Those freebies in my mailbox have found their way into my Emergency Kit. We are packed and ready to leave if needed due to the approaching Hurricane Gustav. We are also well-stocked and prepared to stay in our house without electricity or running water for several days if needed. We live in Houston, and it appears that the hurricane will be making landfall quite a bit East of us in Louisiana. We are still watching it closely as hurricanes tend to make last-minute changes in their course.

What kind of freebies did I put in my Emergency Kit? It was easy to throw free samples of beauty products in my makeup bag because they are already packaged travel-size. Hand sanitizer that I had picked up for free by taking advantage of the deals at CVS and Walgreens was perfect to add to my kit. Huggies CleanTeam wipes that I got for a good price at Walmart by using a coupon are in both the diaper bags and the in the backseat organizers. Ziploc Big Bags (here’s a B1G1 coupon) that I got as a free sample are at the top of my kit because they are a handy bag to put anything in for last-minute packing. In general the non-perishable food products in my pantry that are in smaller containers are now in my kit. Most of the food products were purchased at a great price by taking advantage of a sale, coupon, rebate, or clearance. The great part of having a well-stocked pantry is that I can keep these extra food items in my kit to keep it well-stocked. And I do plan on keeping it well-stocked and easily accessible. I just need to remember to rotate them out on a regular basis before these products expire.

How did I know what types of items to pack in my Emergency Kit? I printed checklists from Hooray for Freebates to help me make sure my Emergency Kit was fully-stocked and that I had adequate supplies in our house. I gathered important paperwork into one portable file to take with us if we leave. I was amazed by how many different places in the house I had these important papers in. It makes more sense to move them permanently to one portable file. Of course it’s not always practical to take all of your files with you (especially if disaster strikes without warning or while you are away from home). That’s where MyDisasterPlan comes in to provide you with a secure place on the internet to store information and access it instantly from anywhere.

Through the packing and preparations I’ve made over the last few days I’ve come to realize that we should always have our Emergency Kit well-stocked (hurricane season or not) and overnight bags packed. Natural disasters can strike any where at any time and come in many different forms. Other types of man-made disasters may also occur. Even certain life-events can be handled easier with the preparations you’ve made for natural disasters.

Being prepared before something happens helps takes off a few things on your last-minute to-do list. You can just get in the car and leave, because everything is ready to go. You can get on an airplane that same day because your bag is already packed. And you probably won’t forget anything because you’ve got a checklist to go through with last-minute items to take.

I hope that I just motivated you to make some of your own preparations for an emergency no matter where you live. There is nothing like a major hurricane on the horizon to light a motivational fire under me! I want to wish everyone a safe week.