It is important to remember that in a grid down situation, you likely won’t have ready and easy access to the Internet so all of those great articles you’ve bookmarked will be useless to you. On top of that, depending on the nature of the calamity, even e-books might be out of reach. Any and all personal record information, such as insurance policies and such, won’t be accessible if they are only found on your computer.
Keeping Track of Your Information
A survival binder is a simple way to keep all of that information handy. Start with a 3 ring binder and a three hole punch, both of which can probably be found at your local Goodwill if you don’t want to pay for new (though they are very cheap, especially at back to school time). While you’re at it, pick up one or two packages of dividers, which are cardstock with tabs affixed to the side. These will allow you to better organize your binder.
Some people go so far as to use plastic page protectors as well. This isn’t a bad idea but will add a bit of expense to the project.
Set up your binder with sections for things like:
Important documents – insurance policies, financial statements, property ownership paperwork, etc.
Food – recipes using food storage items, information on different ways to cook offgrid, that sort of stuff.
Water – information on filtering and purifying water.
First aid – information on how to stay healthy, treat injuries and illnesses, how to use different first aid items you might have on hand.
The list goes on and on. As you find information online that you might want to be able to reference if the power is out, print out a copy and store it in your binder.
I would caution you to stay on top of the organizing part of this project. It is all too easy to go on a printing binge and then just toss everything into the binder, promising to yourself that you’re going to organize it later. Trust me, later never comes. It is far better to place the printed pages into the correct part of the binder each and every time.
As you go along, you may end up getting to the point where you’ll need more than one binder because you’ve accumulated so much information. That’s perfectly fine and normal. What I suggest you do at that point is to create labels for the binders so you know what is in each. This will hopefully cut down on your searching time when you’re looking for a specific piece of information.
The survival binder is an excellent project for keeping track of all the great information you find online, allowing you to access it when the computer and Internet aren’t viable options.