The Personal Affairs Portfolio Story was born out of a personal desire to fill a pervasive need. Everyone has a story about a life-changing event that blindsided them or someone they love. Perhaps they were the victim of a natural disaster or serious accident. Maybe there was a debilitating illness or death in the family. In any case, these experiences often expose how unprepared we are to deal with calamity.

My story starts with a purple folder. 

My Mother, Dodie Hutchinson.

My Mother, Dodie Hutchinson.

In 2008, my mother was battling lung cancer and facing the realization that she could die from her illness. She told my siblings and me that there was a purple folder containing her final wishes. None of us asked to see it. We never talked about the folder’s contents because we trusted it would be there when we needed it. When my mother passed away, our grief was profound. To honor my mother, we knew her service should be exactly as she wanted. Unfortunately, the purple folder was never found. Without it, my family was left with many questions and disagreements over what her wishes might have been. The situation caused a rift between us that lingered far too long. 

Within a year of my mother’s death, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Again, we were caught off-guard and left scrambling to manage his affairs. Six months after my dad’s diagnosis, I learned that my uncle had Alzheimer’s disease as well. A recent widower with no children, my uncle needed my assistance. I flew from my home to his Florida residence many times, making sure he received proper medical care and housing. Handling his finances was a time-consuming, stressful chore because the paperwork was in disarray. Although my uncle had written a will and done some estate planning, it became clear to me that preparation without organization is still a problem. I remember thinking:  “There has to be a better way.”

Since then I have heard from many people with their own “purple folder” stories. These experiences became the catalyst behind creating the Personal Affairs Portfolio – a reliable, convenient tool to help us all get organized so that we can be better prepared to deal with life’s challenges. I've made the portfolio an easy to use system that guides you step-by-step through the various categories of your life where you capture information that will be needed when you aren't able to share it.  I believe a completed Personal Affairs Portfolio is truly a gift for yourself and others.



The Emergency Planning Portfolio

“No one ever thinks a disaster will happen to them. “   Josh Lockwood, Regional CEO of Red Cross Greater New York 

I heard Josh say this in an interview and his statement struck me because I think this. I think we need to come to terms that a disaster could strike any of us, so we need to do what we can to be ready. 

In 2018, alone, we had the California Wild Fires, Hurricane Michael and Florence, tornadoes and flooding from the Plains to the Southeast, high winds and hail, plus the Nor’easters that pummeled the eastern United States. 

Climate driven events and extreme weather are on the rise, and natural disasters are always a possibility. And according to the American Red Cross, house fires account for 90% of their relief efforts. So what can you do? You can make the time for Proactive Planning and Preparation.  Plan with your family and prepare your home for different emergency and disaster situations, so you are not caught off-guard. What you would need if you were caught in a disaster? 

I created the Emergency Planning Portfolio, (EPP) to help you prepare, as easily as possible, for life’s unexpected events. It’s a system of information, useable checklists and suggested tasks to prepare your house and family.  The checklists include, creating an emergency plan with members of your household, stocking an emergency kit, preparing your pets, knowing available resources, and more.  The EPP also sections of our other product, The Personal Affairs Portfolio that takes step by step through the process of getting all your important personal information together, all in one place and ready to use. 

During an emergency, your focus will be on your family and on surviving, so use the information and checklists to prepare before disaster strikes. There are many things that you can do to get ready that require little or no money. So, regardless of your financial situation, it is important for you to plan for a potential weather event or natural disaster.

Life after a storm can be emotionally and physically challenging, so it’s important to know that you’ve done everything you can ahead of time to minimize the potential stress. A completed Emergency Planning Portfolio will have you covered.