Refrigerator magnets come in all shapes and sizes and for all purposes.  Most are for decoration or advertising.

I have used these business card magnets for years, but for a slightly different purpose.  I have a Functional Needs  child (aka Developmentally Disabled, Special Needs, Handicapped (terms keep changing to stress a more positive and empowering connotation).  My daughter has had medical emergencies during times I was home and when I was not.  Everyone knows that Mom is the go to for information on her family.  Moms usually have all the contact info for each family member and is knowledgeable of each family member’s medications, medical conditions, allergies, daily schedule, location, and physician information.  What if Mom is not home?  What if you have called and her phone is dead or off because she is in a meeting.  Then what do you do?

You can buy these at most office supply stores

You can buy these at most office supply stores

Put the information that might be needed in an emergency in an easily accessible place.  The Fridge.

This helps reduce calls to mom from family members (from the kids who want a pizza!) for mundane things as well as for Emergencies when mom can’t be reached right away.

We include whatever is a frequent informational need (such as pizza, takeout etc), as well as emergency repair people (plumber, A/C, utilities, tow services, frequently visited businesses and more).

Frequently Used Services (gotta have pizza!)

Frequently Used Services
(gotta have pizza!)

WE ALSO HAVE IMPORTANT MEDICAL EMERGENCY CONTACT CARDS (Dr’.s Business cards).  These include my daughter’s Pediatrician, Neurologist, Dentist and any other important information.  As a mom, I am the most frequent user of these items and it saves time digging for a number from a phone book, Google (yes, its faster than Google if you are in fridge vicinity, sorry Google), or something stored in a phone (under Dr. Who? What?).

It has also been helpful to a caregiver (babysitter, family, friend) who maybe had to look at MY BUSINESS CARD to get my work phone number in an emergency.

You may not want to cover your fridge in such things if you are a purist, or dislike clutter, but It has been helpful to us for many reasons. You can organize the magnets on one hidden side, or give a panel or section to each family member.  Kids love to have their own areas to hang artwork too.

Business or Emergency Information (Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

Business or Emergency Information
(Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

You can use the same concept in your office if you have file cabinets, note boards etc.  However, I must warn you not to place magnets on computer cabinets, near your devices, cell phones, or in your purse next to your credit cards.  Doing so could have detrimental results!!

Most computer nerds know this.  Yes, my husband calls me a nerd because of the extensive amounts of useless knowledge that stores itself in my melon, but I posit that it comes in handy sometimes!

Here’s more info on why you should not put magnets on your devices:

Hopefully this tip can streamline your in home emergency and frequently used phone numbers or contacts.  If nothing else it will reduce the number of phone calls from your teenagers asking you for phone numbers for the Pizza Place.

Social Media-Love it or Hate it?

Social Media.  Some people love it and some people hate it.  I love it, but have to be careful that it does not consume too much of my time when I should be doing something else.  I use WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, and Pinterest and am exploring other social media platforms.

I use social media to promote me and to advertise our family business. I have used it for investigative purposes (Yes, this happens). It’s free, convenient, mobile, and fairly easy to use.  If I am not sure how to use a social media platform, it is easy to find tutorials on YouTube.  Social media can be used for informing the public, emergency preparedness and response, personal preparedness education as well as publicizing disaster preparedness tips.

These days almost everyone has a smart phone.  Even if power goes out if you have a charge on your phone you can get real time information through social media.  “According to a recent study by the American Red Cross, citizens are now seeking out and utilizing social media to send and receive information” (Crowe, 2010, pp 416).  Emergency management officials can also monitor social media to gather information (Fema and crowdsourcing) to narrow down areas needing response more quickly among other things.

Social media has also become a two-way communication tool for informational and public relations purposes.  Jonathan Walters discusses social media as a public relations tool: “One agency that’s been held up as a national model for using social media in a sophisticated way is the Palo Alto, Calif., Police Department—not for crisis response, although it’s ready to use if necessary—but for day-to-day community relations and general citizen goodwill building” (2014, p.46).  YouTube has become not only a vehicle for entertainment but for learning (through tutorials), advertising, and public service messages.  One of my favorites public service announcement is by the American Heart Association, is of Ken Jeong demonstrating AHA Hands-Only CPR.

There are many benefits and positive applications for the use of various social media platforms, but there can be problems with misuse. According to Bill Keller, “The most obvious drawback of social media is that they are aggressive distractions” (2011). There have also been many instances of bullying, harassing, and malicious uses of social media.

Children and teenagers are by nature impulsive and should be supervised, educated and their social media use monitored, or followed by parents.  Parents need to watch to be sure their children are being responsible, to see if they are sharing too much information.  If a parent finds hurtful or malicious messages are being exchanged, intervention by an adult should be immediate and is crucial!  In fact, I believe that parents as well as schools need to do a better job educating kids about bullying, responsibility, and self-control.  Some of this is already happening due to suicides of children who have been bullied and the concern over personal information or pictures being posted resulting in criminal charges.

In conclusion, social media is here to stay, love it or hate it.  If you choose to use it, it would be wise to re-read what you are about to post and think about how someone else could perceive the message.  If you do not like drama, you can choose who to follow and who can appear in your feed.  Make sure you review your privacy settings, and realize once it is posted you cannot take it back. When it comes to intent, teasing and sarcasm can sometimes be lost in translation due to lack of social cues (or body language and expression).  If you can self-edit, and explore the many benefits of social media you can find there are so many possibilities for its use now and in the future.


Crowe, A. (2010). The social media manifesto: A comprehensive review of the impact of social media on emergency management. Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, 5(1), 409-420. Retrieved from

Keller, B. (2011, May 22). THE TWITTER TRAP.  New York Times Magazine, 11-12. Retrieved from

Walters, J. (2014, July). Lost in translation: governments are still struggling to get social media right. Governing, 27(10), 46+. Retrieved from