Week 6 of 52: Evacuation Preparedness
This week, we will concentrate on the evacuation aspect of preparedness.¬† Many who have first hand accounts of mass evacuations from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane¬†Rita¬†will tell you that it is not fun.¬†¬† When we think of evacuations, we typically think of¬†the mass exodus we witnessed on television with the aforementioned storms.¬† Depending on the area you live in, there are times when evacuations are more localized and require you to leave your community or town.¬† Being that I live in Houston, I not only have to worry about hurricane season, but I also have to worry about chemical leaks from the refineries in this area.¬† If a refinery emergency were to occur, I would have to leave immediately, thus giving my family only a few minutes to evacuate¬†our home.¬†
Having a pre-assembled bag with basic survival needs in place will expedite the¬†evacuation process,¬†as well as keep things running smoothly.¬†¬†The main goal of having a 72-hour bag is to be equipped to survive for three days.¬† Therefore, keep your basic survival needs in mind: food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, medications/prescriptions.¬† In addition, I would also pack some extra emergency money or¬†a credit card with enough money for gas and lodging ¬†in case you run into a monetary issue.¬† Click here to get more details on preparing a 72 hour bag.
Preparing a bag for evacuations takes more time than one would think.¬†¬†Taking survival needs into account¬†¬†is one thing, but trying to collect prescriptions, children’s special items, and personal documents can be frustrating if you were under¬†time constraints.¬†¬†Preparing ahead of time for evacuations will cut down on the headaches, and keep you one step ahead.¬†
Preps to buy:
- Backpacks for each member of the family (make sure the backpack has multiple compartments and pockets)
- Water containers for each family member
- Water purification tablets
- Food for three days (remember foods that are lightweight and high in calories)
- Mylar blankets or bivvy for each member of the family
- Tent or some sort of alternative shelter
- Season appropriate clothing (3 days worth)
- Fire starters
- Waterproof matches and/or Bic lighters
- Charged cell phone or alternate communication
- Maps of the city and state¬†(if you have not already purchased)¬†
- Flash lights for each bag with extra batteries
- Mess kit and utensils for each family member
Don’t forget to pack items for pet needs.¬† In additions, some other items to¬†include in¬†your evacuation packs are a first aid kit, hygiene items (toilet paper, deodorant, feminine products, shampoo/soap),¬†and personal documents.
1. Create an evacuation plan including an emergency meeting area for family members, multiple evacuation routes, a list of emergency phone numbers.¬† Having this checklist on hand will keep an evacuation as organized as possible.
2. Assemble evacuation packs.
3.¬†Place packs near an emergency exit or in an easy to access area.
4. As a family, discuss the evacuation plan, and include a discussion on the protocol and emergency exits.
Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/
Date: June 3rd, 2011