Emergency Evacuation

What Would You Take If You Had Only A Few Minutes?

I first posted this blog in March 2011.

Black Forest Fire
I’m doing an update with the Colorado Springs Black Forest Fire. My daughter, Jackie and her family (and animals) were evacuated. They have come to my home until they can return to theirs or worst case, find a rental for their family.

Evacuating with children can add more stress and other components I didn’t not take into consideration in 2011. Not only prepare a to-go list for you, but prepare one for each of your children.

As my grandchildren were unpacking their bags, we discovered they don’t think like adults. Ben brought warm winter PJs (it was 100 degrees yesterday). Nicole forgot all her underwear. They all thought to bring a bathing suit! On you child’s to-go list, you should ask them what one or two personal items they would like to take with them. This will most likely be different from what you might bring.

Also, for older children, who are able to help pack the car, make a list for each one as to what they are responsible to put in the vehicle. There was some confusion with the children not having assigned priorities during the rush to get out the door. This could be a “Take With You List” like the one below. Make one for each child. Of course, make a copy for yourself.

Other items to consider are special food items like protein drinks, snacks and breakfast foods. This will make the transition to temporary housing easier (even if they are going to grandma’s house), if the kids have some of their favorite foods.

Burning Tree Fire
When my husband and I were evacuated because of the Burning Tree fire. It quickly became apparent that we should have made a list of items we would take in an emergency. Because I was not at home, Dick was making decisions on what to bring with him. He was concerned about taking things I would want to have. This creates unneeded stress in an already stressful situation.

Silly me, I just assumed I’d be home to help direct what would be loaded into the car. I had a mental list of things I would take, so did Dick, but we never sat down together and put it on paper.

When our neighborhood was evacuated, I was in town having my hair cut. Dick was home alone. If we had a predetermined list of things we wanted to take with us, that would have not only made the evacuation easier and quicker, but less stressful.

The fire was close enough to warrant our evacuation. The flames were not yet visible from our home, but you could certainly see and smell the smoke. If the flames could be seen from our property, then there would have been only minutes to leave.

What would you take if you only had five minutes to pack? What if you had 30 minutes? That’s where a list is vital. (See Go Baby Go, for details of what a Go Bag should contain.) Your family should also have predetermined a place to meet up. Chances are you will not all be home when an emergency occurs.

Following is a list just to get you thinking. Every family is different. You’ll want to inventory the items, which are most important to you and where they are located. Also, your list should begin with the MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS. That way if you don’t have time to put everything into your car, you’ll have the most important items packed first.

Take With You List

Load First
____Go Bag (Click Here for more info on the Go Bag. Place in the hall closet or garage by car)

____Valuables (jewelry, coins, cash, checkbook, collectibles, etc.)

____Medicines (kitchen closet by window)

____Passports & birth certificates (office)

____Reading glasses (by refrigerator)

____Keys/purse/wallet/cell phone (kitchen)

____Diaper bag with diapers, bottle, baby food, etc. (baby’s room)

____Banking statements & current bills (place in a box)

____Computer or computer back-up

____Clothes in a suitcase (coats, mittens, etc.)

____Food (fruit, energy bars, nuts, etc.)

____Dog, cat, canary, hamster, etc.

____Leash (entry)

____Pet food (pantry)

____Pet crate (laundry room)

Special Memory Items

____Photos (living room cabinet)

____Aunt Grace’s silver tea set (dining room hutch)

____Clock on family room wall

____Grandmother’s ring/pin (jewelry box)

____Living room oil painting

Check out other emergency blogs, Click Here.

For a synopsis of the Baby Bites book, Click Here.

CLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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