The following information was obtained from a teacher that my husband works with. Her house was burned to the ground by a California wildfire. So, she sent out some awesome fire evacuation prepping advice. Other fire information comes from CalFire, Red Cross, & FEMA.
This is some of things we learned about evacuating in a short amount of time. There were things we definitely wished we had taken. But the pressure of having to evacuate is overwhelming. I hope you can learn from our experience.
How to prep for an evacuation. This preparation doesn’t happen now, it happens over days, months, and years. Once your disaster evacuation plan and supplies are packed and stored it must be updated and refreshed every year.
Storage: use rolling suitcases, pillowcases, or empty boxes. Use storage that can fit into your vehicles.
Clothes, toiletries, games, cards, books, notebook & crayons, tennis shoes for 3-5 days (or more if you home is burned)
Your children: What to pack- medications, clothing for at least 3-5 days, comfort items, water bottle.
Make sure to practice your disaster plan.
Have the kids make a list of what to grab when going. Take note of what they deem valuable, not only is it interesting it is important. Keep the list posted in their room next to the Grab & Go backpack/rolling suitcase for packing.
Young children, 10/11 years or younger, put 3-4 days of clothes, tennis shoes, toothpaste/brush, shampoo, brush etc. As they get older they will be able to grab the clothes they need to go.
Note from the teacher whose home burned:
My kids did not remember their backpacks—neither were they heartbroken over their “textbooks burning, but they did have favorite notes and pictures in the covers of their binders.”
Adults: wallets/purse, phone charger & cord, battery, Flashlight (not your phone), ID, passport, social security card, safe deposit box key, disaster cash, credit cards, masks
Important/vital documents keep in an emergency binder (originals in a fire safe), file drawer, or fireproof suitcase. Especially the deed to your home to enable Red Cross and your insurance company to begin disaster services.
Finally, what other stuff would you GRAB, family photo albums, collectibles, pictures, quilts, books, etc. As you plan think, what will I GRAB if I have 4 hours, 2 hours, 45 minutes, 15 minutes.
Make a list, post it on frig or by the phone. We can’t plan for every emergency, but we can be prepared.
…prioritize what you would grab because your brain doesn’t function normally, and you will walk right pass important things. …tennis s hoes are a must. I had cute high heel sandals that didn’t help when sorting through ash…
Fire Safety for Your Pets
Being prepared means understanding what happens during a disaster. As with humans the more familiar you are with safety measures the likely you are to cope calmly. So, pets should be included in the family disaster plans.
Kidde, a manufacturer of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, reports that “nearly 1,000 home fires are started by family pets.”
With that in mind pet fire safety is crucial. Brad Nohr, managing Director, Kidde. “…we serve to protect all members of the family-not just the two-legged kind.”
Pet Training may be necessary to help your pet respond to without anxiety to smoke alarms, smoke and how to move to exit a door or window. Enlist the help of a professional trainer to train your canine.
Window Clings: Put on the windows by the front window indicating the number of animals in the house. (Available at kidde.com/petsafety)
Kidde.com provides pet parents with life-saving education in honor of National Pet Fire Safety Day. Kidde.com/petsafety. Kidde Announces Awareness Campaign to Protect Pets from Home Fires Kidde Jul 15, 2020
Revisit your disaster plan yearly.
Replace missing or expired items in your Grab Bags.
Keep prescriptions and contact numbers up to date.
Practice your plan.
Talk about being prepared with your kids enough times that it isn’t scary to them.
See these resources for additional information:
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org; Federal Disaster Assistance: www.disasterassistance.gov; https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/index.html