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  • Where to put possibly-needed emergency info?

    My friend, a single mother of 2 kids, just told me that one of her kids was diagnosed with a mental illness. She asked if I could be on stand-by to pick up her other child in case of emergency. I said yes.

    Since her other child has a complex after-school schedule, she emailed it to me. In the event of an emergency, I can grab the schedule and know where to pick him up. I'd also like to have her cell phone number and some additional info on hand.

    So, now I'm holding a sheet of paper that I may not need for days, weeks, or months. But if I do need it, it should be handy (no shuffling papers, searching through files, etc). I'm thinking it should not be electronically stored, in case I'm not at my computer when she calls. But I don't want it cluttering up my purse/briefcase all the time. I'm perplexed where to put it. Maybe my car glove compartment?

    Do other people have papers like this? Where do they go in your system?

  • #2
    I've got email on my phone, so I'd always have it with me. But if I wanted a hard copy and I didn't want the big ol' thing cluttering things up, I'd shrink it down, fold it up and put it into my wallet. I'd probably copy it onto some stand-out color, but I'm an office supply junkie.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by cojo View Post
      Do other people have papers like this? Where do they go in your system?
      I do. I have them stored in multiple places.

      I have a paper copy in a red binder that is my oh sh*t journal of important stuff. It lives at my desk and hubby & several friends know that is the thing to grab if there is a disaster.

      All the information in it is now also duplicated in encrypted notes in Evernote.

      I also have an Open Office text document with most of it. Filed in a folder on my Mac that is labeled Control Journal (a la Flylady)

      A full set of the Evernote notes is on my iPod Touch, that goes with me everywhere. It lives in a belt pouch that I wear all the time.

      A subset of the critical info is also on paper in the glovebox of both vehicles.

      My suggestion is put several copies in several places but be sure you update all copies when you get corrections or make changes. One of the lists in my red control journal is where all the copies of critical things are stored.

      Comment


      • #4
        Like Oogiem said, Evernote is the perfect solution for this. I have it installed on my laptop, desktop and netbook, and they all stay in sync. It also runs on my iPhone, and I can pull it up on the web using any browser I want.

        Along with notes like that, I store any items that I *might* need at some point, like:

        - Business cards
        - Party/wedding invitations
        - Policy numbers (insurance, etc)
        - Vehicle info (license plate numbers, VINs, etc)

        If you have the premium version of Evernote, you can have it physically store the items on your iPhone/Touch, rather than access them over the air each time. This was critical when we recently went to the ER and my cell didn't have a signal there -- all of the info was already synced to the phone.

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        • #5
          My short answer is: a lot of information can fit on a business card. So I'd start there.

          My longer answer is: A good question for everyone is: Do I really trust my system with vital, mission-critical responsibilities? If not, why not?



          Cheers,
          Roger

          Comment


          • #6
            Another vote for multiple copies. In the front of your file cabinet, in your car's glove compartment, electronically in your phone, electronically in your computer, and at least a minimal version in your wallet (the business card idea sounds good). I think that the wallet version is unavoidable, even if you'd rather not have it cluttering it up.

            Gardener

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mickmel View Post
              If you have the premium version of Evernote, you can have it physically store the items on your iPhone/Touch, rather than access them over the air each time. This was critical when we recently went to the ER and my cell didn't have a signal there -- all of the info was already synced to the phone.
              I'm using evernote more and more. Thanks for this tidbit. I started premium service because I thought the document storage would work better for me for some work things than it does. I was thinking of dropping it. But this is a good reason to hang onto it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Some ideas:

                * store on BB/iPhone if you've got one - using Evernote or whatever

                * if it's a question of paper size maybe print it 1/4 size, possible on two sides, and then fold that down to next to nothing - shouldn't take up much room in your purse of wallet

                Comment


                • #9
                  A meta-answer to how to always have emergency info on hand

                  I suggest the approach be to brainstorm. Spend a few minutes jotting down every conceivable location and situation you might be in, where you would need this information to be immediately available.

                  Then figure out a solution, or more precisely, a set of solutions, to the problem of how to have that information available all the time.

                  If the information is substantial (e.g. pages of information), think if you can triage it. Maybe you only need a small big (e.g. a phone list) for the immediate phase, then when that is under control, you can retrieve the rest of it.

                  Some information in your wallet, on your phone, in "the cloud," in your car, in your office, at home, etc. -- that probably covers pretty much every circumstance.

                  Also make a list of where all THOSE lists are, so if there is an update, you can update all of them and avoid having conflicting and incomplete sets of information.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I raised someone else's child for a few years - I would suggest you get a medical authorization form from the parents if you don't already have one. Since this needed to be an original signed form, I kept it with some other documentation I needed in a small folder - I had copies in the trunks of the cars, in the house, and in my desk at work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great ideas all! Thank you very much. I think I will go with at least a business card in my wallet, but I will forward the email to myself so it's on my phone just in case.

                      Coincidentally, I'm currently on a project to consolidate and update all of my emergency information. I am keeping sheets taped to the wall on each floor of my house with family and emergency phone numbers, but I always thought "if I update them, what if i miss one?" I agree with the poster who said it's a good idea to have multiple copies, plus a "master list" of where all the copies exist so you can check them off for replacement as you update.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        another tid bit

                        Make keeping up to date a project and also have a checklist that includes cueing the parent for updates regarding kid's activities as they wind down and new ones start.

                        If the kid has a cell phone, your numbers should be in it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Red

                          Originally posted by cojo View Post
                          So, now I'm holding a sheet of paper that I may not need for days, weeks, or months. But if I do need it, it should be handy (no shuffling papers, searching through files, etc). I'm thinking it should not be electronically stored, in case I'm not at my computer when she calls. But I don't want it cluttering up my purse/briefcase all the time. I'm perplexed where to put it. Maybe my car glove compartment?

                          Do other people have papers like this? Where do they go in your system?
                          I've reserved the color RED for a limited amount of items that I may need in cases of emergency. E.g., I've got two red boxes, ready to be grabbed, containing everything I'd want to bring out of the house in case of a fire.

                          Following that approach, I'd suggest you use a red container (envelope, folder or whatever is needed) to hold the amount of sheets you mentioned. Consider your contexts and prepare identical red containers for every context where the information is mandatory. When you need to update any of the contained items, update all containers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While there is something to be said for storing the information on multiple places, if you have to update it, that means updating it in multiple places as well and needing some means of keeping up with where all of those places are. Otherwise, when you see the information, you can't be sure it's the latest version. My idea is to keep the information in one place that you can get to from anywhere. I keep that sort of thing in an Outlook Note and sync it to my BlackBerry.

                            Frank Buck
                            http://FrankBuck.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frank Buck View Post
                              While there is something to be said for storing the information on multiple places, if you have to update it, that means updating it in multiple places as well and needing some means of keeping up with where all of those places are. Otherwise, when you see the information, you can't be sure it's the latest version. My idea is to keep the information in one place that you can get to from anywhere. I keep that sort of thing in an Outlook Note and sync it to my BlackBerry.
                              True but the main reason for multiple copies is backup followed by access when machines are down. What happens if your Blackberry is stolen or broken or your machine is unavailable?

                              By keeping critical data in more than one place you are more certain that a copy will be around in case you really need it.

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