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Terri Stephens

Terri Stephens, CPO, CRTS

Certified Professional Organizer®
Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist®




(678) 513-6585

Ways We Can Help
Make a Family Plan for Emergencies
Organize to Keep Pets Safe from Disaster

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You can save money. You'll know what you already own, eliminating the need to buy duplicate items. A professional organizer can help you find the perfect organizing products for your space and lifestyle, so you stop wasting money on things you don't need or won't work.


You can become more productive and efficient. A professional organizer can create order and structure out of chaos. You'll receive systems that work for your dominant learning style, your lifestyle, your needs, your challenges, and your dreams.


You'll have a positive self-image and ditch the shame. Once your home or office is neat and tidy, you won't feel embarrassed to have guests visit. The guilt will fade away as you take pride in your surroundings.


You'll have a healthier environment. Physical and emotional clutter obscures your surroundings. An organized home and office is more easily cleaned. Lose the clutter and cut down on time spent moving piles of paper and stuff around.


Your stress level will decrease dramatically. When you can find what you need, are on top of your to-dos, and arrive on time, you'll feel calmer and have more peace of mind. No more feeling overwhelmed by life -- you'll be the one in control.


You'll discover more time for yourself. When you're organized, your days go as planned, and you get a lot more done. That leaves more time to indulge in a little "me time."


Your energy will shine. Clutter is a mask and a professional organizer can help you take off that mask. Once the clutter is removed, you can showcase your talents, skills, and personality and have the life you deserve.




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Faithful Organizers



September 2013



The recent devastating floods in Colorado and - prior to that, massive wildfires in the west - forced many thousands of people to evacuate their homes in the interest of safety. It's a fresh reminder to all of us that it pays to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Taking the time to plan ahead can make all the difference between having what you need and recovering more quickly - versus reacting in a panic mode and forgetting important things. Hopefully, this information will inspire you to do it NOW while it's fresh on your mind.


Until next time,  

Terri Signature  




Terri Stephens, CPO, CRTS

Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC
(678) 513-6585


family disaster plan
Photo: American Red Cross

No one wants to think about disasters, but with September designated as National Preparedness Month, this is a good time to focus on organizing your family to face a number of possibilities - fire, flood, storms, earthquakes, terrorist actions and more. Having a plan will help you and your family come through a disaster, either natural or man-made, safely and with fewer disruptions.



First, be sure you know where you'll get information in the event of a disaster. Contact your local emergency management agency (visit the Federal Emergency Management Association website for a directory of state organizations) to learn how you will be notified for each kind of disaster. Ask about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations and keep this information with your emergency kit. Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should prepare for both possibilities in case of disaster.


Make a Plan

It's easy to overlook important details when your family is planning for a disaster, and you're even more likely to do so in the event of an emergency. A family disaster plan is vital when preparing for a possible disaster. Fortunately, you don't have to guess about what information to include or worry that you've forgotten something important. Download a copy of the Family Emergency Plan from and keep it in a safe place so that you know what to do.


Try to make planning fun and interesting for kids. Review your family emergency plan regularly during a family meeting or dinner. Ask children to discuss their concerns and worries and be sure they understand that there are different types of emergencies, which require different responses. Take them to your designated "meeting spots" so they'll be familiar. The Ready Kids coloring and activity book is a downloadable 16-page kid-friendly guide to making an emergency kit, developing a family emergency plan and helping kids feel ready to deal with unexpected. There's also a section featuring Flat Stanley and Flat Stella, book characters familiar to young readers. The Ready Kids  section at includes a number of resources for parents and teachers.


Senior citizens can also take some basic steps to be prepared for emergencies before they happen. A network of neighbors, relatives and friends is important for support - from helping to manage medication to providing transportation to an emergency shelter. Keep in mind that regular caregivers may not be available, so make sure that everyone in your support network is aware of any special needs and knows how to operate necessary equipment.


According to FEMA, seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter.


For more information, read's Preparing Makes Sense For Older Americans or visit the Red Cross website.


Build a Kit

Whether the situation calls for you to evacuate or shelter in place, you'll need a well-stocked emergency kit as part of your family disaster plan. A basic emergency kit should include these Items:

Water - one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio, plus extra batteries

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to filter contaminated air

Wrench and/or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food


Store food in tightly closed containers in a cool, dry place. Change food and water every six months. Update your kit as your family needs change, adding and removing items such as baby food and formula as needed. Keep your disaster kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trash can, large backpack or duffel bag.


Developing your family plan for disaster is critical to ensuring that all family members are prepared for any emergency. 


Pets disaster plan For many of us, our pets are members of our family and keeping them safe from disaster requires particular organizing and planning. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are a number of steps you can take now to be prepared and protect your pets in case of a natural or man-made disaster.


ID your pet. Every dog or cat should have a collar and visible identification tag with up-to-date contact information. Having your pet microchipped can help reunite the two of you and is a great back-up in case a pet's collar or tags are lost. Be sure to include your current mobile number on your pet's tag and stored microchip information. If you're forced to evacuate, you'll still be reachable.


Keep reading for more information about creating a disaster kit for your pet, evacuating with your pet and keeping your pet safe while sheltering in place.


First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.   

- Dale Carnegie  




DiningMost of us recommend restaurants, movies or mechanics to our family and friends. When you recommend Real Order for professional organizing, we want to thank you with a $25 gift card to Red Lobster or Olive Garden - it's your choice. A minimum of four hours of organizing services must be purchased to qualify. To redeem your gift card, simply notify us of the family or friend you are referring to us. Bon appetit!


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