Some people had just minutes to grab what they could and leave their homes.
Lives - children and pets - come first, of course.
But then what?
Your computer? Or portable hard drive with all those digital photos you can't replace? Do you have old family photo albums or treasured heirlooms? Valuable jewelry? A change of clothes?
Make copies of all your important documents: insurance policies and cards, ID and birth certificates, lists of bank accounts and credit cards with contact phone numbers. Put the copies in your emergency bag or in your disaster kit along with your non-perishable food and flashlights. Alternatively, invest in a portable, locking, fire- and water-resistant document box and keep any documents and copies there. It'll be safer if left behind, but if it's small, you can grab it along with your suitcase and disaster kit.
Next, make a list. Start with the obvious things first:
- cell phone
- emergency suitcase
- disaster kit
- document lockbox
By making the list when you're calm, you can make decisions about what's most important, what you can fit in your vehicle, and you'll be sure not to forget the most important things. You'll also be able to make your getaway faster, because you'll know what to grab and where it is. You'll have a plan. You won't waste precious minutes standing in the middle of the room asking yourself, "What should I take?
You'll already know.
Here are some links to help you get started:
Build a Kit
Be Red Cross Ready