Before we developed the 2014 Prepare Kansas online financial challenge, we tested out some of our ideas with our K-State Research and Extension colleagues. Today we hear from Jackie. She completed the pilot online challenge and shared this picture.
What motivated you to participate?
Participating in the challenge provided actual deadlines for me to get things done. The structure of the challenge was helpful. So was the information that was shared on the blog. I am relatively new to Kansas and wasn’t familiar with tornados or how to prepare for them or some of the other severe weather here.
What did you get out of participating in the online challenge rather than doing it on your own?
I don’t think it would have gotten done! The structure with deadlines was very helpful. Being guided through the process in an intentional way was helpful.
It created the opportunity for an initial conversation between me and my partner about what we would do, where we would meet up, how we would provide for our dog if there were an emergency in our community. We now have a written communication plan – we each know where a copy is. It has relieved stress to know that we have an email version, a physical version in the spot where we shelter from tornados, and a copy in each of our vehicles.
Creating the “shelter” and accomplishing that led me to the next step – the actual household inventory. The idea that we could take pictures of the items in our home was really helpful and knowing how simple the process could be was motivating. I used my phone and it was really easy. It is all stored in the cloud so I can access it anywhere.
What was challenging for you?
As a student, deciding how much to spend and finding affordable items to secure the paper work and other files for the possible conditions in Kansas – water, fire, wind – was a challenge. There were a lot of options available at various prices so narrowing it down to what would work best for our situation was a challenge.
What tips do you have for Prepare Kansas 2014 participants?
Take small steps! Just get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. For example, for the household inventory, focus on a room at a time or one type of item and prioritize which to take care of first…furniture, computers and electronics, valuables like jewelry or other heirlooms, etc.