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  • Morning Coffee: I’ve got emergency preparedness on my mind

    The huge earthquakes in Haiti and Chile should serve as a reminder to all Californians that we need to be prepared to deal with “the big one” too. Hopefully it won’t hit anytime soon, but you never know. And according to this article, the state as a whole is well prepared but individuals are not. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure we have enough food and water to survive for three to four days. I also recommend flashlights, extra batteries, a radio, and earthquake insurance. (Speaking of which, our premium went up 30% this year (!) – I’ve got an email in to our agent to find out why.) Find more tips here and here.

    Swag Grabber has info on how to get a free can of Halo pet food.

    Money Saving Mom shows off the fruits of her freezer-cooking-day labors. The most impressive thing is that she’s able to fit most of it into her over-the-fridge freezer.

    I don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, but A Full Cup user Foogs reports that there’s a Coupons.com app that you can install to print coupons on a wireless printer. That means you can print more coupons, which of course, means more deals!

    Get a printable coupon for $1/1 Frigo Cheese Head Cheese Snacks. (Via Printable Coupons and Deals.)

    Tomorrow (3/4) between 4 and 7 p.m, you can get a free peach tea drink at Coffee Bean. (Via Tia’s Saving Cents.)

    Get a sneak peek at the 3/5 Shaw’s ad.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is the body that issues product recalls, is asking for your help in spotting the continued sale of recalled products. If you see a recalled product for sale anywhere online, all you have to do is email them at websafety@cpsc.gov.

    Freebies 4 Mom has more codes for Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards points.

    Get a sneak peek at tomorrow’s Jewel ad.

    Thanks to A Full Cup user Idbolen, who posted about a new Kroger instant win game called March to Savings. You’ll find the Ralphs game here; click on the first link for links to all of the Kroger stores. I won a $5 store credit when I played yesterday, which was loaded onto my card and should be there the next time I go to Ralphs. Woot! Plus, it looks like there’s a new Mega Event coming on March 15 that will be buy 8 participating products and get $4 off. After you play the game, you’ll see an option to click for a list of participating products.

    Banner via Escalate Media Affiliate Network

    Earthquake Preparedness: Are you ready for the big one?

    There was an earthquake on Sunday night here in Southern California – it felt like a small one out in the San Fernando Valley, but my friends who live south of LAX said the 4.7 quake gave them a pretty rough jolt.

    By all accounts, the damage and injuries were minimal. But it was a good reminder that an earthquake can happen at any time and it’s important to be ready for one.

    The booklet Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country has a lot of good, basic information. You can read it online, download it as a PDF, or order free copies.

    One thing we’ve done that puts our minds at ease is assemble some emergency kits w/ essentials like a hand-crank radio and flashlight, work gloves, nonperishable food, etc. The California Office of Emergency Services has a comprehensive checklist (pdf).

    This earthquake has reminded me that I need to update the kits with fresh food and clothes for the kids. I think I will also replace the first aid supplies while I’m at it!

    Previously: Emergency Preparedness Reminders

    Emergency Preparedness Reminders

    When I was watching news coverage of the wildfires last weekend, I caught the state insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner, reminding people to take action before their homes were in danger of burning. It was great advice, and I’ve moved the following items to the top of my to-do list:

    Inventory our home.
    This was one of Poizner’s recommendations, and while a thorough inventory takes time, any kind of inventory is better than nothing. It’s been at least three years since our last inventory, probably longer. So before the month is over, we are going to make a video of our home’s contents. As Poizner reminded everyone, keep this video offsite! It will do no good if it’s lost with the rest of your belongings.

    Update my list of accounts and policies.
    My husband and I consider ourselves a team, and we make our family’s financial decisions together. But as is probably obvious, I handle the vast majority of our day to day finances. So I keep a simple list of all of our accounts and various policies for him. The list includes bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, our different insurance policies, account numbers, passwords, contact information, and if applicable, notes on how the account is held (e.g., jointly or individually) and what the account is used for.

    It’s a list we hope my husband will never have to rely on, but if something catastrophic happened to me, I’ll have made things a little easier on him. In fact, I think that when I update it, I will include a section at the end on how I think he should simplify things if I’m not able to manage the accounts anymore. If you don’t have a document like this started yet, check out this guide from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

    Make sure our earthquake kits are fully stocked and updated.
    Because we live in earthquake country, we have several earthquake kits at all times. But sometimes it’s hard to remember to check them to be sure everything in them is updated, especially because the kids are little and growing so fast. I probably need to swap out the diapers and clothes for a bigger size, for example. It’s also good to check items that expire, like food and batteries.

    Make a list of what we’ll take in an emergency.
    I’ve thought about this before, but I never did get around to writing anything down, besides what’s in my post. This time, I am going to actually make a printed list that I’ll put in the grab-and-go earthquake kit so we don’t have to think in an emergency.

    Taking MetaMommy‘s advice, I’ll divide the list into two sections: (1) things to take if we only have 5 minutes to get out and (2) things to take if we have 30 minutes to get out. For the first time ever, I’m putting my coupons on the list! 🙂

    What are your best emergency preparedness tips?

    What would you take with you in an emergency?

    I don’t know how big this story is nationally, but Southern California is ablaze with wildfires. Fortunately, they’re not particularly close to us, though we can smell the smoke if we go outside. As I was watching the news earlier, one of the anchors mentioned that people were packing in case they were told to evacuate. And that got me thinking.

    My husband and I are well-prepared for earthquakes. But you don’t get a warning when an earthquake hits, so our preparation consists of well-stocked emergency bags that we can grab and run out the door with.

    But what if we did have time to pack up a car load of stuff? What would we bring? I’ve been seriously thinking about it tonight. We may be safe from the current wildfires, but we’re not immune.

    I think I would pack up my husband’s computer, because his has all of our family photos (we have backups on CDs, but they wouldn’t include the last couple months). I would grab our fire-proof box, which contains copies of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, passports, etc. I’d also pack handy financial items like our checkbook.

    But other than things like toiletries and clothes, I’m not sure what else would make it into our car. I’m going to think about it more and make a list, though. I don’t want to have to make these kinds of decisions on the spot – I’m sure I’d forget something important.