Having an emergency preparedness manual is the next step to fully preparing your family for an emergency. At this very moment you are already investing your time into reading what you should do to prepare. A G.O.O.D Manual  (Get Out Of Dodge Manual) is an easy, non expensive way to have vital information nearby, when it is needed most. Keep this manual outline on hand while preparing your family’s manual. The benefit is everyone will be fully prepared and have a complete knowledge base on what is necessary to thrive as a family.
The information needed in the binder will need to be organized into different sections:
- Medical Information On All Family Members – Complete emergency medical information including immunization records, blood type, previous injuries, food or medical allergies can be very useful in case of an emergency. You do not want to waste time running around looking for this information. Have an “Additional Notes” section at the back of the section for later use.
- Contact Information For Next of Kin – Make sure the family knows who is next of kin and how to get in contact with them.
- Emergency Plans – It’s good to have an emergency plan in place and written down that anyone can turn to for direction. Emergencies come at the drop of a hat and can cause confusion for those that do not have a well defined emergency plan, back up plan or evac plan. All plans and details should be included in this section. Additionally, emergency routes to be taken should be placed in this section as well as maps that would be used.
- Complete Inventory List of Supplies – A supply/inventory list is a crucial item that everyone should have on hand. Itemized food, water rations, medical supplies, seeds, home canning equipment, books, etc should be included.
- What To Do In The Case Of A Medical Emergency – Think of low priority injuries such as sprained ankles, colds, poison ivy, etc and move on to high priority injuries such as broken bones, heart attack or stroke. This section is for you that have on hand and use as a quick referral. All family members must know where to find this information. I have a first aid book with illustrations for this section. Anything the family can look at to get direction.
- Survival Information– finding food, preserving food, purifying water, food storage, gardening, etc. Any information that you have found of use, put in down in this section. It is the basic How-To-Live section.
- Family Notes Section – This section should be used to organize and store important family information such as personal documents, financial information, insurance information, informative notes and listing responsibilities for each family member. How will they help out? Why is it important for them to contribute?
- Inspirational Messages To Keep The Faith – This is an important section to refer to when things start getting harder and children start asking lots of hard questions. This also teaches them the importance of positive thinking and holding onto their faiths. Reassurance is very important when it comes to cheering children up. Find bible verses, songs, poems or write them a letter letting them know why they are so special and how much you mean to them.
- Happy Section – Include of few favorite family stories (birth, funny moments, Holiday stories), a small family scrap book, favorite song lyrics, etc. This takes the entire family back to a simpler, less chaotic time. Not to mention a good way to spend some family time together cherishing old memories.
- Favorite Recipes – This is an instant moral booster. Having their favorite recipes on hand will cheer them up. If they are old enough, they can make these foods themselves to keep their minds off of negative thoughts.
- Miscellaneous – This is always a fallback section to use for organizing information for later use.