You’re going to think that I’m a bit of a nag, but emergency preparedness is a passion of mine, and after our experience yesterday, and after seeing our children live through an emergency evacuation, and the other disasters we hear about around the world, I just have to encourage everybody out there to be as prepared as they can be.
So how can you prepare? First, if you’re evacuated from your home with minimal to 24-hour notice, can you live for 3 days?
What we’ve done is prepare our trailer – there’s adequate food and water there for at least three days. There’s also toiletries and some basic necessities of regular life. We’d need to add a few things, like clothing and medications, and dog and cat needs – but we have a list, and know where that all is, and could move out in fairly short order if need be.
Folks that don’t have an RV as a back-up – an emergency evacuation bin would answer to that. Bottom line – have enough with you to survive for 3 days is the mantra that we hear among the emergency preparedness people around us. Families may need more than one bin to have enough. And water is HEAVY!! and you need lots of it for everything from washing up to cooking to drinking. For those things that you can’t pack in a bin, have a list at the top of a bin to check and be able to grab, but have those things close at hand.
Oh, and where do you store that bin? High up on a shelf in the garage is not necessarily the best answer. Especially if it’s going to be a struggle to get it down even if the garage survives the earthquake! Somewhere low and close to an exit is probably best.
For specifics about what to pack in an evacuation bin, there’s lots of information out there on the internet, and I believe I’ve covered the subject somewhat as well here.
But what if you’re in a situation like we were yesterday, and one other time when we were headed home from Kelowna and got caught in a blizzard? You may be able to get home – eventually, but you may want/need some supplies with you to help you through the time until you can get home.
So here’s our bags, spread out on our dining room table, before we repack them after using some of the supplies from them:
And the list:
- a change of clothes, including underwear, socks
- a sweatshirt in case it gets colder than when you left home
- extra (sturdy) shoes
- water resistant jackets, baseball caps (in the winter months we regularly carry gloves and hats anyway in our vehicle)
- toiletries – kleenex, hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, nail clippers, toilet paper, hand sanitizer
- garbage bags, twine, a small knife, some packing tape
- snacks, water, some dog food
- small first aid kit, face cloth and towel
- books (were we happy to have something to do while waiting for the tow truck yesterday!), and a spare pair of reading glasses for me
And in our vehicles at all times are a couple of blankets, and a space blanket, as well as CPR mouth protectors and disposable gloves.
Of late we have also begun to take medications and diabetic supplies for Grizz, as well as spare glasses for him in case his get broken, almost everywhere we go.
It’s been suggested that the elderly, and women of all ages, carry incontinence pads for those times when a bathroom is just not available.
So pardon me for being a nag, but please, please, please BE PREPARED!