Organizing Theory & Artistry

Ruly Recap and Reader Feedback: Emergency Preparedness

This month at Ruly we have been discussing emergency preparedness in connection with National Preparedness Month.

While I didn’t get to discuss every topic and idea I had in mind and got a bit off-schedule at the end of the month (as we are enjoying visiting family), I have at least made forward progress in my emergency preparedness. I already have some ideas in mind for future posts.

Emergency preparedness is such a huge subject that no one can have it all done at once. It is a topic we should all revisit periodically to review and refresh our knowledge. I hope reading the posts this month at Ruly have helped you to do that for yourself.

In brief, this month:

We looked at three weaknesses in our current emergency preparedness efforts generally.

Ruth commented:

“Do you prepare for everything all the time? Seems a bit over the top to me…..maybe I’ll regret typing that one day!”

I gave 3 quick ways to improve your emergency preparedness:

I shared my memories of 9/11/01 in Washington.

Suze Orman reminded us that the chief financial lesson of 9/11 is that we all should remember to update our will and trust documents.

Ruly Ruth provided a great form to organize information for families, where an emergency is really any situation where parents cannot care for their children.

I showed you what it is like trying to go shopping for emergency supplies when a predictable disaster like a hurricane is just about to strike.

We also looked at two recent news stories showing how emergency drills and emergency training saves lives.

Mary commented:

“EVERYONE should become CPR and First Aid certified and recertify every couple of years. There is nothing worse than coming across someone in need and not knowing how to use those precious moments to help them. Trust me, I know from personal experience watching a young boy pass away. Because of this tragedy, I promised myself I would never be helpless to helping others again. As the old survivalists say, ‘Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.'”

We discussed the visual-spatial thinking advantage in emergency situations.

I reviewed some of the latest earthquake advice and gave some tips for organizing stuff in earthquake-prone spaces.

We also discussed the importance of planning for mental recovery after an emergency has passed.

Also, if you are new to Ruly and wondering why I didn’t discuss water and food storage, it’s because we did that last year! If you want to read last year’s emergency preparedness posts, they are below:

Finally, I wanted to share a few references to organizing in recent news stories this month.

First, a theory for organizing motivation in an article about eyebrow tweezing in The New York Times fashion column.

“When your hormones are out of whack, you want . . . order. You want everything to look clean. I think that’s because of the chaos that’s going on in your body.”

–Meredith Madron, makeup artist and eyebrow specialist, quoted in Kayleen Schaefer’s “For Shapely Brows, Put Down the Tweezers,” The New York Times, September 21, 2011.

Somewhat related to hormonal organizing, I shared a link on my Facebook page to Sandra Tsing Loh’s latest article in Atlantic Magazine about menopause. She had this great quote:

“And now that Aunt Carol’s hormonal cloud is finally wearing off, it’s not a tragedy, or an abnormality, or her going crazy—it just means she can rejoin the rest of the human race: she can be the same selfish, non-nurturing, non-bonding type of person everyone else is.”

–Sandra Tsing Loh, “The Bitch is Back,” Atlantic Magazine, October 2011.

Lorraine commented on Facebook:

“I can relate to this!!”

Is it possible to be too organized? Facebook users may think so. The recent uproar over changes to Facebook’s user interface that is supposed to organize your data to make it easier to use prompted this comment:

“This is another example of improving something until it is unusable.”

–David Jay Crispin commenting on Vince Horiuchi’s Salt Lake Tribune article, “Facebook fans express their disgust with changes,” September 21, 2011.

Hoping you had a wonderful September! Please check back next week for October’s organizing theme!