What If You Only Had 15 Minutes?
Thousands of people in the Midwest watched in shock as their neighborhoods raged with fire. As I watched it on TV, from the comfort of my home, I had to wonder, “if I had to evacuate in 15 minutes, what would I do?”
What would you do? What would you take with you and what would you leave?
There were some funny reports of the things people took as they tried to make quick decisions. With time running out, one lady took an alarm clock and her new vacuum cleaner.
In our family, we’re re-thinking our preparations, because we know things happen and it’s clear this could happen to us.
If we had just 15 minutes to load the car and leave, what would we take? Here is our list.
Keep gas in every vehicle above ½ full
Keep extra gas in the garage
Review and top off the car kits
Review our 72 hr. packs
Video the house.. for insurance purposes
Take digital photos of any photos that are on the walls
Digitize old scrapbooks and photo albums if possible
Create priority lists for each family member to gather, if evacuation is needed.
Have a bag with a ‘get-out-quick’ list for each person
(If I have more than 15 minutes I will get further down the list.)
HERE’S HOW WE’LL PREPARE
A well planned 72 hour pack for each member of the family
A plan for the children (who to find and how to find them, where to meet and how to get there)
Plan A & B where to meet if we’re separated
A communications contact
Neighbors to care for if they’re not home
Neighbors to care for us if we’re not home
IF EVACUATION is INEVITABLE
There are the 5 P’s … the most critical items
4. Paper work
Each family member has a duffle bag with a list in it that is their list to gather.. the list should be prioritized with most important first. For the 3 year old it might be a stuffed animal.
LAST MINUTE ITEMS TO GATHERING
Cell phone charger, scriptures
Computer hard drives, cameras, and other technology.. unplug what is left behind.
Precious items: art work, treasures, antiques etc.
Turn off the gas.
REVIEW of 72 hr kit:
Jump drive: with important documents, insurance information, passports, house deeds and legal documents and PHOTOS scanned. (send a copy to a trusted relative).
Cash, snacks, food and water, medicine, first aid supplies, light, radio, personal hygiene and a seasonal change clothes, underwear, shoes and socks. Identification and contact numbers.
PLANNING IS KEY TO PREPAREDNESS
It would easy to panic and forget important things when you only have minutes.
Will we ever have to leave our homes and seek safety somewhere else? I hope not.
I don’t know what awaits us in the days ahead but this week reminded me that I have things I can do to be better prepared.
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