Emergency preparedness – there’s more to it than water and canned goods!
This past year, many severe weather systems have made us realize it never pays to be unprepared for unexpected developments. We’ve learned that we may need at least three days’ worth (or more!) of non-perishable, nutritious foods and water, batteries, our medications, and lots of clothing and blankets for a weather emergency. We know now about emergency candles and hand-crank radios so we can stay in touch, and even may keep extra “just-in-case” cash on hand. Some people have no doubt even squirreled away extra food, treats and medicines for beloved family pets.
But are you TRULY prepared for a serious emergency of a personal nature? How would your family cope if something drastic happened to you…a parent…or another loved one? Personal emergencies are much more common than natural disasters, but few of us are ready for one. Even if we think we are, we’re likely not.
- The states hold $42 billion of unclaimed assets because people neglected to tell loved ones what they’ve accumulated.
- More Americans than ever before (28 per cent) live alone; however, without written directions, court approval is needed for medical decisions.
- More than $1 billion in life insurance lies unclaimed because heirs don’t know the policies exist.
- Essential bills can’t be paid if you can’t communicate instructions or the location of passwords.
- Sharing your primary physician’s name can ensure better care in an emergency, but too often, doctors must treat patients without the benefit of their medical records.
Have you dealt with the sudden death of a spouse or a parent? Has anyone you loved been felled by an illness or accident so serious and sudden that they couldn’t communicate about treatment wishes? In such a case, merely having a will, an advanced treatment directive or a durable power of attorney isn’t enough… particularly if family members can’t put their hands on it! An important document – or even the storage location of an estate-related item is just about useless if it can’t be found. You inherited Grandpa’s sailboat? Great! But where is it stored?
Families today must be prepared for every eventuality and that not only takes a bit of organization, but also communication so people know where to find the information. Only then can someone’s wishes be carried out as he or she meant. Given emotional levels at such a time, one family crisis can easily create another. As the old idiom goes: “The devil’s in the details!”
Many items often fall between the proverbial cracks…such basic information as:
- Do relatives know if a will exists?
- Where are the critical papers – health or life insurance policies, the will, power of attorney and so on – stored?
- Who’s in charge of your household if you’re ill or stranded somewhere with an injury?
- Which bills are paid by check and which automatically from a bank account – and for goodness sakes, where can the passwords be found?
- Do bills and income checks arrive electronically or by snail mail? Who are the contacts?
- Where do you bank? Who are your insurance providers? Do you have a legal advisor?
- If children and pets are involved, who will look after them? Do they require special care? Who is the family doctor, pediatrician or veterinarian? At the very least, where is the dog kibble stored and how much is fed?
- If there is an alarm system on the house, which company provides it?
- Where are spare house/vehicle keys stored?
- Who should be notified at your workplace of your illness or your demise?
When emergencies take center stage, many aspects of the victim’s life must be taken into consideration, which brings us back to…
Have YOU left anyone in the dark at a time when they need your precious information? You wouldn’t be alone!
Fortunately for all of us who inadvertently have been leaving people without the information they need, a software program called The Torch has come to the rescue. It is designed to gently lead and guide even less-than-organized people to assemble their essential information. Best of all, it stores that information securely so that family and friends can access it in the event of a personal emergency.
The Torch not only helps people gain access to the details or documents that they need, but it also spares them from emotional chaos when they most need their wits about them.
The Torch is the brainchild of a woman named Lenore Vassil –
Lenore relinquished an executive technology role at a Fortune 500 corporation to research and launch The Torch after a conversation with family and friends during an overseas holiday.
While hiking in Ibiza, Spain, Lenore and her companions talked about what family members would do if something catastrophic happened to one of them during their adventure holiday. The consensus? No one would even know how to begin to find the important information that a crisis would require! They cringed at the thought of the emotional nightmare that would be thrust on the very people they wanted to protect by having wills or insurance policies in place, realizing that none of them were prepared for a crisis.
While Lenore pondered how people could prepare their loved ones for an emergency, she learned firsthand exactly how critical such a solution would be. Her father contracted viral encephalitis, which caused temporary dementia. He lost his memory for eight weeks, and his family struggled to keep the household running.
Fortunately, Lenore’s father made a full recovery. His illness, however, highlighted the great need for a system through which people could access essential information in a crisis. So too, did the disappearance of a family friend during an extreme surfing trip. His family not only searched in vain for months for a will or life insurance policy, they did so while under extreme emotional duress.
Existing digital systems for information storage came with their own challenges, so Lenore tackled developing a system that was more efficient. You don’t have to reveal your passwords or provide sensitive private details with The Torch; the system focuses on where to find the information, not the actual details.
We invite you to watch this one-minute video. It will give you an invaluable glimpse of how The Torch can help you and your loved ones.
The Torch is a user-friendly system that helps subscribers gather and communicate instructions for those challenging “what if” situations. Even if you’re not an organized person by nature, The Torch is easy to use. For example, it highlights for you the gaps in the information you file and makes a “to do” list for you. It is also easily updated as information changes.
Life is unpredictable but you don’t have to be. Let The Torch be your “little light.” Won’t you please “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine?”
We are thrilled to recommend The Torch to clients, friends and advisors. Use coupon code pem5off to receive $5 off. We receive nothing for recommending this tool; we simply believe it is brilliant. (No pun intended!) We are grateful to have access to it in our work as advisors, and urge you to light your Torch today!
– Prosperity Peaks