The recent devastating wildfires that cut through a huge portion of the state was a grim reminder that life can change in an instant. Thousands of people were displaced by the wildfires and that meant evacuating with just a moment’s notice. If an evacuation ordered ever came down to you, would you be ready to go? Here are some great tips on how to plan for an evacuation just in case:
Prep Ahead of Time
The more preparation you can do before a natural disaster strikes better off you’ll be. Think about all the things that are important to you that you need to bring with you. All of your important insurance, medical and financial documents should be in one location in the home. You don’t want them scattered across rooms. If you have a small file lockbox, then that’s a good place to put them.
You should definitely let your neighbors know when you are leaving and where used plan on going. They should tell you the same. In severe circumstances, you might even want to put a sign in your window saying something along the lines of “house empty. Occupants evacuated.” This will help first responders if they are searching through the neighborhood. They’ll know to pass over your house.
Before leaving you should take a few moments to unplug any unnecessary appliances, turn off the gas and water supplies at the main switches and turn off all the lights.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Your car should always have a small emergency kit. This can include flashlights with extra batteries, extra power cords for cell phones, protein bars and a first-aid kit. If you have time before the evacuation, then you’ll probably want to also bring extra clothing, blankets and pillows.
Have a Plan
The meeting priority is to get clear of the danger zone. Beyond that, you’ll need to have a plan as to where you’ll be driving to. That will change with each situation but you can count on your local fire department, police station or Red Cross knowing where displaced residents should go. Those will also be the best locations for you to get updates about when you can return to your property.
The most important thing with an evacuation is to go when ordered. Staying behind only puts you and first responders at risk.