People create emergency kits for car problems and bad weather, but few create kits to deal with more common but less urgent situations. In particular, misplacing a wallet or forgetting a work laptop at home can play havoc with a person’s workday.
With a little bit of planning, you can create emergency kits that will let you deal with these types of situations in a calm and productive manner.
Creating a backup kit for your wallet
Besides your keys, your wallet is probably your most important daily companion. Without it, you lack identification, money or the ability to access any of your financial services.
No money, means you are unable to buy the essential products that gets you through a workday, like gas, lunch or even a coffee.
Luckily, there are so many prepaid cards options available today that creating a wallet backup kit is an easy task.
- MasterCard and Visa both make prepaid cards that are accepted anywhere normal credit cards are accepted. You can even reload the cards if you use them in an emergency.
- Use industry specific cards to make sure you can always get gas, food or make a long distance phone call.
- Request an additional debit card from your bank that attaches to a line of credit or checking account
- Apply for a low limit credit card that you only use for emergencies
- 100 dollars in small denominations. The small denominations allow you to use a portion of the money without depleting your stash. Also, small denominations are accepted everywhere.
You can protect your kit by wrapping it in a dark water resistant bag and making it look as innocuous as possible. If you keep cleaning supplies in your car you can hide it in a wipe container or at the bottom of an road emergency kit. Most thieves are not interested in stealing road flairs and cleaning products.
Please make a list of the cards in the kit and their corresponding numbers. Consequently, you can reload prepaid cards with more funds and cancel cards if they are lost or stolen.
Creating a backup kit for your briefcase or laptop
Forgetting your laptop or briefcase can be annoying in some cases and disastrous in others.
Therefore, it is a good idea to create a backup kit for the tools and information you use every day. No matter what happens, you want to enter the office, meeting or sales call as confident, organized and professional as possible.
Using Smart Phones as a backup to your laptop
Most modern cell phones have the same functionalities that a laptop has, including the ability to edit spreadsheets, create power point presentations and email PDF documents.
Make the most of these phones by adding applications that will allow you to access and edit your information anywhere you are.
- Remote Desktop Applications allow you to connect to your home or office computer. These programs range from free applications like MS Remote Desktop to paid options like LogMeIN. The paid applications will also allow you to access remote computers through a web browser.
- Office suite applications like Documents To Go allow you to edit MS office documents. You can always access the files and then email them for printing.
- Document scanning software comes in handy when you only have a hard copy but need to send it off in a pinch. Programs like JotNot lets you export scans to multiple formats.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN) applications help you protect your personal data when you use hotel Wi-Fi connections or a public computer.
Create and access an online backup of your home and office computer
Whether you are at home or at the office, you should always have an online backup you can access on your phone or a computer.
- Carbonite is relatively cheap, works in the background without interrupting computer functionality or bandwidth speeds. While it creates a full backup of your computer, you can still access and restore individual files.
- Dropbox and Windows Live Mesh will allow you to synchronize your work across multiple computers and offers free online locker space. 2 Gigs for Dropbox and 5 Gigs on Skydive for Windows Mesh. Both are accessible through mobile applications and through a web browser.
- Email your work to yourself after working on a file.
- Complete all your work on online office suites like Office 365, Google Apps or Zoho.
Additional emergency options
- Keep an extra set of home and auto keys at the office. You can hide them under your desk or within a file folder.
- Just in case you spill something on yourself or need to stay in a hotel room overnight, keep an extra set of clothes and a toiletries bag in the car.
- Create a backup business portfolio where you can keep marketing material, business cards, pens, pencils and a writing pad. You never want to enter a meeting or a sales call empty handed.
No matter how organized or prepared you are, there are always going to be times when things fall through the cracks. With a little bit of forethought you can create a emergency kit for any type of situation.