What should I include in my evacuation plan?
Your evacuation plan will be determined by what disastrous events are taking place in your area. The items you need to have at your disposal for all of these various scenarios will be similar in several areas.
Evacuation means leaving, departing, getting out of the area as fast and safely as possible. The level of intensity or degree of disaster will dictate what you need to bring along.
Be prepared with the following items:
House safety checklist.
Are the windows and doors all locked or secured? Are all people and pets accounted for? Have essential services been shut off or disconnected, such as water, electricity and heating implements?
The clothes on your back as well as any personal belongings carried on your person.
Personal identification and financial information.
Driver’s license, state issued ID card, SSN card, passport and credit / debit cards. Color copies of all these items may also come in handy.
Your bug-out bag.
A portable go bag which should have many of the items you will want or need along the route.
Maps of the travel routes.
Be aware of the recommended routes of travel and regional rally points. Know what they are and use them when possible. Develop alternate routes and have course plotted charts available in the event you need to deviate from the current course and still arrive at the desired location.
Not all disasters will be of the magnitude to destroy communication grids so bring along cell phones, portable radios and mobile computing equipment that can function on cellular systems.
Plan for several modes of transportation.
While the initial escape efforts might include piling everyone into a vehicle to make the get-away, traffic congestion or other unforeseen events may complicate completing the trip by automobile. Be prepared to vacate the vehicle and continue on foot. If you live near water and the disaster is not aquatically related, consider evacuating by watercraft. Pack and draft animals might also be worthy of consideration for evacuation efforts. In extreme circumstances everyone is going to be running for the hills in different devices of transportation. A horse can be ridden or used to pull a wagon and make your departure an uninterrupted event.
Emergency contact numbers.
A collection of phone numbers for first responders and relevant institutions should also be included in the plan. These numbers can be used to forewarn others of an inbound disaster or to seek additional information if something from the approved battle plan has been altered, such as the relocation of the relief center.
The key to survival and riding out the event is to be prepared and remain calm. Knowing what to do and having the capabilities to be self-sufficient in times of an emergency, will better the odds for you and your family.
Be Preapared. Be Safe.