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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Have You Made Your Evacuation List?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were in an emergency and you had 5 minutes to evacuate? Because of recent fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, people have found themselves in that exact situation. If you are prepared for such a situation, you will have what you need, and won’t lose precious items in the disaster. Here are some tips to consider when making your evacuation list.
  1. Parts of the House- One way to start the process is to think about all the different areas in your house, and the items you will need from that area. Organizing your list this way will also help you save time if you actually end up in an emergency. Instead of running all over the house, you can start upstairs and work your way down. Remember to include every room. For example, here is a list for an upstairs level.
Upstairs
Closet- Coat, External hard drive, safe
Bedroom- 72 hour kits, keys, wallet, phone, phone charger, glasses
  1. Amount of time- Your evacuation list will be different if you have an hour than if you have 5 minutes. So write a list for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 1 hour. If you end up in that situation, you can start off gathering the 5 minute list and work your way up getting all the things on the lists up to the amount of time that you need to leave.
  2. Prioritize- When you are making your 5 minute list, you will have to prioritize strictly based off of survival. Start thinking of the things that you need to survive and work your way down from there. For example, in the 5 minute list you might have your 72 hour kit, in the 15 minute list you might have your glasses or contacts, in the 30 minute list you might include a cooler with snacks or a tent, and in the hour list you might grab your family pictures, clothes, or an air mattress.
  3. Consider your options- Think about what you will do or where you will go once you have evacuated. Consider your resources. For example, you might have a relative in a neighboring state, a cabin that is removed from the situation, or a shelter nearby where they house people during emergencies.
  4. Practice and Post- Once you have put together your list of essentials and know the plan, it is important to let your family know what it is. Practice with your family only having 5 minutes to evacuate so that you know that your list is doable. It is also helpful to have your lists posted around the house so that you everyone knows what is needed if you suddenly need to evacuate.
If you get stumped, think about the things your family uses on a daily basis, or what is the most important to you. You can also look up examples for lists online. Click here to find out more about supplies for emergency situations.
Author Bio- Dirk Puckett is an emergency preparedness expert from Sheridan, Wyoming who loves spreading the word about how important it is to be prepared for anything. To learn more about evacuation tips, click the link.

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