It is always better to plan an evacuation when your mind is clear, rather than during an actual life-threatening evacuation when you’re having an adrenaline attack. Here are 10 steps to creating a grab and go evacuation list.
Every time I do this activity, I realize I am not as prepared as I want to be. It makes me a bit crazy. Honestly, I have never evacuated, so this activity is something I have to imagine, and it always gets my heart racing.
If someone were to knock on your door and say you have a few minutes to evacuate, would you be ready?
During a mandatory evacuation, your greatest concern is for you and your family. All the STUFF doesn’t matter. So, take a few minutes and do this activity. It may save a life.
How to Prioritize an Evacuation List
- Create a list of the most important items you woud take with you if you had to evacuate.
- Then divide the big list into 3 smaller lists; what you would take if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes to evacuate. Look at the sample for ideas.
- Then arrange your items in the order you would grab them in your home to save the most time. Perhaps start upstairs, and work your way down. If you don’t have an upstairs, then choose a room you would go to first.
- Move emergency items to a central location such as a hall closet so they are easier to grab and go.
- Make it a habit to keep things in their specified location, otherwise you’ll be running all over the house.
- During an evacuation, grab the list and carry it with you as you gather items. You may want to grab a laundry basket and fill it up.
- If you have more than 5 minutes, grab items from the 15 minute list, and so forth.
- Practice the evacuation with your family. You may think you can take more than you really can. Those paintings and statues won’t be coming.
- Remind teens that it is safer to get out of the house and get to a neighbor if you are not there. Don’t put this responsibility all on them.
- Make several copies of the list and hang in various locations in your home where family will see it. Perhaps inside a kitchen cupboard or laundry cupboard.