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Emergency Preparedness Series: Evacuation



With the uncertainty of what types of emergencies can erupt at any time, preparation is key. Luckily, emergency essentials have become more easily available. This is because people realize the importance of being equipped and ready for any possible situation that could occur. People are finally past the idea that only doomsday preppers have emergency kits. When I think of doomsday preppers, it reminds me of the movie series from the 90’s called Tremors. No one was really prepared except the doomsday prepper guy in the movie, and he had everything from guns to MRE’s. Everyone thought he was crazy until he was the only one organized for the circumstances and then they were thankful. Now that people understand the importance of emergency preparation, so many options are out there for food and easy-use gear. The infamous MRE’s aren’t necessary anymore because of the food options that are on the market today. But with so much on the market, where do you start? Well that is going to depend on what situation you are preparing for. This is the start to the series of how to prepare for your emergency situation. This first part section to my three part series is how to prepare for an emergency evacuation.

Many people don’t realize how common an evacuation is. Some of the more common evacuations are for floods and fires and these literally happen quite often. In my town, I hear about fire evacuations all the time on the radio or through friends, especially in the summer when the area is so dry and Smokey declares that the fire danger is extremely high. People need to be prepared for these quick evacuations so they can grab and go. The amount of time will depend on the type of evacuation so you may have a whole day in some circumstances but in others, you may only have a few minutes so planning ahead is imperative. Planning can be overwhelming. Not knowing what and how much of gear and food you need can be what is keeping you from preparing. It is like that saying, “If it is too overwhelming, just ignore it completely.” But low and behold, below are some lists to preparing for these emergency evacuations so that you don’t have to ignore it.

First, you need to plan for whether it will just be you evacuating or if you have your family as well. If you have your family, plan on making sure that food, water and supplies are provided for each family member. Then, follow the list provided below that includes my commentary.

Evacuation Planning:

  • Make an effective evacuation plan that you go over with your family ahead of time (This should include where you will meet and who should contact who in case there is a need).
  • Delegate responsibilities to family members to quicken the pace
  • Have a secondary plan with alternate routes or other means of transportation in place
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water
  • Disconnect appliances (Depending on the purpose of the evacuation)
  • Fill your gas tank and have an extra gas can full as well. (This may be a part that people forget in a hurry but you don’t want to get stranded)
  • Make sure you have clean water containers and have them full.
  • Leave early (This is why having everything prepared is significant. If you want to leave early, you have to be ready).
  • Be cautious of road hazards
  • Listen to the disaster sirens or the radio for updated information
  • Have a destination in mind, but be prepared to stop anywhere
  • Plan for separation and have a meet up place
  • Practice, Practice, Practice (Have an evacuation meeting with the family or just practice alone so you are ready)
  • Prepare your emergency evacuation kit (This will make or break your comfort level during the evacuation)

Now that you have the list of how to prepare for an evacuation, the next step is developing your kit, so below are some products that will be beneficial and necessary during the evacuation to include in your kit.

Evacuation Kit:

  • Grab and go backpack (If you purchase the Wise 5 Day Survival Backpack from Powerful Products, it will already provide the majority of the basics needed)
  • Food (Already prepared food kits that are lightweight are best, check out the Wise Food product options at Powerful Products)
  • Water (Try to get the most room saving water containers you can find)
  • Lighting and batteries if needed (Crank or solar powered would save on needing batteries).
  • Clothing
  • Blankets, towels, sleeping bags
  • Sanitary supplies
  • Paper work
  • Extra cash
  • First aid kit
  • Activities (so you don’t go crazy)
  • Maps
  • Ropes
  • Medication
  • Signal Boosters
  • Portable charging kits
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Extra shoes

So prepare yourself for an evacuation because you never know when your area may be next. Make a kit or buy one and follow the list on how to prepare. I would suggest getting enough of everything to last for at least five days but up to two weeks. When it comes to food, make sure each person has at least two servings of food a day; however, more would be better. I used to think that I was safe here in Utah surrounded by mountains. I figured that natural disasters didn’t happen here. Now, hurricanes are pretty rare, and we aren’t near an ocean so for the most part, we are slightly protected; however, fires started by lightning are very common and floods happen from time to time. Floods can be underestimated. Floods have been known to tear apart entire roadways, houses or bridges. Knowing that disasters happen and being prepared to evacuate could save yours and your family’s’ lives. Preparing isn’t just for doomsday preppers, it is for everyone. Get your evacuation planning and kit ready and stay tuned for part two of the series: In Home: Short Term Emergency.

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