Emergency Evacuation Procedures List
As we have seen in recent weeks, disaster can, and will, strike. As much as we would like to think we are safe in our homes, the threats of earthquake, hurricane and the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee have impressed on us all the reality that we may have to abandon our homes and seek shelter elsewhere.
Asset Docs has compiled the following thoughts on preparing yourself and your family and pets for the next disaster.
Keep a ‘GO BAG’
Military personnel keep a ‘go bag’ packed with essentials at all times, in case they are called out on a mission. The bag sits near the door of their barracks or residence where it can be picked up on the run. No need to take time looking for a piece of gear or try to remember what items they should take along.
Homeowners can make the same kinds of preparations. Whether you make your ‘go bag’ a permanent feature, or assemble it at the first warning of possible trouble, it will increase your preparedness and reduce the stress of an already troubling situation. Consider including these items:
- Flashlights and batteries
- Cell Phones and their chargers
- First Aid Kit
- Personal Medicines and Prescriptions
A well-equipped home should have a fireproof lockbox holding all important personal paperwork. A safe is fine, but you can’t easily take it with you if you need to evacuate. Here are some of the things you might regularly store in your residential lockbox. If evacuation becomes necessary, you can grab it and go.
- Your Asset Documentation binder and disks
- Birth Certificates
- Property Deeds
- Automobile Titles
- Insurance Policies – Home, Flood, Renters, Auto, Health, Life
- Legal papers
- Medical Records
- Contact Numbers – Government, Red Cross, Church, Relatives.
- Banking info, including safe deposit keys
If you have advance warning of a flood or other cause to leave your home, you may wish to spend a short time gathering the following items in boxes to take with you. If you regularly keep such items together in the home, it should be a quick task to collect:
- Photo Albums
- Portable computers
- Computer backups – External Hard Drive (Even a home computer network consisting of multiple computers can be completely and automatically backed up onto an external hard drive at regular intervals. While the bulk of all the computer equipment may be too much to handle in an emergency, a single terabyte hard drive, costing less than $100, can go with you in a hurry, thus saving all your files from loss.)
- Cameras and batteries
None of us wants to lose a pet to a disaster. Some advance planning and organization can help you to remember to take along:
- Vet Records
- License info and Tags
- Pet food
- Collars and Leads
- Pet carrier
‘BEFORE YOU LEAVE’
If the flood waters are rising and evacuation is advised, there are still some things you can do to minimize the danger of loss with what you have to leave behind. Consider this checklist:
*Consider turning off all breakers in the main service box EXCEPT the main and the sump pump, if flooding is expected.
- Secure or remove all weapons
- Turn off utilities – gas, water, electricity*
- Move furniture, appliances, clothing, canned goods and dried foods, etc., to the highest floor possible.
- Empty freezers and refrigerators – if the power goes off, you don’t want to come back to all that spoiled food. Take it with you if at all possible.
- Close windows, lock doors.
- Place your cell phone numbers in a waterproof container attached near front door.