6/25/2017

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Emergency Evacuation Plan

Are you prepared to leave your home, your neighborhood, or even your state, if there is an emergency evacuation ordered today? Do you have an emergency evacuation plan in place for you and your family in case you have to leave on a moments notice?

This may seem preposterous at the moment, but unexpected emergencies can, and do, happen all the time and you should always be prepared, no matter where you live. Your home and personal possessions should always be secondary to the lives of your loved ones, so if it becomes necessary to evacuate, go as quickly and safely as you can.

There are certain areas of the country that are subject to hurricanes, especially along the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic coast line. As we have witnessed with hurricane Katrina and subsequent storms, evacuations are becoming a common occurrence that require planning and precise execution by local, state, and federal authorities.

But it doesn't end there. Just because you don't live in a hurricane prone region of the country doesn't mean that you are immune to unexpected events that may make an evacuation necessary. An evacuation may be called due to a firestorm, tsunami, flood, nuclear accident, or other catastrophes.

The worst thing to do is to become complacent. If something happens that require a quick departure from your home, you may not have the time to stop and think about everything that is important to you and the needs of your family.

  • Would you know what to do, where to go, and how to proceed? Would you know what streets, freeways, or alternate routes to take? How long would it take you to get to the nearest safe location?
  • Does your family have a planned "meet up" site? A meet up site is essential because if you and your family are not together during an emergency evacuation, and if you cannot connect with them by telephone, a specific location that is familiar to you and your family should be pre-determined.
  • As was experienced in a recent earthquake in California, your cell phone system may go down and it may take a while before you can make a call. You may have to use a land line or a telephone booth, so always keep some change on your person or in your car. You may not be able to call locally, so insist that your children and other family members learn the telephone number of an out of state relative or friend that they can call as the check in contact person.
  • Keep all medications and important documents, such as insurance policies, social security cards, and photo albums in a location in your home where they can be gotten quickly on your way out the door.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full or more and keep it tuned up and in good shape just in case you might have to drive a long distance to get out of harms way.
  • Talk to your children and let them know that things can happen quickly and they need to know what to do in case of an emergency.

You should always have a disaster preparedness kit in your home, as well as in your car. Keep them in a back pack or a canvas tote because this will allow you to carry them on your person if you have to leave your home, or car, on foot.

A well though out emergency evacuation plan is essential for the safety and well being of you and your family.

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