Planning tips – organized chaos

When I first started driving, my Dad told me to pack an Emergency Bag and put it in the trunk of my car. Planning for the chance I might be stranded someplace maybe have to walk to get help.  This was before cell phones.

Planning for an Emergency, the “Kit” may have had a pair of boots, gloves, jumper cables and other essentials that come in handy for an off road situation. AARP has some great tips here. Today, I still have one in my car.

Planning, GO BAG

Always Packed And Ready

“Mama’s got a brand new bag!”
Thanks James Brown. Now I have a new bag, I call it my “GO BAG” it sits by the door has my new essentials and a few comfort items. The .gov website has a great list for folks needing to evacuate, it may be overkill for what a person needs to bring for planning a quick trip to a loved one, but it is a great start to making your own.  In mine, I have also included some of my comfort items, a few Yogi tea bags, my favorite shower scrub. Those relaxation items are priceless and handy once the emergency has passed.

The more I am prepared, the better I feel and the more effectively I can be when I need to make the trip south.  2 hours on the highway may not seem like it is that long, but when I am alone in my car (and in my head), it is better for me to not obsess if I brought an inhaler!

Manage the car environment
I love classic rock on my radio.  BUT I have learned that is not the best choice, blaring “Layla” by Clapton only feeds my anxiety.  An audiobook or favorite podcast seems to keep me calm and attentive to the road ahead of me.

How to Implement “The Plan” 1, 2, 3

  1. Make a list of overnight things.
  2. Put the list into my phone.
  3. Print out the list -put on top of bag.

Call me crazy, (it’s okay I have been called worse), but this list has items that I don’t have at Mom’s.  Night clothes, inhaler, phone charger (wall), iPod, etc.  I do have some things at Mom’s but not a lot – I don’t live there anymore.

Planning to work from “away” – Saving Files to “The Cloud”
Routinely, I save work to “The Cloud.”  I have no worries about accessing information from any certain computer.  This is great for not only backup reasons, for collaborating with workmates and all info can be referred to from my phone.  I use Google Suite (which is a free service) and I have an Android powered phone. Apple products have their own cloud services too.  Using these services in advance and being comfortable with them also helps with my effectiveness when the “chips are down.”

Learned Through Experience
When my Dad passed away a few years ago he had been quite ill for sometime and urgent calls came frequently.  What I learned from that was I needed to have some organization on those things I was able to control (my own needs). Obsessing while driving makes feel cast into the wind.  Driving crazy down 95 is a natural for me – the true meaning of distracted driving!  I need to remember that getting there safely is most important and driving safely is up to me.

Kelly Cotiaux

About Kelly Cotiaux

Why are these people getting old? Kelly has noticed her friends and family kids are growing older, going to college, moving out. Health problems that only “Seniors” have and AARP invites a topic of conversation at Bagel Central. Then there is “Mom.” The adventures of navigating life with a Senior Mom that lives 2 hours away. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.