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Emergency Bag In Case of Fire

Updated on April 9, 2017
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New Year Resolution Making A Will

The end of the year can be used to update family members about your life, financial status and future intentions. It is also a good opportunity to change your will because of new developments.

For example, if your son hates his present country and intends to move to Australia permanently, there is no need to give him a piece of farming land that is a source of income and pride for the family.

Your will is in your emergency bag, in case of fire or some other emergency that needs immediate evacuation. That bag should also be updated regularly.

Banks Safe Deposit Boxes

Some folks keep important documents and expensive trinkets in safe deposit boxes provided by banks. They do that for a variety of reasons I suppose.

  • To sleep well at night.

  • To hide some money or assets from the taxman and family.

  • To hide documents that implicate them in criminal activity or valuables obtained illegally.

This information should be included in your will, or at least tell a family member about the safe deposit box.

Fire Insurance

Those are rare cases, most people keep important documents and valuables at home.

Fire is something we tend to associate with the news, happening to other people not us. That is why we don’t have a fire insurance, especially if we are tenants. We think the landlord will take care of it.

If we do, we have not read the fire policy, especially our obligations. The main complaint about insurance companies is that it is easy for them to deduct premiums from your account, but they resist paying up when tragedy happens.

Safety comes first in a fire, which is a problem is you don’t know where the staff meeting point is in case of fire. It is worse at home because everybody is panicking and tries to salvage important stuff, especially documents.

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It is a good idea to have a bag packed in case of fire. We never know when it might happen.

Fire Common Sense

  • You can only grab the packed bag if it is safe. Leave it behind if it will risk your life and others.

  • The ideal situation is to have apartment or house insurance. It might not save your life, but will reduce stress if you survive the flames.

Emergency Bag

We call it the in-case-of-fire bag to stress the urgency of particular situations. Emergency. Yes, that is the right word. This bag can be used for other emergencies.

  • Lovers’ tiff. Sometimes we leave relationships in a hurry or we are ordered to “Get out of my sight.”

  • Bad news from home. Your cell phone vibrates at midnight. A parent has passed away.

  • Unexpected illness. You live with somebody. Ambulance comes and they land in the emergency unit. You have no idea what to pack for him or her.

  • Pregnancy. That is easier because the woman knows that she might be in the hospital for a day or two, so she packs for herself and for the coming princess or prince. Oops! Twins.

  • You die. Nobody knows where to start closing your life. If you had an emergency bag, they will know which bank to notify, your car dealership or your landlord. In fact, it is not a bad idea to have a spreadsheet of people to be notified of your death.

Who Should Know

In a healthy household, people you live with should know about the emergency bag and where you keep it. How about strained relationships? Should you tell your partner? It is your call. You could also tell a relative or friend that lives in the same city.

We’ve divided emergency bags into three: legal, personal and business. They could be in the same bag or separate.

We included the business emergency bag because of cinema. There are too many movies where sacked employees or business partners are not allowed back into the office. This bag could be kept at home.

Contents – Legal

  1. Passport

  2. Family birth certificates

  3. Title deeds of properties

  4. The lease

  5. Bond or mortgage papers

  6. Marriage certificates

  7. Divorce settlements

  8. Bank loans

  9. Joint bank loans with a loved one

  10. Extra house and car keys

Contents – Personal

  1. Passport

  2. Special occasion credit cards

  3. Toothbrush, floss and toothpaste

  4. Hand and face towels

  5. Small bottles hair shampoo and conditioner

  6. Comb or brush

  7. Underwear and sleepwear

  8. 2 t-shirts or blouses

  9. Pair of women’s/man’s pants

  10. Black sneakers because they can be worn with anything

Contents – At Work

Despite e-mail, most business documents start as hard copy because of signatures. You sign a legal document, scan it and send it to concerned parties.

It is advisable to keep the original. If someone sends you a scanned copy, print it and store in your emergency bag. These are some of the items you can include in a business emergency bag.

  1. Your attorney’s contact details

  2. Company registration papers

  3. The Joint Venture agreement with other companies

  4. Contract or tender documents about work you are doing for the municipality

  5. Employee contracts

  6. Intimidating emails you might use in a lawsuit

  7. Minutes of the Board of Directors

  8. Prototype of the car you designed and the legal agreement with SAAB, if it is the company manufacturing it.

  9. The story board for an animation movie you are working on.

  10. Basically, this bag has what you classify as business.

Your Man Bag or Handbag

Setting up your emergency bag will help you do something that is long overdue: scaling down on the things in your man bag or handbag.

It’s very sad to see drivers accidentally locking themselves out of their cars. Help arrives. Where is the spare key? It is in the handbag or man bag in the car. That spare key should be in an alternative place, like the emergency bag.

You have four credit cards in your daily wallet when you mainly use one. You carry around twenty business cards when all those people are on e-mail. You have the 2013 diary, combs you never use and unused cellphones. Some of these items can go to the emergency bag.

Size

The emergency bag is bigger than diamond-studded little envelopes ladies carry when they go to the opera. It also depends on the contents. A legal emergency bag does not have clothing. It is mainly legal documents.

You might decide to put those papers in the personal bag. The rule of thumb is that it should be fit in the overhead luggage rack on the plane. We don’t want air hostesses giving you dirty look do we?

Airing Emergency Bag

Where did I put it? The emergency bag loses its urgency if you cannot find it. People die in fires because they cannot remember where they put something they regard as important.

Revisit the emergency bag once a month at least. You bought a condo off-plan to give yourself a birthday present or you sold some rental properties. There are new legal documents to add to your legal emergency bag or you changed your will.

Check the toothpaste in the personal bag. Is it still alright? Clothing. You might decide to include gym shorts and top. You know your needs.

Conclusion

These are just guidelines. It is your emergency bag. It reflects the state of your life right now. Decide what you want to save if there is a fire right .

Comments

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    • bonda profile imageAUTHOR

      Nonqaba waka Msimang 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Interesting! More than one emergency bags! Maybe that is the safest way to go.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      My wife and I have several emergency bags. We have one in the car one at home and I have one in my office. They are filled with essentials in case of any problems.

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