Checklist | 32 actions to prepare for an emergency

Sharing from a friend...this is Shareen Kendalls friends Hurricane checklist!

To all my friends who may be in the path of Irma & riding the storm out.

This is the most comprehensive list I've seen so far! Be prepared!

1. Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still be used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups.

2. Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. (Add bleach to sterilize.)

3. Fill every tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill washing machine and leave lid up to store water.

4. Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands.

5. Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply.

6. Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.

7. Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter.

8. Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power.

9. Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated.

10. Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you'll be sweating a lot. You're going to want clean sheets.

11. Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don't have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster.

12. Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills.  One friend with a pool put all the furniture under water into the pool itself.

13. Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes. Even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area.

14. Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean odor free environment. Store water filled trash cans next to each toilet for flushing.

15. Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.  If you have time scan them in and store in a cloud - dropbox or google (dont store them locally as with no power you cannot access them.  If you lose them, they will be available when your power is back.  Remember FamilyDo calendar automates this process in Dropbox for you.

If you can, take a video of your house and contents....walk room to room--open cabinets/drawers and closets. This will help if you need to make a claim later. It will show proof of items and help you list all the items (help your memory, so you don't forget anything)...I highly recommend!!!  Again upload to Dropbox (via FamilyDo or direct), GoogleDocs or another cloud.

16. Make sure you have cash on hand.

17. Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets.

18. Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.

19. Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee, and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra, if possible.

20. Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges.

21. Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, and other items and keep them accessible.

22. Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you'll have to live in the mess you started with.

23. Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs. Store the items you'll need in that location for the brunt of the storm. Make a hand fan for when the power is out.

24. Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit.

25. Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don't flush them. It's not the time to risk clogging your toilet!

26. Run your dishwasher, don't risk having dirty smelly dishes and you need every container for water! Remember you'll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself, and cleaning your hands.

27. Put a small suitcase in your car in case you decide to evacuate. Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don't evacuate! You don't need to store all water in the house. Remember to pack for pets as well.

28. Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans, and check on elderly neighbors.

29. Remember, pets are family too. Take them with you!

30. Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.

31. Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out.

32. Life jackets/vest & inflatable rafts might also help if you need to leave your home if it becomes flooded.

I also heard you should freeze a cup of water, place a coin on top after it is frozen...keep this in your freezer to help you gauge the temperature if the power goes out. If the coin stays on top, the food is staying frozen. If the coin falls into the water, the freezer thawed out and most food will likely need to be thrown away. This is super helpful if you have to leave and come back, as it may appear everything is still frozen, but if the coin is in the cup--you will know!!

Finally, anything that you want to try and preserve, but you can't take with you---place it in a plastic bin and put in your dishwasher, lock the door---this should make it water tight in case of any water intrusion into your home. But of course, take all the important/irreplaceable items you can!!

3 Tips to be More Organized as an Adult Leader of Youth.

As a young women leader here are three tips to help get organized;

  • Keep a task list that you can refer to, write down all to-do's in your mind before you sleep - it frees your mind from trying to remember and helps you sleep.  FamilyDo has a useful and easy to use To-Do list.  If it needs to be done urgently add a date so it appears on your calendar for the next day.  
  • Block your time in 30 minutes even if you only think your to-do will only take 5 minutes. You can always put 3 or 4 to-dos in one 30 minute time slot.
  • At the end of each day, answer emails, phone calls and review the calendar and to-dos for the following day.  Prioritize what is important.  If it is important give it an actual time on your calendar.

What Is A Private Cloud?

The pursuit for greater control and being prepared for any event starts with getting your digital world de-cluttered, organized, secured, and properly networked.  

A private cloud is cloud computing that delivers similar advantages to public cloud, such as reduced costs and scalability.  However unlike public clouds, which deliver services to multiple organizations, consumers or families, a private cloud is dedicated and secured to a single organization or family.  

Having your own organization cloud or your own family cloud minimizes the security concerns around cloud especially important for military families, health data, church organizations or family offices. Having your own private cloud also means you have direct control over your data i.e. you own your own data and no-one can sell or use it for other purposes.

This kind of service is also helpful when employees or families must travel for work and still need to have access to legal information, health data, insurance/wills, passports or photos/videos of their family.

With a private cloud service at home, families instantly increase their household digital connectivity. This makes sharing information privately from connected devices (computers, smartphones and tablets) easier than ever before.


"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin

The below blog by Amy Rees Anderson "By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail" gives a great summary of why FamilyDo is important and why it is important to be prepared!  Section 4 includes a fabulous idea, we should all have a family code word!


“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”     -Benjamin Franklin

 All we need to do is turn on the news any given night and we will hear about disasters happening around the world. Whether it is fires or earthquakes or floods, or other disasters there is always the risk of these things happening to any of us at any time in life. That’s why we need to follow the boy scout motto and BE PREPARED. We may not be able to stop a disaster from happening but we can at least gain a little peace of mind by knowing we have done what we could to prepare BEFORE a disaster strikes.

 I’ll admit that preparing in advance seems difficult because frankly it feels like we’re already SO busy just trying to handle those things that are currently happening to us, so how in the world will be have time to prepare for something that may someday happen. But the fact is that if we don’t take time to prepare before a disaster happens we will most certainly find ourselves looking back wishing dearly that we had. That’s why I’ve decided it’s time for me to make it a priority to get on top of being prepared for a disaster. I want to have that comfort that comes from knowing that I have done what I could to help my family be prepared.

 There are many facets to getting prepared for a disaster. It covers everything from having food storage, to gathering emergency supplies, to having an action plan, and protecting our data. There are a lot of websites out there that sell food and supplies, but the area we have to spend quite a bit more time on is protecting our data. Here are some ideas about protecting our data::

1.   We need to scan all of our insurance policy papers (homeowners, car, life, health, etc), wills, legal documents, bank account records, 401k info, prior year’s tax returns, birth certificates, passports, social security cards, car titles, stock certificates, and any of those types of records into digital files and then store them either on a USB drive in a bank safety deposit box or on an online website where we can have them saved as encrypted files as our backup copy.

2.  We need to get a camera or video camera and take photos or record everything that we own in our homes to make a legal record of it for the home insurance company in order for them to reimburse us for things. We need to record the makes and models of things in the photos or videos, capturing our TV’s, appliances, furniture, appliances, clothes, etc so that we can prove everything we lost if the home is destroyed.  We can make a paper log of everything but without the receipts to prove the purchase many times the insurance company won’t cover you adequately so making the photo log or video is a really important aspect in protecting what you have.

3.  We need to scan all of our family photos and personal journals and life history books into digital files and store them safely offsite as well (either in the cloud or in a safety deposit box).

4.  We need to have an evacuation plan put together with our family. If phone lines are down how will we plan to reach one another?  If parents are not home where do the kids need to go and who should they contact?  We need to have a meeting spot setup.  We also need to have contact numbers programmed into everyone’s phones but we also need to keep a paper copy of the numbers somewhere for everyone to access in case the phone battery is dead.  Our kids need to know the plan and we need to review it with them often so they don’t forget.  We also need to give the kids a secret family code word that we will use if we ever send a stranger to pick them up so the kids know to ask the stranger for the code word before they agree to go with him or her.  That way we ensure the kids safety in dealing with strangers working on our behalf in an emergency.

5.  We need to have a backup hard drive for our home computer that is kept in a different location (again in the cloud or safety deposit box or something like that).  So much of the data we have is on our home computers so we need to make sure we have a plan to grab the hard drive or computer in an evacuation as well as keeping a copy offsite and secured.

 “Be Prepared… the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.” -Robert Baden-Powell

We will all sleep better at night if we can lay our heads down knowing that we have prepared ourselves and our families to the best of our ability for whatever may come to pass.  Peace of mind will never come from thinking we can avoid natural disasters, because that would be impossible, so peace of mind must come from knowing that we are prepared to handle it should a natural disaster take place.  Which is exactly the reason we need to make it a priority to BE PREPARED!  #summergoals

Have a great start to the week everyone!

 ~Amy Rees Anderson



Wunderlist To Close | A Good Alternative is FamilyDo for To-Do and Goals

Wunderlist is an award winning simple task management tool.  


It can be used across devices meaning you can use it at your desktop or mobile when you are out. Like Sunrise, Microsoft acquired their founding company 6Wunderkinder in 2015 as part of their mobile first, cloud first strategy.  In April 2017 Microsoft announced they will retire Wunderlist.

Here is a useful article from Techcrunch with more information and here is a blog from Microsoft that may help you too. 

As an alternative to Wunderlist, FamilyDo incorporates a beautiful to-do list that also can be used across devices.  Modeled on Wunderlists simplicity, it has the added value that it includes family members as a specific type of member and in addition to-do's can be assigned directly into the FamilyDo calendar.

FamilyDo To-Dos can be use to remember daily chores and to-do's like grocery shoppinng, but also to set and track goals both for yourself and for your family.

Sunrise Calendar Retired | FamilyDo Is A Replacement Calendar For Families

In 2015, the fabulous software giant Microsoft acquired a startup that created a product that competed with its own - they acquired the calendar app maker Sunrise, rumored for least $100 million.  On August 31st one year later they closed down the app and included its magical features into their own Outlook apps.  This still left a gap for Sunrise fans.

sunrise calendar android.jpg

So, who was Sunrise, in summary they held the number 1 spot for best calendar apps across iPhone, iPad and Android, they also had a web client.  Their suite of calendar products for mobile and desktop users connected with and consolidated calendars from different providers. Users could access their calendars from Google, iCloud, and Microsoft Exchange, as well as connecting to a wide range of other third-party apps from their Sunrise app.

In summary, the Sunrise app beautifully fixed the challenges of living with multiple calendars.

FamilyDo is a family calendar app that replaces Sunrise by seamlessly working with Outlook, iCal, Google Calendars, Trello, and even Asana, with the added value of including family information.

FamilyDo does exactly what Sunrise did and meshes all these events into one calendar with the added advantage that your calendar makes sense for not only for work but your family too.  FamilyDo makes sure you don’t miss a conference call at 10:30 a.m. or the basketball game at 6:30 p.m., with the added advantage of being able to filter by individual or see the whole family at once. Just like Sunrise it offers clean, easily digestible views of your upcoming events. 

In addition, FamilyDo builds on top of Sunrises slick design supporting drag-and-drop and a more effective natural language engine that quickly picks up calendar events including Facebook, Google Calendar, Outlook, Office365 and iCloud.  In FamilyDo you can just key in “two o’clock picnic with the cub scouts” it creates your events, presents ideas of who to invite and it even displays the weather so you know how to dress your scout!    Just like Sunrise, it includes Google Maps too, so you don’t get lost finding your picnic.

One underrated benefit of Sunrise? It looked good! That’s harder than it might seem for a calendar app. By hiring top US designers that design for the most popular apps in the USA like Ancestry and Facebook, FamilyDo captures all of that aesthetic appeal without skimping on features.

What is FamilyDo ?

Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families—our parents and children and siblings—for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! Family is the basic unit of society. 

FamilyDo is a resource designed to help families connect and get organized not only for daily life but to be prepared for any situation in the future too. 

It is the world’s only family and household management cloud platform that consolidates family and household information in one safe location from the various sources families use every day, then makes that information useful in apps and a dashboard for family organization and decision-making.

What Is Cloud Computing And Why Do You Care?

What Is Cloud Computing?

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive.  

Cloud computing can increase a company's productivity and profitability BUT there are lots of benefits for families too.

4 Reasons Families Care!

#1 Computers become invisible | As a user you no longer have to be an expert in your hardware and your storage - no more frustration when you run out of space on your laptop. Interacting with a computer is more user friendly (your small children understand the technology before you do!) and finally the cloud allows your computing power to become hands free for example Microsoft Kinect and Amazon Echo.

#2 You make smarter decisions | Just in time training and access to information is available from anywhere.  Its easier with recommendation engines, online communities and even your friends to make buying decisions for products that will work well for you and your family.  It is easy and quick to get advice from people you trust.

#3 Public and private clouds will make homes healthier | A WSJ article recently shared information on how 'the cloud allows doctors to wirelessly monitor patients with sleep apnea, collect information and then tap into a network of experts to devise a treatment plan. At a recent trade show, experimental technology was showcased that uses an infrared camera mounted above the bathroom mirror to take a daily photo of a person’s face. Over time, the images can be stored and analyzed for changes, alerting doctors of pre-cancerous skin cells so treatment can begin earlier".

#4 Language barriers are disappearing | when we contact someone in another country on a mobile our words can be instantly translated into each other’s language using voice recognition and translation software. In addition using cloud training technology its easier for us and our children to become bi-lingual.