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.
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I had these 9 things ready ahead of time:
- 72 hr kits- This includes my baby’s, my pets, and mine. Click on the links to learn how to make yours.
- 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.
- I already had a car emergency kit prepared and in my vehicle
- My family information binder was already put together and ready grab on the go.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!