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Creating an Evacuation Plan

Let's face it, an emergency can happen at any place and at any time. Our plea is to make sure that everyone in the family is prepared. We want to make sure you know what to do and how to prepare before a disaster can strike. One of the most important things that you can do is to communicate with your children/family about what to do when an emergency happens. Communication is a critical first step when it comes to planning for an emergency. Make sure each person knows each of their responsibilities and is aware of the emergency plan, which should be simple but effective. See below on what your emergency plan could look like! 

CreateYourFamilyEmergencyCommunicationPlan

Everyone should know what types of disasters can happen in a community For example, preparing for a mudslide in California might not be as pertinent for someone in an area in Nebraska who is more likely to encounter a snow blizzard or a tornado. Another important step is to make sure a disaster plan is set in place so that all are aware of what to do when an emergency does strike. Here are some suggested outlines that can be followed to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to prepare for an emergency.

1.  IDENTIFY HAZARDS IN THE HOME/TAKE NECESSARY SAFETY MEASURES

For example, loose shelves should be carefully fastened and oily rags or solvents need to be securely stored in metal containers. Cleaning supplies should be stored in a separate area away from small children. Places where electrical wires are live or accessible to children, should be properly maintained.

2. OBTAIN FIRST-AID SUPPLIES AND CPR SKILLS

Everyone in the family should learn basic first-aid and CPR skills. It’s important to understand what to do when someone might need to use one of these skills in an emergency. If you don't know how to perform CPR, here's a helpful link on how to do so; https://www.thereadystore.com/survival-tips/7291/how-to-perform-cpr/

3. MAKE SURE TO HAVE SUFFICIENT WATER STORAGE

No matter what type of disaster, access to a clean drinkable water supply might be restricted. The American Red Cross recommends that one person drinks about a half gallon of water everyday. People in hot environments, children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day. Here at the Ready Store, we recommended a few items that can help you with your water storage. One of our most popular water storage containers we offer here is the 5-gallon stack-able, which makes it easy for quick and easy storage. To help prolong and preserve your water, we also recommend our water preserver, which can extend the shelf life of your water for an additional 5 years! As always, make sure to store your water in a cool, dry and dark area.

4. START NOW ON BUILDING UP YOUR FOOD SUPPLY

Every person and their situation is different so if you really need too, remember the rule of 3’s in desperate times needing to survive; three minutes without oxygen, three days without water, three weeks without food. It's never too late to get started on preparing and building up your food storage. Freeze dried and dehydrated are great foods that you can add to your food storage as they require no refrigeration and have a shelf life up to 30 years. We recommend storing your daily dose of nutrients which include your vegetables, dairy, proteins, fruits and grains. The American Red Cross suggests that each person in the family has at least a 2 weeks food supply stored in a cool dark location.

5. EMERGENCY SUPPLIES

Not only is storing food and water important for preparing for an emergency, but having emergency tools and supplies is crucial. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that families should put together two kits; one should be used for emergencies in which people normally need to stay where they are, such as a major power outage affecting the entire community. The other kit should be a lighter, smaller and easily transportable version of the stay-at-home kit, for evacuation situations, such as hurricanes. Here are some of the basic necessities when it comes to emergency supplies and all of them you can purchase here at the Ready Store; first-aid kit, 4 lb wool blanket, hand warmers, kaito radio/flashlight with cell phone charger, waterproof matches, etc. These are just some of the things that can be included in your emergency supply kit. Each of them can be adjusted to the needs of your family. Be sure to check expiration dates and follow the practice of "first-in, first-out". Here are some of the items that should be included in a two week food supply;

  1. About 20 pounds of rice, 20 cans of canned meat, 20 cans of vegetables, 20 cans of vegetables, 5 pounds of oatmeal, 20 pounds of beans/legumes, 20 pounds of pasta, non-perishable pasteurized milk and peanut butter. Some examples of high energy foods include eggs, apples, bananas, strawberries, nuts. It is recommended that each person have about 30 gallons of water for drinking, cleaning and cooking for one month.

6. MAKE AND AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN

Based on the kind of disasters are prominent in your area and community, making an emergency plan is vital for the types of disasters that could happen around you. Having an emergency evacuation plan can help take necessary steps to protect your valuables and personal property. Do all necessary things to protect those items and property if asked by local officials to leave and evacuate the area where you reside. Outside items should be brought and stored inside sheds or garages. Important items such as tax records, personal property, insurance information should be brought to a higher location in the home to prevent them from being ruined or damaged. If being forced to evacuate, make sure the main fuse electricity box and all water lines are shut off. 

Here is what an evacuation plan might look like and could include;

  1.  ARRANGE YOUR EVACUATION AHEAD OF TIME & ESTABLISH A DISASTER MEETING PLACE AND KNOW FAMILY CONTACTS
    1. Identify where you can go in the event of an evacuation. Try to have more than one option: the home of a friend or family member in another town, a hotel or a shelter. Keep the phone numbers and addresses of these locations handy. It is important to have at least two meeting places established so all is aware of where to go when one does happen. 
    2. Pre-arrange a designated place to meet in case your family members are separated before or during the evacuation. Make the location specific, for example, "meet at the big clock in the middle of town square" not "meet at the town square". Ask an out-of-town friend or family member to act as a contact person for your family. If not all members in the family are present in the home when an emergency happens, somewhere like a grocery store or restaurant can be used. In addition, every family member should know the family’s emergency contact by heart.
    3. Map out your primary routes and backup routes to your evacuation destinations in case roads are blocked or impassable. Try to have a physical map of the area available in case GPS satellite transmissions are down or your devices run out of power. 
    4. Put all evacuation plans in writing along with pertinent addresses and phone numbers and give them to each member of the family. NOTE THAT MANY HOME PRINTER INKS ARE NOT WATERPROOF, SO TAKE APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS TO ENSURE LEGIBILITY.
    5. Listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. 
  2. PLAN WHAT TO TAKE

Many families choose to have a "go bag" ready with some of these critical items. Consider packing the following for an evacuation.

  • Prescriptions and other medicines
  • First aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Clothing and bedding (sleeping bags, pillows)
  • Special equipment for infants or elderly or disabled family members
  • "Comfort items," such as special toys for children
  • Computer hard drive and laptop
  • Cherished photographs
  • Pet food and other items for pets; litter boxes, leashes
  1. CREATE A HOME INVENTORY

Making a home inventory and having it handy will be useful if you need to apply for disaster aid. It will also:

  • Help ensure that you have purchased enough insurance to replace your personal possessions.
  • Speed the insurance claims process, if necessary.
  • Substantiate any losses for income tax purposes.
  1. GATHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Keep the following important documents in a safe place that you can easily access and take with you in the event of an evacuation. And while for most of these you'll need an original, it's a good idea to make digital copies and keep them with you on a thumb drive, as well: 

  • Prescriptions
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Passports
  • Driver's license or personal identification
  • Social Security cards
  • Insurance policies — homeowners, auto, life and any others
  • Recent tax returns
  • Employment information
  • Wills and deeds
  • Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
  • Financial information such as bank, savings and retirement account numbers and recent tax returns
  • Home inventory

7. DISASTERS IN A VEHICLE

Here is a link to one our blog about surviving in your car in an emergency.; https://www.thereadystore.com/survival-tips/6387/how-to-survive-in-your-car-for-48-hours/

8. PREPARING FOR A DISASTER AT SCHOOL OR WORK

If you're a parent, make sure to ask the school where your kids go for their disaster and emergency plan. Then, make sure your kids know what to do when and if an emergency happens. When at work, make sure you are aware of the disaster plan that your work has set in place. 

9. PRACTICE

Be aware and modify your plan when necessary - practice makes perfect. When recommend practicing your emergency plan about every six months and modify if necessary. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. Also, most carbon monoxide detectors are good for 5-7 years and should be replaced after that time frame. Typically, the units have a tag or date stamp on the back to indicate its age or expiration date.

All in all, we want you to be prepared if something were to happen. We hope this article makes you have a better understanding of what actions you need to take to make sure that you are prepared and ready if an emergency were to hit. Whether it be a car breakdown, a natural disaster or even unemployment; we can provide you with quality products that help you stay on your feet and become self-sufficient.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY'S EVACUATION PLAN!

We'd love to hear from our ReadyFamily of how and what you are doing by staying prepared!

Sources;

https://www.irmi.com/articles/expert-commentary/family-disaster-planning
ready.gov
https://www.dosomething.org

https://www.fema.gov/

https://www.redcross.org/

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