When the topic of emergencies comes up, most often the focus is on catastrophic types of emergencies such as floods, fires, storms and earthquakes. People seldom think of smaller everyday types of emergencies such as a lost purse or wallet, an automobile accident, an injury, the failure of an appliance or lawn mower or whatever.

When questions about what might be needed in emergency situations are asked, most responses include things like food, supplies, transportation, access to cash, accommodation, valuables, critical documents and all sorts of similar things. Seldom do you find the word information among the answers. Most people simply do not consider that easy access to good information relevant to the emergency situation may just be one of the more, if not the most important thing that you need.

This article suggests that information about your things and your affairs should be organized and managed in much the same way you organize and manage the things and affairs themselves. It also suggests that having well organized, thorough and accessible information about your things and affairs is just as, if not more important to you when it comes to being prepared for any type of emergency, big or small.

Here are some examples:

You lose a wallet or purse!
- Do you know exactly what was in it?
- Do you have photo-copies of the contents in case you need them in a hurry?
- Do you know who to contact to cancel and replace cards, licenses and certificates?

Your fridge no longer works!
- Do you know where the user and trouble-shooting manuals are?
- Do you have a spare parts catalog?
- Do you know the model and serial numbers?
- Do you know what the warranty situation is?
- Do you know a trustworthy repair service you can call?

You fall ill and are incapacitated for a period of time!
Assuming you manage the household affairs and that you use a computer to carry out most of this work, would your spouse or a designate know:
- what bills to pay - when and how?
- how to access and transfer funds?
- what software and web-sites you use?
- how to access and use the software and web-sites?
- the passwords and id's needed to gain access to the software and web-sites?
- where you keep important documents such as insurance policies, wills and powers of attorney?

You are in an automobile accident and taken to hospital!
Assuming you are unable to communicate at the time:
- how will you convey what medications you are currently taking?
- how will you convey your medical history?
- how will you convey who your doctors are so files can be referenced?
- how will you convey information about allergies and other things you may not tolerate well?
Your home is burglarized and items are missing!
- Do you have a home inventory?
- Will you able to specify what is missing? What their value is?
- Will you be able to prove you owned the missing things?
- Do you have good descriptions and photos of your items so that if they are located you can positively identify them?

Your favorite computer software fails to work!
- Do you know where the user and trouble-shooting manuals are?
- Do you know what web pages to access for help?
- Do you know what sign-on id's and passwords are required to access the site?
- Do you know the name, serial number and any access codes required?
- Do you have any proof of your purchase?
- Do you know where the installation file is?

You lose a key chain with a set of keys on it!
- Do you know what keys were on the chain?
- Do you know where all the copies are?
- Do you remember what all of the keys are used for?
- Do you remember who if anyone you gave copies to?
- Do you know where you can get replacements?

You can use your own imagination to come up with any number of other emergency situations like these. We encounter them often.

Many of us have some or all of the information we need for situations like these. Some of us don't have any. Some of us have it but it is scattered on different pieces of paper or in different computer documents and in different places. Often it is hard to find if in fact you can find it at all, especially when you most need it.

One of the best ways to solve this type of information organization dilemma is to use a computer database application. There are many available, but one which is extremely flexible is called 'the Recordskeeper'. It is completely customizable so that it does not have any limitations relative to categories, naming, phrasing or language. It can be used it to store information about virtually anything. It can also store photos, videos, scanned images, web-site addresses and anything you can store on a computer.

You can use the Recordskeeper to store all the information you will ever need about all of the situations cited above and about practically anything else you may need if for. You can use the Recordskeeper to print reports of this information that you can make available to others in the case of an emergency so that they can access the information they need also. Learn more by visiting the RecordsKeeper website at http://www.therecordskeeper.com

You might want to give it a try if you believe as I do that organizing and managing information about your things and affairs is just as important as organizing and managing the things themselves. Good and accessible information will help you be prepared for any type of emergency.

Bob Robinson

Author's Bio: 

Bob Robinson is the principal and driving force behind RecordsKeeper Software, a company whose products are dedicated to helping people function better and improve their ability to manage their affairs by providing software to help them keep track of a myriad of activities and things. Bob’s passion is providing ideas and software to help people get control of their lives, function better and improve the ability to manage their affairs by having well organized information.

Contact Bob at mailto:rbtrobinson@rogers.com or visit the RecordsKeeper website at http://www.therecordskeeper.com