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As with any emergency, handling a home evacuation with confidence comes down to being as prepared as possible. With the right preparations, everyone can get to safety without making missteps along the way or getting too stressed. Although there is no way to fully ease the stress, preparations can help.
So, explore what to do before, during and after an evacuation to get ready to handle this situation with ease. Also, be sure to take a look at what to bring along for the ride, so you do not leave anything important behind. Build a Home Evacuation Plan.
There are many reasons for evacuations, some just require you to leave your home, others require leaving the city. Fires, carbon monoxide leaks, structure damage, floods etc.
To act as a guide, the evacuation plan must spell out: what situations demand evacuation, which items to bring and where to find them, how to safely exit your home, which vehicle to take, what roadways to take to safety, and explore alternative routes through town. A good plan consists of a procedure document, map, and checklist. Create a meeting point to bring everyone together. It could be at the end of the driveway, by a nearby street sign, near a tree across the street, next to a neighbors house or just right by the mailbox. Practice this once a month.
Creating a check list is the first step. Ahead of time you will need to gather supplies, take a home inventory, secure important documents, determine where you can stay. Make a go bag that includes food, medical and pet supplies, important papers, and have it easy to grab.
If anything happens to your home, you will need the inventory list for your insurance claim. Take pictures of every room and the exterior. Include make and model of vehicles and appliances. Open up closets and include the contents.
For your important documents include copies of your birth certificates, drivers license or passports, social security card, marriage license, insurance policies, tax returns, wills and power of attorney, and bank account numbers. You can put these in a safe deposit box for retrieval later or include them in your go-bag.
Before leaving turn off all utilities and lock all doors and windows. Looters often break into homes after everyone leaves.
For mjore on building your plan check out Jeff Cook Real Estate for detailed, easy to follow instructions.