Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: A Checklist: Making a Family Plan for Emergencies by Nancy Overton

A Checklist: Making a Family Plan for Emergencies by Nancy Overton covers every possible aspect of preparedness. Its step-by-step approach makes preparing for disasters less overwhelming.

The book’s convenient 3½ X 8½-inch size allows the reader to slip it into a pocket or purse to take to the store for reference. You can set the book down and its spiral binding allows the book to lay flat and open.

The book’s format is a series of check-off items sorted under the appropriate possible disaster such as fire, earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado. It delves into home safety features for utilities, safe water, adequate non-perishable food, personal comfort, sanitation, first aid supplies, etc.

Overton emphasizes that adequate preparedness won’t happen overnight–it’s a goal to work toward. Further, she suggests that people can help make preparedness more affordable by going in with neighbors and shopping in bulk for emergency food items. She suggests scouring garage sales and second-hand stores for items like tents and tools.

According to A Checklist, collecting items is only the beginning. Emergency items must be organized and accessible in the home, car and workplace. Lists should be made so that in an emergency supplies can be gathered quickly in the event the family needs to evacuate the home.

Besides purchased goods, other preparations are essential such as copies of important documents to use for personal identification, proof of ownership for car and home, copies of driver’s licenses and insurance.

Other important items are lists for children with family and out-of-area contact information; and lists for parents with the same contact information, plus attorney, insurance companies, etc.

By following the essential steps Overton suggests, you will increase your family’s self-reliance, be more knowledgeable about what you need to do in an emergency, feel confident about being prepared and know your family is safer because of your preparedness.

A Checklist: Making a Family Plan for Emergencies by Nancy Overton is available at and the author’s website,


Chuck and Nancy said...

I can't thank you enough. It looks great. I appreciate your time, your interest and your expertise.

Between the two of us I hope we've encouraged families to make a plan and start getting prepared. We will be our own first responders and will be responsible for our families and our neighbors in an emergency.

Thanks for expanding the message.

Nancy Overton

Anonymous said...

I need to get serious about this. Currently, my emergency preparedness kit consits of a Bible and a roll of toilet paper. I need to at least add some canned good, a can opener, and bottled water.

Stephen Tremp