Preparing for a Sudden Evacuation: A Guide for Just in Case
Life is full of uncertainties, especially during wildfire season and going right into hurricane and storm season, and while we can’t predict every twist and turn, we can certainly prepare ourselves to face them head-on. Sudden evacuations are one such challenge that might catch us off-guard. Whether it’s due to natural disasters, emergencies, or unforeseen circumstances, having a well-thought-out plan and a fully stocked emergency kit can make all the difference.
There are a few very useful apps that you can download to help you, and others in a situation where you either need help or can get someone out of harm’s way. One of my favourites is What 3 Words, which divided the world into 3-metre squares and gave each square a unique combination of three words. It’s the easiest way to find and share exact locations.
Have a Game-Plan
Just in case, have a written down list of contacts including your friends, family, and out-of-town phone numbers and addresses. Share the plan with a meeting point and the backup too. Coordinate with your out-of-town contact that they will be the number that you, your friends, and your family will call to check in and confirm safety.
Know where to turn off the gas in your home and make sure everyone in your house can find it. Before you leave, turn it off.
If the electricity goes out, you can use a landline phone which takes its power from the phone cable. If you’re on a mobile phone and the network is busy, try and call through data-calling apps like WhatsApp, or even via FB Messenger.
Let’s explore the essential items you should have ready in case you need to leave your home at a moment’s notice.
Note – I’m including the Amazon.ca links because they’re quick to order from. No affiliate links or sponsored products are used in this blog.
1. Emergency Preparedness Kit: Your Lifesaver
An emergency preparedness kit is a must-have for any sudden evacuation situation. It should contain essential items that can sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. You can find comprehensive emergency kits online, such as the In Case Of 72 Hour Emergency Survival Kit, designed to cover a wide range of needs including food, water, first aid supplies, and more.
2. First Aid Kit: Health Comes First
In times of crisis, medical attention might not be readily available. A well-equipped first aid kit can help you manage minor injuries and health concerns. Consider the First Aid Kit (173pcs) with Upgraded Handle Design for Family Emergency Care, which includes bandages, antiseptics, gloves, and more to address various medical situations.
3. Half Tank of Gas: Fuel Your Escape
Always keep your car’s gas tank at least half full (or make sure your electric car battery is charged. This simple step can ensure you’re ready to hit the road whenever needed. A full tank of gas can be a game-changer when evacuation becomes necessary. Make sure the tires are in good shape and your oil, break fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc. are topped up. If in doubt, get your car serviced ASAP.
4. Blankets and Warm Clothing: Stay Cozy and Safe
Weather conditions can be unpredictable during evacuations. Pack warm blankets and clothing to stay comfortable and protected from the elements. Don’t forget to have a couple of your kids’ favourite stuffies or special toys ready to go. It might make the transition a little less stressful for them.
5. Water and Non-Perishable Food: Sustain Your Energy
Stock up on plenty of bottled water and non-perishable food items like energy bars, canned goods, and dried fruits. These items can provide crucial sustenance when access to food and clean water is limited. If you’re worried that the water might get shut off, fill a bathtub with cold water so you have a reserve.
6. Smoke-Filtering Face Masks: Breathe Easy
In case of wildfires or poor air quality, smoke-filtering face masks can help protect your respiratory health. The 3M Aura Particulate Disposable Respirator 9211+ with Cool Flow Valve, N95, and Smoke is a reputable option for such scenarios.
7. IDs and Passports: Stay Documented
Keep photocopies of important documents like IDs, passports, insurance papers, and important contacts. Store them in a waterproof bag or container within your emergency kit.
8. Charged Cellphone and Power Banks: Stay Connected
Communication is key during evacuations. Ensure your cellphone is fully charged and pack portable charging blocks like the BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB3A,268Wh LiFePO4 Battery Backup w/ 2 600W or the more portable Power Bank Wireless Charger 26800mAh Built in 4 Cables and Dual Flashlights to keep your devices powered.
A Game Console, iPad, etc.
While it’s usually not the first thought as we gather to leave the house, comforts and distractions can make it a lot easier, especially with kids. Also, if you’re out of the home for an extended period, you might need something to do, or for the kids to zone-out a bit on their tablets while the adults figure out next steps.
Final Thoughts: Your Safety, Your Responsibility
Preparing for sudden evacuations might feel overwhelming, but remember that every step you take toward preparedness brings you closer to safety and peace of mind. By assembling these crucial items and staying informed about emergency plans in your area, you can face uncertain times with confidence. Start today, because being prepared is the first step to getting out safely.