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Home > Natural Resources > Disaster Resources

Emergency Preparedness Organizational Tool Helps Manage Chaos in Disaster

Do you have identification, medical, insurance, mortgage or other important records ready for disaster access?

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California solar energy conservation No one enjoys thinking ahead about potential disasters. But they come, and to reduce high-risk behaviors, it is important to take a few steps to prepare for typical disasters in your neck of the nature's woods. Every location faces SOME severe weather or natural phenomenon -- be it tornadoes, ice storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods or fires. Know the natural profile of your chosen homestead. Then prepare to deal with the downside. It's the responsible thing to do. It's at the heart of freedom, at the core of sustainable living and working.

A survey conducted by the American Red Cross released in 2007 revealed that 83% of California's Bay Area residents are currently unprepared and have not taken recommended actions to ready for disaster.

Along the Atlantic/Gulf Coast, more than 60% of families do not have important records stored in a safe place.

High Risk Behavior Creates Unnecessary Safety Hazards for Your Family and Community

The American Red Cross San Francisco Bay Area believes disaster preparedness is a necessity so they have joined Silicon Valley-based Securita, Inc. to offer families a preventative solution in advance of unexpected crisis.

Securita's new, comprehensive Vital Records PortaVaultĀ®, a lightweight, self-contained organizational system in a water resistant, zip-up canvas case, holds hundreds of pages of important documents in a sturdy three-ring binder. Unlike file cabinets, metal boxes or other makeshift storage, the Vital Records PortaVault provides a simple way to compile personal records, and easily transport them when disaster strikes.

Organize Important Records and Documents

"One of the critical steps in being prepared for disaster is having important records and documents organized so they can be transported if evacuation is required," said Harold Brooks, CEO of the American Red Cross Bay Area.

Sherie Dodsworth, the Securita's founder and an experienced CPA, saw thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees in complete chaos; unable to get assistance because they did not have identification, medical, insurance, mortgage or other important records. Katrina's aftermath inspired Dodsworth to fill the grave need for an intelligently designed, easy-to-use, portable organization and storage product that could be easily accessed and carried away in emergent danger. Securita's Vital Records PortaVault also keeps records easily accessible on a day-to-day basis.

"Preparing ahead of time will always help someone respond better in a disaster or emergency, and may even save your life," said Robert Taylor, Director, Health & Safety Services. "Securita's Vital Records PortaVault offers the confidence that comes with being equipped. By offering it through the Red Cross Shop, we've tried to make it as simple as possible for everyone to take action immediately."

Securita's Vital Records PortaVault may be purchased at American Red Cross Bay Area Store located at 85 Second Street, San Francisco, CA., online at the Red Cross Store and at for $69.95 each.

Other kits are offered by local Emergency Departments. Some include basic first aid and food rations. Others suggestions include scanning your documents onto CDs and mailing them to a distant relative for safe keeping. A great way to trade favors!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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