Introduction – Who Needs An Evacuation Plan?

Answer: EVERYONE NEEDS AN EVACUATION PLAN!

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I wrote about evacuation plans on my Facebook page and feed in March of last year. If only people had paid attention. But they thought, it wouldn’t happen to them. And then the fires from the lightening strike happened, and many people lost their homes. They were not prepared. They didn’t have an evacuation plan.

I urge you to please PREPARE yourselves. MAKE AN EVACUATION PLAN!!! It’s so very important to have the right stuff in your To Go Bag. It’s so important to update your plan! Have a drill for all of the family members in your household. Who will be in charge of what.

As we begin to make our evacuation plan, I know there is a lot involved and can seem downright overwhelming. Please don’t give up. If you do nothing else, please do what’s stated on the photo. Feel free to print and share. The more people who know, the more people will be prepared.

I’ve only lived through two of these disasters, and the fire that destroyed my home was the worst. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, because it can. I hope to God it doesn’t, but best to be prepared.

Here are a list of links to look at for making evacuation plans for different types of disasters. Some states are more prone to these than other states. For example, California doesn’t have hurricanes and tornadoes.

Earthquakes

https://www.quakekare.com/earthquake-preparedness/make-an-earthquake-plan

https://www.ready.gov/earthquakes

Fire

https://www.ready.gov/firedrill

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Escape-planning

Flood

https://www.ready.gov/floods

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood.html

Hurricane

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/before.html

https://www.travelers.com/resources/weather/hurricanes/hurricane-survival-guide

Tornado

https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/tornado.html

ESCAPE ROUTE

Make an escape route from your house. Here are two links to help you with this plan:

https://www.travelers.com/resources/weather/emergency-preparedness/emergency-evacuation-planning

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan.html

If you have children, elderly, or disabled people living with you – make sure they understand and know what to do during an evacuation. It may be helpful to download pictures from the internet.

If you are elderly and/or disabled and living alone, do you have a neighbor you can call in case of an emergency? If there is a natural disaster, will they be able to help you? It’s much better to check now than when a disaster strikes. Ask your doctor and/or family member if you need help on what to do.

Also, you should plan in advance on what to do in case of emergency:

  • If you and/or your spouse are at work
  • Your children are at school (and if they go to different schools)
  • Your children are at summer camp
  • You’re on vacation

Your GO BAG

A Go-Bag should be a waterproof large duffle bag or backpack^ (not a cumbersome suitcase.) Clothes should be kept in plastic bags, sealed tightly with excess air squeezed out. You can use space saver bags, but not for jackets, down, or wool. Either have 1-2 duffle bag(s) that parents will be responsible for or a backpack that each family member will be responsible for.

How To Waterproof Go Bag

  1. Spray on a water repellent and apply a seam sealer
  2. Put your stuff in individual plastic bags
  3. Line your backpack with a plastic bag or liner
  4. Use a backpack rain cover
  5. Put your backpack inside a dry bag

** Read here for more information.

Example of What To Pack in your Go Bag

Each family member should have the following: at least one change of clothes for each of the four seasons. These clothes should be comfortable and durable. Babies, toddlers, seniors and the disabled have special needs: pack accordingly and check with your family doctor.

  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 4 pairs of socks (at least 2 pairs of warm socks)
  • Women/Girls: 1-2 bras
  • 4 pairs of pants/jeans
  • +-1 pair of shorts
  • +-1 tank top
  • 1 short sleeve shirt
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 1 warm sweater or zip up hooded sweatshirt
  • Thermals: top and bottoms
  • 1 waterproof jacket (for the coldest weather in your area)
  • 1 rain poncho
  • swimsuit/trunks
  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 pair mittens/gloves
  • 1 knit hat/beanie
  • 1 scarf
  • +-1 pair of warm pajamas: top and bottoms
  • +-1 pair of waterproof sandals (closed toed)
  • 1 pair of sturdy waterproof boots
  • +- snow gear if you live where it snows
  • Flashlight with extra batteries

One Sewing Kit per Family

You can pick up a sewing kit at any pharmacy for less than $10, or use the guide below:

  • Sewing needles of various sizes
  • Thread
  • Needle threader
  • Safety pins of various sizes
  • Measuring tape
  • Buttons

Toiletries Kit

I’m sure you are probably wondering why a toiletries kit is even worth packing. But would you go on vacation without one? No, and you shouldn’t leave home without one during a disaster either. There are some important things in a toiletries kit that may or may not be in a kit at an emergency shelter. Why take that chance while you’re planning and packing now? Plus if you or your family has any allergies to certain soaps or lotions, better to be prepared now.

Keep your toiletries in clear zip up plastic bags in a canvas bag marked as β€œToiletriesβ€œ or in a sturdy clear zip up bag inside your Go Bag. If you have more than one Go Bag, decide on which bag it’s going to go in. You might want to make the main Go Bag a different color than all of the others.

Some of the items in your toiletries kit will also be in your first aid kit and are marked with *. You don’t have to double up on these items, but make sure you have them in either your toiletries kit or your first aid kit.

Example of what to pack-

  • 1 toothbrush for each family member with a cap on the brush part to prevent germs
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss/picks
  • Mouthwash
  • Shampoo +- conditioner
  • Soap* in container
  • Washcloths or bamboo paper towels^
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • +- Hair clips, rubber bands, bobby pins
  • Cotton swabs*
  • Cotton balls*
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers*
  • Scissors*
  • Sunscreen*
  • Lip balm*
  • Lotion
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Wet wipes*
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Prescription medications and scripts
  • Photos (hard copies) of each family member
  • +-Razor, shaving cream, acrylic mirror
  • +-Contacts, contact solution, contact case
  • +- (prescription) glasses and sunglasses, case
  • +-Menstrual pads*, tampons, panty liners
  • Cash in an old prescription drug vial^^

^ Bamboo paper towels are stronger than regular paper towels and can be laundered up to 5-6 times. They hold a lot more water, don’t tear easily, dry faster than washcloths, and can be used as bandages in a pinch.

^^ Store your cash (rolled up bills) in an old pill vial with the label still intact.

You can keep your sewing kit with your toiletries kit if this would be easier for you.

First Aid Kit

As most of you know a First Aid kit is vital to have in your medicine cabinet at home, but it’s vitally important to have one in your disaster go bag too. You could buy one, or you can make your own. If you decide to buy one, make sure it has the essentials and not a lot of stuff you don’t need. I did peruse some of the kits offered online, with the cheapest at around $15.00 and the most expensive at around $1000 – yikes! The cheapest didn’t have nearly enough of anything, and the most expensive had stuff that non-medical people would never use. Hence, it might be better if we make our own kit.

The following is an example list with the priority items listed first, the items with an * are items that may also be in our toiletries kit, and then the +- items we can purchase if we’d like.

What to Pack in your First Aid Kit

  • First Aid book
  • Whistle
  • +- Epi-Pen (if prescribed)
  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • thermometer, oral with case (if digital-pack extra batteries)
  • Poison Hotline 800-222-1222
  • Emergency phone numbers including family doctors and/or pediatricians
  • Medical consent forms for each family member β˜…https://images.app.goo.gl/smtPNdiZ2niK6VfG8
  • Medical history for each family member, including any allergies
  • local emergency service numbers
  • wound closure strips (Steri-Strips)
  • Quikclot gauze dressing
  • 1-2 Ace bandages
  • bandages, various sizes
  • bandages, butterfly
  • 2 gauze rolls, 2 x 2 in
  • 2-4 gauze pads, sterile, 2 x 2 in
  • 2-4 gauze pads, sterile, 4 x 4 in
  • 1-2 Trauma pads (menstrual pads*)
  • 2 pairs gloves latex free
  • +- 1-2 pairs sterile gloves
  • 1 roll adhesive, waterproof
  • scissors, bandage*
  • tweezers*
  • Safety pins* various sizes
  • 2 instant cold packs
  • petroleum jelly, squeezable tube* – for burns
  • cling wrap – for burns
  • zip lock bags to protect your documents and for waste products
  • wet wipes*
  • hand sanitizer*
  • cotton swabs*
  • cotton balls*
  • lidocaine
  • eye wash/sterile saline solution
  • antiseptic wipes, individually wrapped or isopropyl alcohol, 70%
  • hydrogen peroxide, 3%
  • insect repellent
  • sunscreen*
  • lip balm*
  • calamine lotion
  • hydrocortisone, 1%
  • aspirin, 325mg tablets
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil)
  • loperamide HCl (Imodium)
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl)
  • +- splints, variety or SAM splint
  • +- CPR breathing barrier
  • +- tourniquet
  • +- cough medicine/cough drops
  • +- N95 mask (according to the Red Cross)
  • +- Dramamine

As we have gone over quite a few kits in our Evacuation Plan Series, we mustn’t leave out the kit for our β€œGet-Away Vehicle.”

As with all of the other kits, I researched this as well. Looking and reading a bunch of different sites and taking the majority of the items listed.

Emergency Car Kit Checklist

  1. Jumper cables
  2. +- Battery starter with or without air compressor
  3. Flares and warning triangles
  4. Tire pressure gauge
  5. Fuses
  6. Flashlight and extra batteries
  7. Headlamp and extra batteries
  8. AM/FM radio with crank handle
  9. NOAA weather radio
  10. Snow shovel/snow chains
  11. Reflective vest
  12. Car jack/spare tire/lug wrench
  13. Fire extinguisher
  14. Phone charger
  15. Ice scraper
  16. Squeegee
  17. Tow strap
  18. Clay kitty litter, non-clumping
  19. Mechanic rags
  20. Multipurpose utility tool
  21. +- Safety hammer
  22. Compass
  23. Local maps of area

You should also pack:

  • One gallon of water per person per day x 3-7 days
  • Manual can opener and can foods
  • High protein foods, snack bars, and snacks
  • Disposable plates, cups, utensils and plastic plates/bowls/cups and metal utensils β˜…https://www.amazon.com/SUBLIMED-Camping-Neoprene-Silverware-Flatware/dp/B07RDQ6YJP
  • Instant coffee (if you cannot live without coffee – it’s better than none)
  • Waterproof matches and lighter
  • Chlorine bleach or chlorine tablets
  • Bucket with tight-sealing lid
  • Liquid detergent
  • Umbrella
  • 1 (Mylar) blanket for each family member
  • Knife
  • Proof of residency
  • Renter/home insurance coverage
  • Copy of health insurance, ID cards and birth certificates
  • Extra keys to home and vehicles
  • Permanent marker, paper, and tape

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How the heck are you going to fit all of this in your vehicle πŸš— along with everything else and your family too? It’s a lot! But some of these items are standard of what you should have in your vehicle regardless of any disaster. You can always keep the bigger items in your garage or shed, and then grab them when a disaster strikes.

PETS Emergency Bag

Depending on what type of pets you have, and how many will be the deciding factor on what you should pack for them.

For dogs and cats, if they’re not already microchipped, GO GET THIS DONE SOON!!! And make sure the information is up to date.

Example of What to Pack

  • Collapsible bowls, plastic
  • Food x 1-2 weeks
  • Medication(s) x 2 weeks and scripts
  • Crate or sturdy carrier
  • Extra harness, collar, leash
  • Toys/bones for dogs
  • Disposable litter pan for cats
  • Recent photos (hard copy) in case pet(s) gets lost
  • Sweater/coat if your dog gets cold
  • Pet blanket(s)

Please note: DO NOT give your pets aspirin, tylenol, or ibuprofen! The last two will cause organ failure.

EXTRA FORMS

EXTRA CHECK LISTS