I mentioned in a recent post, Our First Steps to Preparedness, Michael and I began this journey with these thoughts in mind:
- To be better prepared for a financial hardship (loss of job, fighting inflation)
- Some type of disaster situation, such as Katrina, where we might be forced to live off what we had in our home for an extended period of time.
Later, an event in our town had the police in a panic. One officer force-evacuated our minor children (in shorts and flip flops) by yelling at them to “run that way” while pointing his finger down the street! There was no reasoning, no planning, and a non-existent level of confidence in authority. Not knowing what was going on, or how long they would be evacuated, our daughters locked the dog in its night box and went wandering down the street. Having no idea where to go or what to do, and having no suitable shoes, they managed to find someone they knew with a land line so they could call out to us for instructions and help.
This incident got me thinking about being more prepared for emergencies that require evacuation. Up until this point we had an idea, but we never really researched or planned for this type of event. I have lived in our town for a cumulative 30 years and had never been evacuated before. We decided a more serious approach to our evacuation plans was needed. We also made the decision to get our kids more prepared and self sufficient.
I did an internet search and found a local emergency preparedness meetup group (of which I have since become a very active member) to seek out help and information. There is a ton of information available on this subject complete with numerous checklists. Some good, some not so good. Here are my personal opinions, thoughts and/or current processes on being evacuation ready for a minor emergency, and a rough outline of what I think should be in your 72 hour kits/evacuation bags.
Unless you are a stay at home mom or dad, or otherwise blessed to be home with your kids when they are not in school, your kids need to be aware of the plans and protocols for evacuating your home. Things to consider:
- What will they do with your pets if the kids are evacuating without you?
- Where will they evacuate to without a vehicle?
- Do they know where their evacuation kits are and what’s in them?
- What other things are important enough that you want your kids to know to grab them? And how will they know whether they have the time?
- Do you have an emergency binder?
Things that should be in your evacuation bag. This is not a complete list of possibilities, but gives you a general idea. This list is a per/person itemization.
- Enough food and water for 3 or more days.
- At least 1500 Cals per day
- You can use a calculator like this one to get a more accurate caloric need based on your body type.
- At LEAST one gallon of water per day, or a way to get clean drinking water, such as a water filter. (I keep 2 liters in my bag with a sawyer water filter system).
- Layered clothing options
- Extra shoes
- Hygiene items
- Safety items
- Dust Mask
- Latex gloves
- Evacuation route/plan/meeting location (Have maps if necessary)
- List of phone numbers, contact info.
- Photograph of individual with entire family. This is for Safety and identification purposes.
- Copy of student ID card for identification.
These things should get you through a “normal” evacuation procedure. Fire warning and the like.
I can’t stress enough to practice your evacuation plans with your children at an age appropriate level.
What do you do to help your family prepare for an evacuation? Are they ready to evacuate if you are not home? Leave comments below! 🙂