Thursday, May 24, 2012

Your 5 Step Evacuation Plan

I woke up yesterday morning to a very hazy sky.  Usually this means that there are dust storms brewing but after checking the news it turns out that the haze was coming from a major wildfire in northern Nevada.  My first thought was "someone is going to need to evacuate."  My second thought was "how many people are actually ready to evacuate on a moment's notice?"  So here is a simple evacuation plan:

  1. Determine the need to evacuate.  This can be simple (you hear a warning that everyone in your area must evacuate) or difficult to determine (a hurricane warning has been issued but the actual event is a few days away and it is unknown at this point if your area will need to evacuate).  The best way to determine your need to evacuate is using the information that is available (from the media, your local emergency management websites, etc) and your own common sense (if you live in a hurricane-prone area you will probably have experience with this).  There may be other instances when you will need to evacuate and will be informed of such (usually local law enforcement and fire service will come through your area and let you know if and when you will need to evacuate in the case of  a wildfire heading your way or a chemical spill in your area).
  2. Make the announcement.  Fortunately you have held mock evacuation drills so everyone knows what to do.  Everyone will need to grab their BOBs and throw them into the vehicle; don't forget your animal's BOB too.  Grab important items (stuff from your safe such as important documents, meds, cash, firearms and ammo, jewelry, etc--of course these items should be in one location so you aren't hunting all over the house for them).  Securing animals to bring them with you should also be done now.  And if you have enough time, fill your vehicle up with anything other useful things that will fit (camping gear, extra water, extra food, etc).
  3. Determine where to go and how to get there.  You will need local information to determine what roads are open or closed.  You will want to determine where to go (can you just leave the neighborhood and go to grandma's or do you need to get hundreds of miles away and go to evac location #2?).  You will want to double check your maps/GPS for routes to get to your destination as well as alternate routes you can use.  
  4. Do the final walk-through.  Again this should be practiced ahead of time.  The final walk-thru includes the following: lock all windows and exterior doors, lock interior doors if possible, if you have spare fuel, fill up your vehicle's tank, turn off utilities if necessary (electricity, gas, and water coming into the house; note this doesn't need to be done in all evacuation cases so determine if this is necessary based on the reason you are evacuating), leave a note pinned to the front door which says who evacuated to where along with contact info and your evacuation destination, lock the exit door and garage door as you leave.  
  5. Make sure everyone is in the vehicle and ready to go.  Literally make a head count to make sure you haven't forgotten anyone or any of your pets.  Roll up the windows of your vehicle, turn on the radio in your vehicle if conditions are changing rapidly so you will have the latest evacuation news and information, and go.
Here are additional evacuation resources to consider: 
Remember: you want to be as prepared as possible before you need to evacuate so take steps now to get your evacuation plan and evacuation kits in order ASAP!

1 comment:

  1. # 2 and # 3 have something to do with what I recently experienced...nothing drastic as you reffer in the post.
    I was helping a friend to evict some undesirable people that had nothing to do with his rental. He prepare and went to his check list of items he needed. Went I went to his house to pick him up I noticed he didnt have a camera I pointted that to him and went to pick it up. He was against on taking some protection because of the Kalifornia rules of transportation and I said, my p/u truck has a lockable glove comparment, so the ammo will be perfectly in compliance.

    Upon arriving to the address, we waited for the county's deputy.. while we were there I asking him if he was going to take photos of the vehicles and he said . good idea. Thats when we noticed his camera didnt have a memory card, making it useless. so I took pixs. with my cell phone. after 1/2 hour of waiting, the woman on this house notice us and she approach us asking for more time. I said that I was only a rep. and had no power to granted it. my friend (the owner) was recognized and she went into the house and several gang bangers came out to approach the car...I decided to go into the Unit beetwen the front and rear house (studio Apartment)and took the brief case holding our only means of personal defense. Open the case with his weapons and he pick up his semi auto and started loading the mag fumbleing all the cartriges all over the bed, I then pick up the revolver and loaded it in a flash while he was trying to load the 1st mag. I then pick up the naa mini revolver and loaded it too. while he was trying to load the first mag I then told him just insert the mag into your gun and start loading the 2nd mag. He did this and a sight of relief was showing in his face once he had a loaded gun with a few rounds. His problem was he was trying to fully load to the max the first mag. By the time we were ready the deputies announced their arrival and those people grab whatever plastic bags they have outside and place them in their cars. while this was happening the deputies warn them not to come back, if they did they will face arrest. Then the local police arrrive and also warn them. and information was taken from the registration of their vehiles. Going back to #2 & #3.. no matter how ready you are something can and will go wrong. practise is great help. cool nerves also help. We were lucky that nothing major you said in your post "be prepared as possible before you need to take any steps.