By Korie Marshall

It may be part of human nature to procrastinate; especially when it comes to planning for things you hope won’t happen.

Writing a will, planning your own funeral and planning for emergencies are all things we know we should probably do, but they are the easiest to put off, when so many of us have so many other things to do that seem so much more pressing. But now is a good time to start thinking about them, always remembering that the best plans are not ones that sit completed in a folder, but are constantly reviewed and updated, as circumstances change.

It is winter. We know it’s a good time to think about our vehicles, make sure they are safe for the winter roads, especially since many of us will be traveling to visit family over the holidays. Having that emergency kit in your trunk is a good start to emergency planning, and it doesn’t matter if it is a store-bought kit. You can make your own, with the things you might need for the roads you might encounter.

That is a good start for planning what you might need in case of an emergency situation in your community. You should know what you have in your car, and how much gas you have, in case you have to evacuate, and that’s a good time to think about who you might be able to help along the way. What is your route out of town, and who do you know will need help? Where will you go and who will you contact? Already, you’ve got a big part of your plan figured out. It might not be set in stone, it may depend on the situation, but you’ve made a start.

When I start thinking about those things, it also reminds me to consider what is truly important in my life, which for me is a good reason to sort out my paperwork – the financial stuff, insurance, investments, and think about writing a will. I haven’t written one yet, but every New Year, I say I am going to. It is part of some good advice I got one year, to make what many would consider a really boring New Year’s resolution – resolve once a year to get your finances in order, so you know what you have and what you want to protect. Plus taxes are coming up too, so it will help you be prepared for that.

It’s actually been a while since I’ve done that properly. You know, you get a credit card and they talk you into that insurance that you’ve forgotten you had, or you have a different car, or the last time you thought about it, you had insurance through a former employer. It’s really too much to think about all at once, but I found in the past that if I spend a couple hours a week in January and February, I can get a lot of things sorted out, and feel like I’ve actually made the decisions, instead of the decisions making me.

So that will be my New Year’s resolution again this year, but this time, I am going to add emergency planning to my list. It shouldn’t be that hard, because I’ve already started.