I've been reading about the California fires, and how people have to evacuate their homes quickly, and also I read this, which got me to thinking about what I would do in a similar situation. And I really don't know. I'm pretty sure my decision-maker would freeze up in a panic, and either I'd end up taking nothing, or taking really silly things, like my shampoo, or a a necklace, or something. So I decided to think it through and come up with a list.
This list is assuming we have to leave home quickly, say in 15 minutes, for an unknown period of time, and be going somewhere where we may not have necessities handy. If it were a fire-- after making sure the kids (the youngest is 16) were alerted and safe-- I'd just grab the first four things and run. I'm sure everyone else in the family would have their own four things they'd want to grab, in addition to the survival gear, but with six of us, I'm sure we could be packed and out of there in 15 minutes. Maybe less. Kinda makes me want to have a trial run, just to see if we can do it. Hmm. Maybe I should institute "Evacuation Drills" aka, "Packing for a Trip." Fifteen minutes sure beats several hours-- or days!-- of getting ready to leave....
Anyway, here's the list:
Thirteen things I'd grab in case of evacuation.
1. my purse (because it has in it--among other miscellaneous stuff--my PDA, my bible, my water bottle, my drivers license and bank cards, any cash I may have, and a hairbrush.)
2. my laptop
3. my violin
4. my winter quilt that I made
5. thermoses of water, as many as we have time to fill.
6. our campstove with fuel
7. our "campout box," which is a relatively small storage tote with everything in it for cooking and eating: cast iron skillet, mixing bowl, plates, cutlery, cups, salt and pepper, utensils, napkins, etc. We use it for camping.
8. tents, sleeping bags, and pillows.
9. our "shower bags" and towels-- each person has a travel bag with travel size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc, for travelling and camping.
10. any non-perishable food we have in the house, e.g. bread, noodles, dried fruit, peanut butter, potatoes, canned goods; possibly some frozen food, for use right away.
11. toilet paper
12. flashlight and batteries, or lanterns, or both
13. whatever clothing can be stuffed quickly into a backpack.
I have just compared my list to the recommended experts' list and I'm doing pretty good except for one thing. I should have all my family's important documents packaged up and ready to go. I'm embarrassed to admit it never crossed my mind. So I either forget the flashlights, or I add number 14:
14. important family documents (hopefully already rounded up and in one easily grab-able format.)
Hubby said that if he were making this list, he'd bring some tools or a chainsaw, so I guess this is still not a definitive list for us. However, living in Nebraska, the likelihood of an evacuation for forest fires or hurricanes is very slim, which I guess just bears out our state motto, which is "Nebraska, the good life."
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