are so right on…thank you for this reminder again.

      Perhaps that’s because it is fanatical, LOL
      Imagine paying insurance premiums for a lifetime and not having any auto accidents or house fires. I think no one would pray for that accident or fire, just to not waste the premiums, so anyone thinking this is fanatical would no doubt drop their insurance.

      Most of us cannot begin to comprehend the urgency in situations that would cause us to have to flee. Thank you for taking the time and energy to educate your readers…I very much appreciate you!

      If we stop to think about it for even a minute, we all can appreciate it and once again, that’s why we pay those insurance premiums, so adding a bit more on top for our physical comfort and safety should be an easy thing to convince you. I know quite a few people who agree with the sentiment; but, just never quite get around to it. Procrastination is I think the biggest hurdle to preparedness.

      1. Hi, Ohio Prepper, I love it when I type Ohio Prepper, by the way! Your comment makes us think about why we need to be prepared. Comparing it to insurance is a great idea. We buy it because so we have peace of mind. Having food storage, water and preps give you and I peace of mind. Great comment! Linda

  2. I live in a desert town, no earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, forest fires, or volcanoes, so seemingly safe from most natural disasters. But one weekday early afternoon when few neighbors were home the desert scrub in the small wash behind our house several doors down caught fire and spread quickly. When I smelled smoke I was alarmed when i saw how close it was to my neighbors homes and coming my way. I knew of the things I’d need in an emergency evacuation and where they were, but never imagined having to gather them in ten minutes. Papers, meds, cat, pictures, toiletries, family heirlooms, oh! phone charger, laptop… I kept thinking of more. In a panic you’re frantic. Have drills now at different times of days and seasons for sudden evacuations. It can happen to any of us at any time.

    1. Hi Jenny, great comment, oh my gosh, a fire is scary!! I totally agree with your comment about have drills different times of the day, etc. Excellent tip! Thank you, Linda

  3. Linda, at this time 23 folks have perished and 110 are still missing in the California fire. Most of the missing will be found as they fled and haven’t checked in with family and 1st responders. I hadn’t heard of the Utah fires but will pray for all in harms way. My husband’s 2nd cousin evacuated Thursday night from the Camp Fire and happily was allowed to return on Saturday where she found her home in tact and they are fine. My heart breaks for those in this situation which is why I, like you, keep doing what we can to encourage folks to prepare. EVERY, every, every large fire I hear someone being interviewed by the media say “I only had 10 minutes notice and couldn’t think of what I should take.” By definition, once the disaster hits, it is too late to Prepare.

    In addition to practicing the drill, I suggest folks make their plan and post lists wherever everyone in the family will have easy access. Even the most prepared family will have brains turned to mush when they get the order to leave. A simple 10 cent back-to-school spiral notebook works great and I like the cover to be red or yellow indicating it’s important and easily seen. Write everything down. Prioritize the things that you would absolutely hate to lose and decide what is truly important if you only had 2 minutes to load the car, 2 hours or 2 days. This exercise tends to put your life in perspective as you figure out what each person values.

    It took me a long time to copy my documents as I was scared to death of identity theft. Once someone had that folder, I could be in a big mess as they would have the paper trail of my life. I’m so glad I got over that! I found a great hiding place (if you know where to look) and is easily accessible. My husband and I know where it is and I keep it up to date. Originals are in a ‘fire proof’ safe in another building. I have even more peace of mind now that’s it’s done.

    Thanks for your posts and keep on encouraging those who aren’t sure why we are so passionate about preparedness for all kinds of situations.

    1. Hi Debbie, wow, I don’t remember this many fires in one year or even two years. This is crazy and I worry for those who are not prepared. Sometimes people dilly dally and then they realize this is it! We need to be prepared! May God bless all those involved in these horrific fires in California. Blessings, Linda

  4. Linda, thank you for continuing to educate as many people as possible. I presented your Emergency Information Binder to our Sunday School class a couple of weeks ago. Handed out printouts to 18 couples. Actually had several question me after class and ask to see the binders I had put together to show as samples. Your pages are detailed and very useful. I am hopeful that several of our fellow classmates will be creating binders to sharewith their own families.

  5. I think each person should have their own “package” of documents, photos, inventory of valuable items ready to go. And plenty of accessible keys to lock up, open or get to your vehicles. Not having a key, or forgetting a password or code can really impede us from taking quick action.
    There is just too little time to gather stuff up when a crisis emerges and in the excitement (resulting from fear, stress, adrenaline rushes) it’s easy to forget things. I have always like your emphasis on organization and having everything ready. Seems like everyday I keep saying I need to do this or that in case of an emergency.
    That feeling of guilt motivates me 🙂 But I know how being ready is always such a good feeling and always worth the effort.

  6. I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law this last summer. There was a huge forest fire near their home. When I left my home for the 4+ hour drive to her home, they were at stage 1 evacuation (be aware) and I thought to stay home. She insisted I still come over! When I arrived at her home, they were at stage 2 evacuation (load your vehicles and be prepared to leave). Within an hour of arriving at her home, we were put on level 3 evac (leave immediately). She and BIL had packed their car and pickup with those things they thought were important (papers, precious mementos – pictures, quilts, etc.). We continued to pack my car as well. We left her home in the country and stayed with my niece in town 15 miles away. It was pretty frightening that we were not able to know what was happening. My BIL was able to go to the home on a 2X daily basis to keep things watered down and survey the situation.

    We were in stage 3 evac for the week I was there. It was chaotic at my niece’s home with her, her 4 kids, sis, BIL, a nephew (who was also in stage 3 evac) and me!!

    The fire burned up to her back yard and all around her home. She was a wreck! She wondered if she had been able to get everything out that she and hubby would need to rebuild their lives if the house had burned. They were prepared as far as getting important documents out – grab and go binder – but she wasn’t sure she had gotten the most important precious items out.

    Having gone through this with my sister, makes me really realize the importance of preparing and analyzing what IS important. I want my papers, some clothing, and that is about all that cannot be easily replaced (well the clothing can but…).

    1. Hi Leanne, I can’t imagine going through what you and your family went through. It’s interesting because I don’t ever remember this many fires that have been so damaging. I know over the years there have been some really bad ones, but oh my gosh, this year is beyond words. I’m glad you explained to me about the stage 1 evac, stage 2 evac, and stage 3 evac. I am watching the news on the Camp Fire fire and the Malibu fire to name a few and wonder how it got so bad so fast. I realize the pine trees are dangerous when a spark hits them. But I saw people driving down the street (I have never been there) and there were huge flames on both sides and in front of some of the cars. Talk about scary for the families, the firefighters, and the first responders. I am praying for all of them. Hugs, be safe! Linda

  7. Linda, my son keeps his important paperwork in MY emergency binder, so when he gets married soon I am going to give him his own! Thank you for helping me start this young couple out on the right foot.

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