Column 37 – Could You Evacuate in Minutes by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Here it is that time of year again when we are faced with the threat of Evacuation from our homes. We never know when we this could happen because of fire, train wreck, floods, riots, earthquake or hurricanes. It is up to us to be prepared!

1. PEOPLE: Have a plan for getting out of the house and make sure everyone knows it. Have an emergency bag of food and water for your family. Include wholesome snacks and treats for the children: dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers and granola bars.

2. PETS: Keep pet carriers and leashes readily available to lead pets to safety. Also take pet food with you.

3. PICTURES: Keep negatives or CDs of pictures in a lock box or at a family member’s home. Have picture albums in one place ready to grab and go at a moments notice.

4. PAPERS: Have all your important papers in a lock box at a bank and only keep copies at the house. This keeps you from panicking. If you have them at home then put them in a folder that you can easily grab if you have to move fast. Color code it so you can find it!

5. PRESCRIPTIONS: Take your medications with you. Don’t forget the ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. Have small ice chest and cold packs readily accessible to pack and go. If you have babies; remember their formula or medications.

6. PURSES and PETRO: This is where you keep your identification, credit cards and cash. Keep a stash of cash for emergencies and grab it. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage. Make sure your car always has a half a tank of gas.

7. PROPER CLOTHES and COMFORT ITEMS: According to the weather conditions; gather up a change of clothes along with outer clothing: coats, rain gear, boots, gloves and hats. If you have babies remember diapers. Remember to grab your children’s favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy. A game or a deck of cards could keep them occupied and calm too.

8. PLANNER/CALENDAR/CONTROL JOURNAL: These documents have all the information you will need from phone numbers, insurance numbers and important dates. They are small and filled with things you don’t have to try to remember.

9. PERSONAL PROTECTION: Many of us still have that time of the month. Be sure and grab a box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to find if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do strange things too. So be prepared. Take medication for cramps too.

10. PHONES, RADIOS, FUEL FOR THE CAR: Many of us have cell phones now. Always keep them charged up and have a charger in the car or an extra battery. They may not work in the event of power outages, but then they might. Know which local radio station has emergency bulletins. Keep your battery powered radio tuned to that local station and have plenty of batteries for it. Also keep a old type regular phone that does not operate with electricity. GAS PUMPS don’t work without power either. You can’t leave if your car is on empty. So keep your car fuel tank topped off when it hits a half of tank. This way you will have gas to drive at least a couple of hours. Evacuation routes are usually bumper to bumper traffic. Having a tank filled will keep you less stressed.

11. PATIENCE: This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your P’s to Preparedness list guiding you will keep you patient. In the event of an evacuation there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm and collected. This will help keep them calm too.

We can FLY in the face of Danger and Emergency if we are prepared. Don’t wait till you are being asked to evacuate. Everyone thinks that it could not happen to them. Well it could and it is up to you to make sure you are prepared.

Don’t wait! DO IT NOW!! I know you have been procrastinating because you don’t think it can happen in your area.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

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