Here’s a common conundrum in the security industry: You cannot possibly plan for every type of event, but you can’t not plan. So what can you do?
The answer, at a high-level, is that you do plan, but you keep your plans flexible and avoid planning for specific events. And that’s what we want to do here as well. Don’t try and be overly elaborate with your planning, but think about it all at a high-level. There are two areas that I advocate considering your priorities:
First, it’s advisable to put together a list of “important numbers”, this includes – but is not necessarily limited to – key phone and account numbers. It may also include addresses, email addresses, and logins. What you put into this list is up to you and your situation and is something you’ll need to think about. The best thought-exercise I can offer is this: imagine everything you normally have access to is gone – you can’t go to your home, you can’t go to work, you don’t have your smartphone, etc. You’ve got *nothing* but the clothes on your back. An extreme example, true, but consider now: what information do you need to keep things going?
Second, give some consideration to where you might go during an evacuation. Hurricane Katrina was an excellent example of why this is necessary thinking. Imagine your entire city and surroundings all leave at once. Every hotel, motel and camping site for a thousand mile radius is taken and those that aren’t full are charging a $1,000 a night. You need a place to setup shop for several days at least, maybe longer. What can you do? Well, if it’s at all possible, find a friend, relative, coworker, etc that lives out of the immediate area. Make an agreement with them, if either of you are in a situation where you MUST evacuate, you can go to the other’s home and stay for at least a week. Set up the agreement such that you don’t need to give much warning (remember, phone lines, etc maybe saturated). You may be sleeping on someone’s floor for a bit, but it’s better than nothing and by making these kinds of plans and having a contingency in place, you clear up space and resources are evacuation shelters for people that really need it. Just by taking care of yourself, you’re helping take care of others.