A sudden evacuation is a stressful situation. Evacuating will be extremely difficult if you are not already prepared, costing you valuable time.
What should I take?
What should I leave?
What will I need?
What do I need to do before I leave the house?
If you haven’t answered these questions before it is time to evacuate you will waste precious moments just getting your stuff together.
First, you want to know where you are going. Are you staying at a shelter, with relatives, or a hotel? Make a plan and have at least one alternate plan just in case.
Second, you need to know how you are going to get there. Are you driving? Are you catching a ride with a neighbor? Plan accordingly. If you are driving here are some of the things you must consider:
- Fuel for at least 100 miles.
- Plans for Multiple Escape Routes out of Your Area
- Making Sure Vehicle is In Working Order (tire pressure, anti-freeze/coolant, etc)
- Car Should Have Emergency Roadside Kit
Once you know where you are going and how you will get there you must prepare yourself and your home for the evacuation.
You will need a personal disaster kit for every member of your family, including pets. Your disaster kit should have an extra pair of clothes. It should have medical supplies, as well as, medical information. It should include anything you think you will need, including multiple forms of identification.You may also want to pack valuables, such as photo album. What to bring is the most difficult part that I will cover in another blog post.
Finally perform a pre-flight checklist for your home. Before you leave make sure the following things are done.
- Cut the power to your home through your circuit breaker
- Turn off the water and gas lines leading to your home
- Make an effort to secure your home(e.g. board up windows) this will come in handy for insurance purposes
- Put away or tie down anything that can be blown away(patio furniture, trash cans)
- Lock Windows and Doors and Pull Curtains
- (Optional) Place a Leave Behind Note for emergency officials or anyone you think may look for you.
Evacuating will not be too difficult if you divide the work between the members of your family. Disaster kits should be packed and ready to go before hand. If done correctly you can be ready to leave your house within 1 hour.