Being prepared for emergencies such as wildfires or flooding is crucial for the safety of you and your family. Listening to emergency communications from local authorities and having a well-equipped 72-hour GO-bag ready can make all the difference in ensuring a swift and organized evacuation. Here’s how you can effectively prepare:
Pay close attention to local news, radio broadcasts, and official emergency communication channels. Follow social media accounts of local authorities, fire departments, and emergency management agencies for real-time updates on potential hazards and evacuation orders.
Create a Family Emergency Plan:
Develop a clear and detailed emergency plan with your family. Decide on meeting points, communication methods, and emergency contacts. Ensure everyone knows the plan and practices it through occasional drills.
Pack a 72-Hour GO-Bag:
Assemble a well-stocked GO-bag for each member of your family. This bag should contain essential items to sustain you for at least 72 hours. Include items such as:
- Non-perishable food and bottled water
- Medications and personal hygiene products
- Clothing and sturdy shoes
- First aid kit and any necessary medical supplies
- Flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio
- Important documents (ID, insurance policies, medical records)
- Cash and credit cards
- Phone chargers and a backup power source
- Basic tools (multi-tool, duct tape, etc.)
- Local maps and a list of emergency contacts
- Prepare for Evacuation:
- Keep your GO-bags in an easily accessible location. If evacuation orders are issued, you’ll need to move quickly. Consider having a checklist near your bags with last-minute items you need to grab, such as laptops, family photos, and sentimental items.
Stay In Touch:
Keep your phone charged and maintain communication with family members, neighbors, and friends during emergencies. Text messages are often more reliable than phone calls during high-demand periods.
Stay Calm and Follow Instructions:
In the event of an evacuation order, remain calm and follow the instructions of local authorities. Evacuate immediately and use recommended evacuation routes to avoid traffic congestion.
Stay tuned to emergency communication channels for updates on evacuation routes, shelters, and safety information. Conditions can change rapidly, so it’s important to have the latest information.
Have a Plan for Pets:
Don’t forget about your pets. Have supplies for their care, including food, water, medications, leashes, and carriers. Identify pet-friendly shelters and accommodations in advance.
Remember that being prepared is essential to your safety and the safety of your loved ones. By staying informed, having a clear plan, and having your go-bags ready, you increase your chances of responding effectively to emergencies and making the evacuation process as smooth as possible.