- See if your home owners insurance will cover the most likely natural disasters in your area. If not, you may need a special rider for such events.
- Pre-plan for a variety of locations to evacuate to (hotel, friend's house, vacation cabin, etc).
- Put money aside for an emergency evacuation. You will need to pay for gas, hotel costs, food costs, and possibly an extended stay away from your home in the event it is destroyed by the disaster that is causing you to evacuate in the first place.
- Have your evacuation kit ready to grab within minutes. This should include your bug out bag as well as a box of your most important items (family mementos, important documents, anything that can't be replaced should your place burn to the ground). Extra water and food should also be tossed into your vehicle on the way out as well.
- Have a (paper) map of multiple evacuation routes away from your home.
- Have the local news pre-set on your vehicle's radio so you can listen for evacuation news while you are leaving. Of course if you see a possible disaster coming your way, stay informed with up-to-the-minute news via TV, internet, social media, and/or radio.
- Have an evacuation plan for your pets and livestock as well. You should have leashes and crates for smaller critters (dogs, cats, etc) as well as food and water pre-packed for them. If you are unable to evacuate your livestock, at least set them free and let them seek their own shelter from the disaster. More info on the topic here.
- Evacuate earlier than needed, if possible, if you have a family member that is ill, infirm, or immobile. Also, anyone who would be medically impacted by the impending disaster should leave as soon as possible (ie: someone with severe asthma should be nowhere near a wildfire). Be sure to bring the person's meds and seek help by calling 911 if you are unable to transport a loved one due to their medical condition or immobility.
- Check on your neighbors on the way out if you have time. Make sure they know about the impending need for evacuation and assist them in any way possible without putting your own life at risk. The elderly may especially need help or advice on evacuating.
- The last thing to do before you leave should be to close and lock all doors and windows in your home, turn off utilities if appropriate, and put a sign on your door with large lettering saying them home is evacuated at date and time. Add your cell number at the bottom of the sign in case anyone needs to get a hold of you.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Are You Ready to Evacuate? 10 Tips
Within the last week, thousands of people have had to suddenly evacuate their homes. At least 20,000 had to evacuate in Louisiana due to flooding, and 82,000 people were forced to evacuate from a wildfire that went from a small fire at the side of the road at the Nevada-California state line to closing a major interstate highway and burning 25,000+ acres (it is still not contained). Scary stuff. To make sure you are ready to evacuate at a moment's notice, consider these tips: