Evacuations

Every now and then reality strikes.  Not to far from where I live a railroad car fire and possible propane explosion forced the evacuation of 5000 homes in the city of Lincoln.  Some people that I am acquainted with were forced to leave their homes on short notice.

Being interested in preparedness, we all like to think that we are ready for anything.  So as a result of some of the things I observed I measured what happened against my own plans.  Looking at my own bug out bag, I found some shortcomings for this situation.

My kit is made for a more end of the world scenario, not a trip across town to stay with friends or in a motel.  I am not advocating doing away with my existing kit, but making plans for a short-term evacuation under more normal conditions.  Try thinking about this situation, you are leaving your home with a good probability that you will return in a few days to find your home undamaged.  There is not an immediate threat of the big one.

What would you take with you?  Probably more clothes, important papers, insurance policies and family pictures.  I am not saying leave your bug out bag at home, but be able to adapt to the situation.  I am going to put some thought into this before I find myself in this situation.  In the next few days, I should have a chance to talk to people who were involved.  Any good information I receive will be passed along.

If you have any ideas to share, send in your comments.  To some degree, regardless of where we live there is something that can affect us.

Howard

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5 Responses to Evacuations

  1. Rita says:

    Years before I started my disaster planning, I packed a bag with everything I would need in case I went to the hospital in an emergency. I keep it in the closet by the front door and it is marked with my name and includes emergency contacts, medication list, doctors names, medical conditions and surgeries. My intent is if I am wheeled out of my house I would like to ask the EMS folks to grab it for me. My neighbors and family also know the location and purpose of my bag. I revisit the contents of my bag every six months.

    After our earthquake on Tuesday I decided to insure that my bag would also support a three to four day stay at an emergency location or hotel.

  2. Bellen says:

    Having been thru a cat 4 hurricane 7 years ago I’m big on taking all important papers with you – especially insurance for house and vehicles, Driver license or photo ID, bank and credit card info and account numbers. Better yet, make copies and carry those with originals in a safety deposit box and another copy with a trusted friend or family member who lives out of the area. We keep ours in a file type box and keep it in a specific place at all times. It’s easy to grab and along with my purse will have all necessary papers & IDs plus some cash.

  3. Laura says:

    Something along those lines happened to us this past winter. We live in an area that gets snow, but rarely a “freak snowstorm.” But this time we did and I was 30 hilly miles from home with many children when it came through unexpectedly.

    Roads closed and there was no going home. Fortunately, I had a kind friend along the route who let us crash on the floor.

    Lessons I learned. ALWAYS:
    1. Carry Rx meds. I didn’t have the ones I take only at bedtime with me.
    2. Keep a cell phone charger in the car at all times. My phone almost died before I could let my husband know that we were safe. What if I had needed to call for emergency help b/c we slipped off the road?
    3. Make sure to have weather appropriate clothes for all. My children almost slipped out of the house without coats and such that day b/c they don’t like to keep up with them and we had no plans to spend time outside. Fortunately, I had noticed. What if we had had to walk a ways? What if we had been forced to spend the night in the car?
    4. Keep a stroller, baby sling, or other means to carry any non-walking children. They get heavy and you may need use of your hands.

    Maybe not quite what you had in mind, but it was a learning experience for me.

  4. caryn says:

    most disasters can and should be prepared for far in advance and on a continual basis. most people have a good idea and the news/weather station does warn us all to be on our toes and watch for signs… the sad thing is that people rarely are prepared for anything, and when it happens or fixing to happen, the first thing they wanna do is go out and spend all their money on emergency supplies…with little thought to what they might do after the worse of the emergency is over, and when there is no more money, no electrical power, no water, maybe no house left. people give many excuses for not taking the time or interest in survival…government handouts, red cross, all kinds of charity available, storm shelters etc… they have no time to prepare (but sit on couch and watch tv or video games for hours on end), no money-they spend it on the milk and bread but dont see the importance of getting a few extra cans every trip to the grocer, ……i am beginning to think that most people are mindless morons these days and have no clue what is going on around them.

  5. caryn says:

    this is what i keep in my car at all times…a homemade and very good first aid kit which also includes a bic lighter, a book of matches, a large but folded piece of paper and a permanent marker. i keep an old wool blanket in the car. i keep a small but good road atlas in the car. i keep a small plastic bag that holds a sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks and old pair of shoes. i also keep a small bag of hard candies/cough drops in the glove compartment along with flashlight. my thought behind what i carry is not just for my use during an emergency..you never know when you might find someone else having an emergency on the side of the road and it does not take much to help out until the experts arrive. i have never been in a situation where i have had to evacuate due to hurricane, flooding, fire or anything else..most emergencies having to do with the weather i am better off staying where i am-usually home, except during tornados..then i climb into my safe room. but i know, that if i am gonna be on theroad even for a short trip to be prepared for anything that might happen.

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