Because we have such a large family, and because we have the space to do this, we generally prepare for most possibilities at home. Our primary emergency plan is to shelter-in-place. In prior homes where we did not stock supplies as readily or have sufficient space to do this, we would have evacuated sooner. However, everyone needs to plan for the possibility that they will have to evacuate from their home. Where we live is secluded and our evacuation from this location would be unlikely unless there were a significant forest fire, or if there were some type of hazardous contamination of some type, or significant radiologic emergency.
Still, we all need to define under what conditions we would evacuate from our homes. In many areas this would be decided for you, but in mine, we have such low population clusters, that no one knows we are here unless we call. Even if you are ordered to evacuate, you should be watching situations well enough that you make your own decision to evacuate in advance of the masses.
Next, I am afraid I have some homework for you. Please get a notebook and begin something called an Evacuation Notebook. The pages you place in your evacuation notebook should be written on your computer so that at least annually, you may easily update the material, reprint a page and then evacuate with a hard copy. One page of the Evacuation Notebook includes family and friends contact information. Names, addresses, phones, cellphone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Then, on another page, list physicians in the same way. On page three, list places you get supplies. On page four, list hotels or places to stay during an evacuation. Include whether they will allow cats or dogs, how much they charge, etc. List multiple places depending upon the direction of your evacuation. Remember to list gas stations and their special services. (We have a truckers stop a distance from here, with actual full private individual showers for long distance truckers. Bring your flip flops) You may also wish to add area and distance maps to your Evacuation Notebook. (I add protective sleeves and then put the folded maps inside them.)
|For evacuation information, personalized to your situation, with maps included. Bring your medical notebook also.|
If you do ever evacuate, remember to bring your health information notebook with your meds and family member meds listed. Some of us also copy our prescriptions and keep copies in such a notebook, should meds need to be replaced in a hurry during a mass evacuation. Do the pre-work of analyzing what you would do during a forced evacuation, when you are not under duress, and place all of this in your evacuation notebook. Then, keep the notebook in a preferably locked file cabinet, or bookcase for future use. This is a small and fairly simple task, and yet it could be absolutely INVALUABLE. If you have an evacuation RV, this is great, but sometimes, those of us with one, cannot take them with us, depending upon the issues.
|The smoke alone could trigger a reasonable evacuation from your home.|
|Have multiple evacuation routes planned in your notebook, if possible.|
Chapter Five in my new book "Rational Preparedness:A Primer to Preparedness"
has quite a bit more on The Evacuation Notebook and it's use. See links at the top of the page in order to get one.