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Ways To Be Prepared In Case Of An Emergency


September is National Preparedness Month. When disaster strikes, knowing that critical information is safely organized--and accessible--means one less thing to worry about. From floods and hazmat spills to disease outbreaks, emergencies happen every day around the world. Knowing that your critical information--bank accounts, passwords, prescriptions, passport numbers, etc.--is safe and accessible can help make it easier to deal with the matters at hand.

To determine if you're really ready to weather a storm, consider the following:

1. If a disaster strikes, would you have the critical information you would need to recover from the emergency?
2. Do you know what you would do if you couldn't go home or to the office to recover your important papers or files on your computer?
3. If you lost your medications, have you recorded the names, prescription numbers and dosages so you could get new prescriptions filled quickly?
4. Is your personal or corporate financial information available to you outside of your home or office?

The nonprofit Stargazer Foundation provides a free service at Stargazer.org that enables people to organize critical information before an emergency occurs. In the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, the foundation's services were expanded to help people BE REALLY READY for an emergency--getting organized, being informed, staying in touch and taking control.

A key component of the foundation's efforts is the free Stargazer Safety Kit--a series of simple forms that make it easy to organize critical information. There are Safety Kits for families, groups, businesses and communities. With these kits you can:

• Enter your own information on specially created PDF forms;
• Fill out and save your forms on any computer with free Adobe Reader software;
• Print and save with your other important papers;
• Revise and update your information whenever necessary;
• E-mail to or share with only those you select; and
• Store online and access via the Web.

Your information is 100% under your control; nobody sees your information unless you let them.

To learn more or to download a free Stargazer Safety Kit, go to www.stargazer.org.

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