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Posts Tagged ‘preparedness’

Ready for Disaster?

Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 06:09 AM
posted by admin

Are You Ready for a Disaster? What you might be overlooking by Judith Kolberg

Recently I was interviewed by Bonnie McCarthy of the Los Angeles Times for National Preparedness Month. Along with 2 other experts I shared my thoughts on a few things that you might overlook when preparing for an emergency or disaster. You can read the article in its entirety here.

 

Organize for Disaster by Judith Kolberg, fileheads.net

 

If you want to learn more ways to protect your family and home in the event of a disaster, I recommend my book, Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster.

 

 

Other articles you may enjoy

What We Are Most Likely To Forget During A Disaster

Creating Your Digital Estate Plan

 

 

 

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What We Are Most Likely To Forget During A Disaster

Monday, September 14, 2015 @ 06:09 AM
posted by admin

Don't forget these things in an emergency! Tips from Professional Organizer Judith Kolberg of fileheads.net

September is Disaster Preparedness Month. Recently I was interviewed by a Los Angeles Times reporter writing an article about things we might forget to do during a disaster. Stress is high. The brain gets overwhelmed. We’re often sleep deprived. It is a perfect storm, if you’ll excuse the pun, for forgetfulness. I am the author of Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster and while it’s a great book, you won’t find these ‘Don’t Forget’ tips in it. Disaster preparedness is a very dynamic field. After every disaster, there is always more to learn and implement into our own personal disaster preparedness plans.

So, what might you forget to do?

Don’t forget to periodically download to a flash drive, digital information such as the account numbers and log in information for your web-based bank and brokerage accounts. Make sure you give the flash drive to a designated authorized representative, Executor or Power of Attorney in the event of your incapacitation or death or in the event the disaster wipes out the Internet. See my Creating Your Digital Estate Plan for more tips.

Don’t forget to download a local disaster preparedness app on your phone. A local app is going to tell you about school closings, shelter locations and roads that are flooded. Get one from your state Emergency Management Association or your county American Red Cross office.

Don’t forget to pack a cell phone charger in your disaster kit. I like this one. Solar chargers are good too, but then again many disasters are sunless events.

Don’t forget to set up a Twitter and a Facebook account. You will find it a useful way to communicate with family, friends and co-workers during a disaster even if you don’t use it for any other purpose.

Don’t forget to rehearse your home evacuation plan in the daytime and in the dark of night.

 

Organize for Disaster by Judith Kolberg, fileheads.net

 

If you want to learn more ways to protect your family and home in the event of a disaster, I recommend my book, Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster.

 

 

Other Posts You Might Enjoy

Organize For Disaster

Creating Your Digital Estate Plan

 

Calendar of Upcoming Organizing Events

Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) Annual Conference and Exhibition – September 17-19, 2015, Cleveland, OH, Exhibitor

Professional Organizers of Canada, Virtual Chapter, January, 2016

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) Annual Conference and Exhibition. May 18-21, 2016, Atlanta, GA. Workshop TBA

 

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What is a Digital Estate Plan? And why do I need one?

Monday, January 12, 2015 @ 08:01 PM
posted by admin

What Is a Digital Estate Plan? | Judith Kolberg, Fileheads.net

My client Maxine died suddenly. She and I were in the midst of an organizing project. We were sorting through hundreds of documents in a filing cabinet. “So many of them are obsolete and many are in digital form now,” Maxine observed. “It’s time for purge.” Too big a project to finish in just one organizing session, we set up a second session for the next week. “She had a massive coronary,” Maxine’s sister Elena told me when I called to confirm our session. I was stunned. “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” I told Elena.

Access KeyTwo months later the family was still settling Maxine’s estate and I got a call from Elena who Maxine appointed as her Executor. “I thought I sent a death certificate to all her banks but I just found out there’s this web account at Voya. For the past two months, money has been transferring out of that account to pay Maxine’s cell phone bill and her cable bill. It’s like a ghost account. No statements, no emails…it’s not a lot of money, but I’m having a heck of a time turning off the payments!” Elena exclaimed.

Maxine’s death got me thinking about what I could do to help my clients better prepare for ‘information afterlife’. Information afterlife is the phrase I use to describe information and transactions that seem to live on after we die. And then there is all that login information to access accounts and assets that we have to leave behind for our family to settle our estates.

Let me give you an example.

Professor Elizabeth Mathews was my college professor back in the 1970s in the newly emerging field of environmental science. I always admired Professor Mathew’s organization skills as well as her enthusiasm for saving the planet. Assignments were made well in advance. Our papers were graded quickly. We always knew when the exams were. When I visited Professor Mathew at the hospital after she had a stroke, I was not surprised to learn she had a power-of-attorney in place, her brother Joe. “I’m happy to take care of things while Elizabeth is incapacitated,” Joe told me over a hospital cafeteria cup of coffee. “Thing is, I can’t find her paperwork. There are no bills in the mailbox and no statements in the house.” Elizabeth had gone green. As a devout environmentalist, that was no surprise to me. “Well that’s fine for the trees,” Joe said, “but she’s getting emails reminding her to make her car payment. I click on the link to their website but I don’t know her password so I can’t get in. I spent half a day just trying to find their phone number.” Poor Joe. Not only is he worried about Elizabeth’s health, but now he’s concerned about her finances.

The terms of service agreements regarding who can access bank accounts, cell phone companies, and all other businesses are very well-intentioned. They are designed to protect their customers against fraud and identity theft and to protect their privacy rights. But the digital age cries out for reform so that the family of a deceased, executors, attorneys, powers of attorney, and others involved in the disposition of estates can do their job. Reform is slow is coming but it is coming via the courts and state legislatures. Meanwhile, you can take action on your own behalf with a

(DEP). A Digital Estate Plan identifies ‘invisible’, digital assets that may be part of your estate such as web-only accounts. It also provides login information to appropriate authorized individuals to access your digital assets and accounts.

To get you started, click here for a free checklist for developing a Digital Estate Plan and then take it a step further.  Get your own copy of the Create Your Digital Estate Plan ebook! Please be advised that I am not an accountant, attorney, estate planner, or a financial professional of any kind. I am a professional organizer and legally unqualified to advise you about the particulars of your estate. Please consult with your accountant, lawyer, estate planner, or other professionals involved in the disposition of your estate about developing your Digital Estate Plan.

Copyright 2016 Judith Kolberg

What Is a Digital Estate Plan? | Judith Kolberg, Fileheads.net

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