Over the past few months, the United States has had wildfires, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Last month was dubbed Disaster Preparedness month. While gathered with a few friends via Zoom, we got talking and wondered what would we gather in an emergency if we only had 30 minutes to evacuate? Here are a few of the items we thought we would grab in an emergency.
Electronics – Let’s face it, technology is all around us whether we like it or not. Therefore, it is a no brainer for our group to grab our smartphones, computers, and all the necessary cables associated with each device. If you have battery backup chargers, make sure those are charged and ready to use. One of my family members pulls out and starts charging all of hers the minute she hears of inclement weather, no matter the season.
Everyday items – This too was an easy category. Clothes, toiletries, shoes, and medication for at least three days need to be gathered. Just pack one suitcase per household member as there is only so much room in a car. Every person needs to decide what they need on a daily basis. If you have children, make sure to bring their favorite toys, blankets, and whatever they use to comfort themselves. If you have pets, make sure you have enough food and water for them for a minimum of three days plus leashes, water/food bowls, and their favorite toys/blankets/beds.
Emergency kit – Grabbing a first aid kit and items such as flashlights, batteries, one blanket/person, gloves, hats, warm coats, rain gear, and water (3 gallons per person for 3 days) are the basic items. Taking non-perishable food in case you get stranded is also important.
Papers – This is one reason you should have important papers stored electronically for easy access. You are going to need contact info for your insurance broker, mortgage company, financial institutions, and information relating to your home. It is obvious that you need to grab birth certificates and other legal documents. If you have the originals stored off-site, that is very good as they too should be safe. These important papers should be kept in a plastic, waterproof bag/case. You may need to prove who you are, so have your driver’s license, passport, social security card, proof of insurance, the deed to your home, and medical records with you.
If you feel you would not be ready in 30 minutes, perhaps now is the time to take inventory of what you may want to be gathered together, so grabbing necessary items is easily accomplished. Think about having your near and dear photos scanned in. This will alleviate the need to grab photo albums and take up precious space in your car. The same goes for creating an emergency contact list of everyone you and your family deal with. Having peace of mind is a great incentive. Why not plan to start working on this during the long winter months? You will glad you did should the unthinkable ever materialize. After all, who could have anticipated what we’ve all been enduring in 2020?