As you watch the news about the wild fires that are at this minute charring much of Southern California, consider this another warning that the time to get prepared is NOW. It's easy to watch the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or the Asian tsunami and think "that could never happen where I live." That may be true, those specific disasters may never happen where you live, but it is possible that another type of disaster (earthquake, wildfire, tornado) could have similar consequences.
There are any number of natural and man-made disasters that could force you and your family to abandon your home and evacuate at a moment's notice. Would you be prepared? Would you be able to gather everything you need to start your life over again in the event that when you returned to your home, not a single thing (house, neighborhood, landscape, infrastructure--nothing!) was left standing?
You need to have ready to "grab and go" the following things:
- People and pets and BOBs for each.
- Important documents and keepsakes (family pictures, birth/marriage/death certificates).
- Cash, financial documents/information, and more cash.
- A well-stocked, well-prepared Bug Out Vehicle.
- All insurance info (policy information, home inventory).
- Other necessities (laptops, cell phones, chargers, firearms, ammo. computer file backup, medications and prescriptions, wallet, keys)
It's also a nice idea to have a evacuation plan...know where you can go for temporary shelter and how you can get there.