9 Steps to Be Prepared for an Evacuation

My husband was in choir in high school, and one of the choir shirts had a quote on the back. It said:

“When the time to perform has come, the time to prepare has past.”

There are many types of things to be prepared for, and you can learn about them in my preparedness section, but I’ve recently had to evacuate my home with Hurricane Matthew so I want to share with you what I did ahead of time to be able to evacuate smoothly and quickly.  You can read about my evacuation experience here. I had prepared these things months in advance for those “just in case, but probably never will use” scenarios, and I’m so glad I did because when the time came to quickly evacuate my home… the time to prepare had passed.

*Disclaimer-This post may contain affiliate links, but every link leads you to products that I have used and love! Running a blog is not cheap and turning the links into affiliates helps to off-set the cost. Read the full disclosure here. *


I had these 9 things ready ahead of time:

  1. 72 hr kits- This includes my baby’s, my pets, and mine. Click on the links to learn how to make yours.
  2. I had an evacuation map in each 72-hour kit, and already drove the route ahead of time so I knew what to expect. It’s important for every member in the family to know where your evacutation destination is.
  3. I already had a car emergency kit prepared and in my vehicle
  4. My family information binder was already put together and ready grab on the go.
  5. My gas tank is NEVER below ½. I fill it up once a week whether it needs it or not, and I was grateful when the time came to evacuate and gas stations were out of gas.
  6. I knew which hotels allowed pets- if you have pets in tow (and you better take them with you when you evacuate!), then it’s good to know where you can stop for the night and keep them with you. Make sure to call ahead and double check that they accept pets, but most of these locations do:
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • La Quinta
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • Best Western
  • Ace Hotel
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
  • Red Roof Inn
  1. I knew who to contact along the way- I started a couple of group texts that had my sister, mom, and in-laws who lived 2,500 miles away so that I could keep them updated on where I was at.
  2. I already had renter’s insurance- renter’s insurance is important in times of crisis because it can help you with theft and damage of your belongings. Get it ahead of time! Companies won’t let you get coverage pertaining to a disaster until after the disaster is over.
  3. I practiced how to prepare my home ahead of time- I knew how to flip the breakers in case of a power surge when the power came back on, and how to shut off the water valves in case of pipe damage. I also brought in anything from outside that could become a projectile.

Misc. Tips:

  • having a phone mount for my car would have been extremely helpful with following the GPS to the hotel. We use Lifeproof cases on our iPhones because they are drop proof, water proof, and dust proof. After the hurricane I bought this mount and it works great!


  • Double check your car insurance to make sure it covers flooding if you live in an area where floods can occur.

I want to repeat what I said at the end of my hurricane post:

I understand that not everyone lives near the coast, but do you live in a fire-prone area? Do you live where earthquakes can occur? Can you leave your home in 15 minutes if you are being evacuated because of a bomb threat nearby?  Are you prepared to be snowed in for a few days? The preparedness section of my blog can be useful for preparing for any kind of disaster, whether it’s weather, or financially related.


Check out this awesome evacuation preparedness video that my friend Amy Horikami put together!


One thought on “9 Steps to Be Prepared for an Evacuation

  1. Iris

    June 5, 2017 at 11:13pm

    Great information and tips. I admire people who are so organized. I mean, how do you do it? I couldn’t even keep my day to day activities in order, much less than prepare for a disaster. Salute to you, Wonder Woman!

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  2. Lynnette Joselly

    June 5, 2017 at 9:43pm

    It’s officially hurricane season in south florida and I always wait till last minute to plan but there never works because there is always huge lines for gas and water and the grocery aisles for canned food are practically empty. I have never even thought about preparing for evacuation, thanks for the heads up!

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  3. Blair villanueva

    June 5, 2017 at 11:07am

    This is a great post. Sometimes preparedness at home are something that is already in our minds but not executed. We need to also give priority on this to minimize further problems.

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  4. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    June 3, 2017 at 4:13am

    Wow! You can never be too prepared for anything. I always think of preparing an emergency backpack I can grab and go during emergencies but never gotten around to preparing it. I really should do it.

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  5. Megan

    June 2, 2017 at 6:42pm

    It is so incredibly smart of have a go-bag and plan in case of emergencies. Hurricane’s are no joke either, I went through the four that rocked Orlando several years back and I will never forget it!

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  6. Cristina

    June 2, 2017 at 6:50am

    Awesome list. I never thought of this. I should get more organized and aware of what can happen.

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  7. Amanda

    June 2, 2017 at 4:45am

    Thank you for this post! I think it is just the kick in my butt that I need in order to get this done. My hubby and I have been talking about this. We live in an earthquake prone area and need to get this done like 2 years ago! 🙂

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  8. Louise

    June 2, 2017 at 2:35am

    You are so organised. I wouldn’t have known where to have started 🙁

    Louise x

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  9. Chemady

    June 1, 2017 at 8:30pm

    Its a whole lot of stress to go through all that. All the same it is very important to get prepared.

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  10. Jackie

    June 1, 2017 at 3:23pm

    This is so informative. You made an awesome guide and so helpful. We don’t really want to think about this stuff but we have to. You did a lovely job and you are going to help so many with this.

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  11. Elizabeth

    June 1, 2017 at 7:53am

    I can’t even imagine how stressful it must be to live in an area where you need to be prepared for this! I consider myself so lucky to live where I do!

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  12. David Elliott

    June 1, 2017 at 7:39am

    I definitely know that I need a 72 hour kit for my life. Need to do a bit of cleaning to have that ready though. And certainly have something for my car as well.

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  13. Shirley

    June 1, 2017 at 7:11am

    Wow these are the great tips. Thanks for sharing this info.

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  14. Claudia Krusch

    May 31, 2017 at 10:38pm

    These are great tips. It is so important to be prepared. You never know when an emergency will happen.

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  15. Ana

    May 31, 2017 at 10:25pm

    Luckily I live somewhere that does not have hurricanes. That being said the idea of a 72 hour kit is a great way to be prepared x

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  16. Nellwyn

    May 31, 2017 at 8:40pm

    Wow it must have been so scary to have to evacuate your home! I should definitely prepare in case I’m ever in a similar situation.

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  17. Amber

    May 31, 2017 at 6:06pm

    Yikes, it would be scary to go through something like this. I haven’t yet, but I have had to sit in a tornado shelter many times when I lived in Oklahoma.

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    • Author


      May 31, 2017 at 6:08pm

      Tornados definitely require more of a “hunkered down” preparedness than evacuating. I’m glad they have shelters available to you!

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  18. Enricoh

    May 31, 2017 at 5:59pm

    wow! you’re very organized. #madrespect and love to how prepared you are for your pets. I know in crisis situations some people leave pets behind. I love animals and couldn’t fathom such an action so its good to get people prepared

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    • Author


      May 31, 2017 at 6:01pm

      Thank you! I agree, pets can feel sorrow, pain, and fear. It’s important not to abandon them in a crisis situation.

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  19. Milton Goh

    May 31, 2017 at 5:24pm

    Wow you are very prepared! Your preparedness instills an urgency in people to get themselves well prepared too!

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  20. Jessica Taylor

    May 31, 2017 at 1:43pm

    These are great tips. Living in South Louisiana, weather is always unpredictable! We have random floods and hurricanes often

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  21. robin rue

    May 31, 2017 at 11:43am

    Reading this makes me realize that we are not prepared AT ALL! I need to fix that asap!!

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    • Author


      May 31, 2017 at 11:49am

      My goal with the preparedness section of my blog is to help walk others through being prepared! It’s so important!

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  22. Connie@essentiallybroken.com

    May 16, 2017 at 12:47pm

    This is really important information. Although I don’t live in a flood area, I completely understand what you’re saying about others either disasters, whether natural or man-made. Thank you so much for this and I’m going to check out your preparations section!!

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  23. Eryn

    May 13, 2017 at 5:15pm

    This is such great info and I’m sad to say I have almost nothing you’ve mentioned. But that’s going to change! We should always be prepared so I’ll look into making those kits!

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    • Author


      May 17, 2017 at 1:32pm

      Everyone has to start some where! I hope that this post gives you a good place to start 🙂

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  24. Stephanie

    May 12, 2017 at 4:02pm

    Great topic to bring up. I think we all know that we should be prepared for an evacuation no matter where we live, but it’s easy to put it on the back burner. I was really good about preparedness a few years ago and I should freshen up my kits.

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    • Author


      May 17, 2017 at 1:33pm

      It does tend to be forgotten about in the hustle and bustle of life. That’s one of the things I struggle with when it comes to preparedness…freshening up kits! It is super important to do it though.

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  25. Amanda

    May 12, 2017 at 3:26pm

    I had never considered being prepared for an evacuation. But now I am! Thank you for all the tips and resources.

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  26. April@loveourreallife

    May 12, 2017 at 2:44pm

    Wow! I love the level of detail you provide. I’m already starting to think about what my family would need should evacuation become eminent.

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    • Author


      May 12, 2017 at 11:25pm

      Every family situation is different, but I hope that this post gives you a good start!

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  27. Living Life Blended

    May 12, 2017 at 2:36pm

    This is great info. We’ve had to hunker down with some severe weather recently, and we had to stay put during flooding (thankfully we are at the top of a hill). This is all helpful for preparing “just in case”.

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