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Disaster Preparedness Tips from Your NYC Professional Organizer

disaster preparednessNext month we will all see a lot of media stories about America’s PrepareAthon. As an NYC professional organizer, I decided to get an early start since preparedness is absolutely central to what I do.

Natural disasters feature prominently in the PrepareAthon. President Obama certainly thinks so! His message to the country earlier this year regarding the PrepareAthon focused on preparedness tips for severe weather.

After Hurricane Sandy, most of us in New York are all too clear about the dangers posed by such storms. And indeed hurricanes probably pose the single largest and most present natural threat to New York City.

Hurricanes are not the only threat, however. According to a 2002 article in The New York Times, multiple earthquake faults traverse Manhattan. A research scientist at the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory indicated that New York ranks fourth among U.S. cities for earthquake risk, coming in behind only Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Whatever the source of the threat, I wanted as an NYC professional organizer to remind my readers of some of the basic preparedness tips for dealing with a natural disaster.

  1. Plan and practice how you would evacuate
  2. Have cash on hand
  3. Keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle
  4. Have a NOAA weather radio that works on batteries
  5. Set up a group text on your phone so you can communicate with family members and friends quickly
  6. Write down important phone numbers and keep them in your wallet in case you cannot access the list in your phone
  7. Store supplies you would need when at home without power
  8. Review first aid skills and keep a first aid kit

The idea, as with all such preparations, is not to grow morbid. On the contrary, by preparing for the reality of a natural disaster (for it’s a question of when, not if!), we show our human resiliency and capability. We allow the optimism that comes with mindful preparations to be part of the fabric of our lives.

And for me as a NYC professional organizer, that’s the bottom line: Cutting through denial, in all the forms it can take in the home or workplace, to optimize my clients’ life experiences. As they say: Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.

Next time: I will be talking about how to be prepared for a disaster of any kind that occurs during the work day. How do you get home safely and ensure that you and your loved ones are reunited? Stay tuned.

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