Many times when the call for evacuation comes we don't have time to think about what we are going to do. Think beforehand and plan ahead, making sure you let your family members know what the plan is. You don't want people going out the front door when they should be going out the back door. You also want to have a couple of places that you can arrange to meet in case any of you are separated during the emergency. A family member who lives away from you might be a good place if they're not in danger themselves or if their home is sturdier. Cell phones signals may be non-existent or busy so make sure everyone knows the plan. Rehearse your plan regularly especially during the hurricane season.
Have an emergency bag ready with food and water for each person in your family. A backpack fits easily on the back and leaves your hands free to do other things(very useful if you have to climb over debris in the way). Examples of foods that you can include are nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, crackers, peanut butter, jam or jelly, sardines, juice, etc. You get the idea (ready to eat foods that require nothing more than open and eat or add water and eat). I'll give a more comprehensive list in another post. Don't forget paper plates and eating/drinking utensils.
In your emergency bag you should also have a change of clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper and moist towelettes or wipes for cleaning your body(if no water is available you will be glad you have those). Make sure you have sanitary napkins, diva cup or whatever it is you use if your time of the month is close. A first aid kit and some form of light(like a flashlight) are essentials as well. In addition to the amazon links above, The Ready Store also has an assortment of emergency backpacks available.
Games, puzzle or activity books, a deck of cards, dominoes are all good items to include. Of course you won't put all in one bag but each person's bag can have one item like this. You may wonder but "How are these going to help me be safe and fed during an emergency?" During times like these children and even some adults need a distraction to keep their mind off the immediate circumstance. When everyone is settled in at the emergency shelter and all you have to do is wait, these games can help keep spirits up, not only the spirits of you and your family but also of those in the shelter with you as you include them in your games.
A sleeping bag is an excellent idea if there is reason to evacuate your home. Pack a light but warm blanket (kind of like the ones that they have on the airplane). There are emergency thermal blankets
available for very little like the one below from Amazon for $1 or a pack of four for less than ten dollars(at the time of writing this post).
Are you or anyone in your home on prescription medicines or antibiotics? Make sure you have those as well. A good idea would be to make a list of items that you need to take with you but are not in your emergency bag. Put that list in your bag and when the time to evacuate comes you take the list out and grab what you wrote down. Review the list regularly as seasons of life change - what you need today you may not need next year and vice versa - what you did not need last year you may need this year.
Coming up in future posts we will discuss cash, documents, electricity, first aid kits and more. In the meantime let me ask you a question - What else would you include on this emergency preparedness list that has to do with people?
Edited to add - It's Frugal Friday at The Ready Store. They have a huge discount on their Deluxe Family 4 person 72 hr Kit. Just enter coupon code - FF100917DFS at checkout.
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