It's difficult to think about planning and preparing for events that can potentially require evacuation, but if you have animals such as pets and/or livestock, you have an added burden of responsiblity.
Because much of the weekend was spent by many people preparing for an evacuation notice - and everyone for one reason or another has likely experienced or will experience a situation like this - either because of tsunami warnings, earthquakes, hurricanes, forecasted floods, fires, or other natural disasters where you are provided with only a few minutes to gather up a few of your precious things and leave - a reminder list was compiled of what you might want to think about:
Preparing for potential evacuation:
1. Have a plan as to where you will go.
Many find themselves in community shelters, but with some planning, you can often make arrangements to stay with family members or friends.
If you have livestock, ask around to see if there are extra pastures or if boarding facilities are taking evacuees' animals.
2. Make preparations in advance.
If you feel you are at risk for even a potential evacuation:
Make a list of what you need and want to take.
Gas up your vehicle and check your tires for proper inflation
If there is room to take belongings, configure the interior of vehicles for what you will need.
Have the car adapter for your mobile phone and other supplies ready to go.
Have cash, check books and credit cards ready to go
3. Have first aid and emergency kits ready to go and in an accessible location. Keep kits in an easy to carry container such as a backpack, duffle bag, or storage bin.
First aid kits should include
First aid materials
Self adhesive bandages
Isopropyl alcohol and cotton wipes and swabs
Sanitizing wet wipes
Extra contacts and cleaning solution and eye glasses as required
Emergency kits should contain
Flash lights for each family member, 2 extra sets of batteries for each flashlight, scissors and duct tape for emergency repairs
Blankets, pillows, and towels
Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, soap and shampoo and extra current medication as needed
Non-perishable food and snacks that require no preparation\
Non-electric can opener and utility knife
A minimum of one gallon of water per person per day. Even if you are moving to a shelter, sometimes the shelters are not yet fully set-up and you need to have supplies on hand in the interim. It is generally recommended to have a 3 day supply on hand.
Packets of laundry detergent
4. Have photos of all the rooms in your home from various angles to remind you of your contents. It's easiest to take these on your phone or digital camera and keep them with you.
5. Make a list of what you want to take with you. and be realistic about how much room you have. Family portraits and photos are what many prefer not to leave behind if provided with a choice.
6. Pack luggage with at least 3 changes of clothes per person.
Before you get to this point, consider investing in a fire proof safe if you don't already have one. However, don't count on it as 100% reliable. Put items in the safe you prefer not to lose, but take critical items like passports with you.
If evacuation notice is received:
1. Family members and animals are first priority.
Make sure social security cards, original birth certificates, passports, drivers licenses and other required documentation are included. Some of these documents are very difficult to replace, especially without other supporting documents.
Children should take one favorite stuffed animal or toy to help comfort them.
Make sure pets have their collars and tags on, take their feed bowls, leashes, carriers and vaccination records.
Hitch up your trailer ahead of time and park if facing the exit. If you have to evacuate in the dark, hitching up will likely take extra precious time.
Check the tires condition and proper inflation, make sure the spare is in good condition. Check the brakes and lights.
Take enough feed for a week if you have the space. Include feed and water buckets.
Extra halters, leads and nose chains, medicines and supplements should be included if possible . Put your name and phone number on pieces of duct tape and tape it to both the halters and leads.
If you don't have a trailer, start making calls and use social media to ask people in surrounding areas for help.
3. Personal data
Take your computers and back-up drives. For many of us, we have soft copies of critical information here. Also, be sure to take important papers that may not be included on your drives. This includes:
Insurance policy numbers
Medical information including phone numbers of family physicians, style and serial number of medical devices such as pace makers, etc.
Credit card accounts, wills, etc that will serve in place of the paper documents. In a hurry, you aren't likely going to be able to gather all of these quickly enough.
4. Valuables or thing that are irreplaceable that can be moved.
Old family photo albums, certificates, works of art that have sentimental purposes or are under-insured.