Over the past several years there have been several wildfires both large and small in my neck of the woods. Even now there are 7 major fires burning in my area and forced evacuations in several communities. Disasters of any sort can hit us where we live and while we cannot plan for everything, we can certainly try to cover as many bases as possible to ensure survival for ourselves and our best friends.
These are some tips and things my family does in order to be prepared for an evacuation:
Prepare and have a ready to evacuate bag: <10 minutes
This has any needed meds, and anything you may need in a few hours including some bottled water, extra leashes, cash, a few cans of soup and a small amount of pet food. (This may be the only thing you can grab besides your pets)
If you have more time: 10 min to 1 hour:
Water...try and pack 2-4 gallons and bring bowls for your pets
Canned food....bring cans of tuna, bread, peanut butter etc... for you and your famiy
Pet food bring a full bag or enough cans for 5 days
Crates fo your pets. You may need to leave them for a time at an evacuation center for pets.
Camping gear....small tent sleeping bags, and stove with fuel
Gas can full of gas
Clothing and foot wear
strongbox contaning important papers.
Any other personal item you cannot be without.
Fill your gas tank if possible
Listen to the radio/tv/internet for evacuation routes/centers in your area.
If family memebers are separated have a meet up plan in locations near you. Pick locations in nearby towns to meet if possible. Use texting rather than phone calls as phone communications can get overloaded easily. Texting uses less battery power as well.
Plan escape routes for a variety of scenarios...inlcuding if all major highways are blocked....Today in my area that happened for a short time. All northern routes and Interstates were closed (and still are at this time) and another fire temproarily close our eastern route of egress. Note I live in San Diego so there is no way to egress heading west and going south across the border is also not a good option.
Luckily I know of several backroad highways that are still open heading west around that closed area. There are fewer ways heading northto bypass those closures due to terrain features. Know areas around that you can safely camp in if evacuation sheltering is not available.
Many things are seasonal. Normally for us fire season starts in July but it has come early this year. Tornados and Hurricanes have seasons too...be especially prepared during those "seasons"
Most important keep you and yours safe. Do not go into dangerous areas to get a better look or picture etc... its not worth risking your life.
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Valuable training articles posted by Victoria and other Positively members.
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