February is here and the first preparedness challenge is to add emergency items to our 72-hour kit, and create an evacuation grab and go checklist. And speaking of 72-hour kits, plan to go on foot to an evacuation shelter, but hope you go in your car. Imagine the worst-case scenario; you have a broken leg and are lugging your kit, with two kids on your hips on “the perilous journey through blistering cold and scorching desert, traveling for many days and nights, risking life and limb to reach” the church down the street. A little Shrek humor there. Let’s get to work.
1. Add Several Items to Your 72-Hour Kit
- Put a 3-day Supply of Food and Water in a large baggies. (Read more here) Write the date you packed them on the bag. Put a reminder on your calendar to replace them in six months. Avoid canned foods because they are heavier and foods with strong odors. Don’t store kits in your garage where heat will ruin the food.
- Family Photo. You need this for identification purposes. You could get separated. Use the school picture ID card your kids get with new pictures.
- AM/FM radio, solar or crank. Don’t count on your cell phone working during a disaster. You need to hear emergency news. Maybe get one for an adult pack. packs.
- City Map. Yep, don’t count on your cell phone GPS. You need to know various routes to exit your neighborhood. There may be a few roads you don’t normally use. Copy one online.
- Family Emergency Communication Plan. Go to Ready.gov/plan and work on your communication plan. You can fill it out online and print it out. Love that! Laminate it or put it in a plastic bag in your kit to prevent it from getting wet.
2. Create a Grab and Go List
- Print and fill out the Grab and Go List. Prioritize what you would grab if you had to evacuate now while you are calm and collected. Work on this before you have an adrenaline rush and can’t remember the name of your youngest child in an emergency!
- This handout would help you take items if you had 5, 15 or 30 minutes to evacuate. You’ll put the most important items in the 5 min. evacuation and so on. If you did this last year, update it. Hang a few copies inside a few cupboard doors around the house.
These tasks may take several weeks to complete. Just do the best you can with the time you have.
The Food Storage Organizer