Based on the North Bay fires, it seemed appropriate to review how to be prepared if you were told to evacuate. What you may need may depend upon the type of disaster. Earthquake kits are more extensive than evacuation due to a fire. Below we outline some of the items for both.
Listening to the news, many people say they had only a few minutes notice to evacuate. It makes sense to have a bag ready to go. Hopefully you will never need it but if you do, consider including:
- Medication – prescription and non-prescription
- Medical records
- Cell phone and charger
- Copies of any important documents in a waterproof container
- Birth certificate
- Deed to your house and vehicle registration
- Insurance policy numbers (home and auto)
- Bank account numbers
- Social Security cards and Medicare card if applicable
- Pet supplies if applicable
- Always know where your wallet is (many put it in a specific place in the house but not “on us.”
- Change of clothing
- Sturdy pair of shoes close by in case of night evacuation
- Personal Hygiene items
- Dust masks
- Flashlight (periodically check batteries)
- Books, games, etc. to keep children entertained
- List of personal contacts
- Important passwords
- Keep the above information in a digital form on a memory stick or a secure website.
Financial Connections clients may upload this information to their personal portal.
If you need to escape before First Responders arrive, have pre-planned evacuation routes (at least two).
If time allows, pre-plan important items you want to take with you such as computers, items with sentimental value, etc.
Keep your car fueled. A duplicate evacuation and/or earthquake kit can be kept in the trunk.
Added to the above list, earthquake/survival kits can be purchased. Contents last three or five years but may need replacing. There is an earthquake store in San Rafael, and numerous sites such as Amazon, Stealth Angel (not an endorsement) that sell survival kits to conform to the size of your family. There is usually a standard kit and a premium kit. Most kits assume you are on your own without anything for 72 hours. Below is a list of some of the items to consider.
- Personal items as listed above for Evacuations
- Enough water for three days
- Kits frequently include water pouches and purification tablets
- Food bars or other non-perishable food
- Can opener
- Thermal blankets
- Ponchos with hood
- LED Flashlight
- Battery operated AM/FM radio or Dynamo radio
- 12-hour light stick
- First aid kit
- Vinyl gloves
- Heavy duty work gloves
- Safety whistle(s)
- Hygiene items
- Sanitation supplies
- Waterproof matches
- Blue tarp
- Pry bar
- 16 function tool
- Duct tape
- Safety goggles
- Sewing kit
- Sleeping bag
- Fire extinguisher
- Fuel disks
- Nylon cord
Communication Plan – create a group list of who needs to be contacted. Also make sure everyone involved knows how to text. It is possible that texts will go through even if phone calls will not.
Under contacts add “In Case of Emergency” so the numbers and people involved can access the information immediately. Have a plan where to meet should disaster strike.
More information can be obtained at https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan