Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Evacuation list of what to take

Here is a great list of things to think about, prepare and pack if you have time before an evacuation.

(I have deleted some items that pertain to having infants and cold weather items: hats, scarves)

WHAT TO TAKE ----- A checklist

When leaving is immediate:
__- Pack important papers
__- Turn off gas
__- Distance BBQ tanks
__- Pet cages/carriers & food
__- Leave outside lights on so FD can see your home through smoke.
__- Cell Phone, Charging cord

If you have time to prepare:

__ Photographs of all family members
__ Pets (if advance warning, take to an approved shelter)
__ Pet ID tags
__ Pet medications
__ Pet leashes
__ Pet water bowls

__ Health insurance card
__ Car insurance card
__ House deed
__ Marriage license
__ Insurance papers
__ Tax papers
__ Birth certificates
__ Drivers' licenses
__ Legal documents
__ Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
__ Computer backup disks
__ Laptop, CPU, Computers (time permitting)
__ Computer CORDS, rechargers
__ Printer & cords
__ video camera, digital camera, all cords to recharge

__ Check books
__ Savings books
__ Credit cards
__ Cash
__ Purse
__ Wallet
__ Blank checks

__ Prescriptions
__ Analgesics
__ Motion sickness tablets
__ First-aid kit
__ Prescription glasses
__ Prescription hearing aids

__ Gold, silver, and other valuable jewelry
__ Family heirlooms
__ Decorations, pins, awards

__ Photos and albums, slides, movies, home videos
__ Family Bible
__ Irreplaceable keepsakes
__ Original paintings

Food and Water (for three to seven days - if time permits)
__ Water (at least one gallon per person and pet per day)
__ Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food
__ Pet food
__ Manual can opener

Toiletries (if time permits)
__ Soap, shampoo and towels
__ Toothbrushes and toothpaste
__ Shaving articles
__ Sanitary devices

Clothing (appropriate for the season - if time permits)
__ Change of clothing for each person (for one to seven days)
__ Coats and jackets
__ Shoes and boots
__ Change of underwear
__ Sleepwear

Additional Items to Take (if time permits)
__ Cell phones
__ Reading material
__ Recreational items – playing cards, games, gameboy, puzzles
__ First-aid kit
__ Flashlights and extra batteries
__ Portable radio and extra batteries
__ Cameras and extra batteries

__ Fill evacuation vehicle gas tank
__ Park evacuation vehicle in the garage heading toward street and travel route
__ Close evacuation car windows but DO NOT LOCK CAR and leave keys in ignition
__ Close garage door but leave it unlocked (disconnect automatic garage door opener)
__ Establish an evacuation plan, travel route, probable destination
__ Determine where separated members will meet
__ Follow any official agency's evacuation instructions
__ Turn off natural gas at meter
__ Disconnect propane tank
__ Close or cover outside vents and shutters
__ Remove combustible items from around the outside of the house
__ Turn off appliances, thermostats, fireplaces, stoves
__ Leave one light on in each general area so firefighters can see your house in dark and smoke
__ Release any livestock in the area
__ Close fire resistant window coverings, heavy drapes, and Venetian blinds
__ Move overstuffed furniture away from windows
__ Close sliding glass doors into the center of the house (DON'T lock them)
__ Remove lace, nylon, or light material drapes and curtains
__ Place a ladder against the roof of the house on the side opposite the approaching fire
__ Fill bathtubs, sinks, and containers with water
__ Soak burlap sacks, small rugs, or large rags in containers
__ Turn on exterior lights
__ Lock doors and windows
__ If instructed, tie large white cloth to front door knob
__ Don't tie up telephone lines (notify friends and relatives by e-mail where to contact you)
__ Make safety equipment obvious for firefighters (spigots, ladders, chain saws, hoses, etc.)
__ Plug air vents and openings that are close to the ground
__ Prepare an "information note" to leave on the door detailing who you are, where you have gone, where flammables are (such as lawnmower gas, ammo, chemicals - move them all into one place)

__ Keep evacuation vehicle gas tank full
__ Practice family fire drill and evacuation plans
__ Practice STOP, DROP, and ROLL (should clothes catch on fire)
__ Prepare a list of valuables to take with you (store together, if possible)
__ Make a video of all belongings, talking about each
__ Take still pictures of all belongings as a backup
__ Document an annotated list of all belongings
__ Develop outdoor water supply with hoses to reach entire house, nozzle, and pump
__ Have fire tools, ladder, and fire extinguishers available
__ Post name/address signs clearly visible from street or road
__ Post load limits on access bridges
__ Clear driveway to at least 20 feet wide with 15 feet vertical clearance (for emergency vehicles)
__ Clear weeds and cut grass within 10 feet of structures, propane tanks, utility boxes
__ Clear debris from roof and gutters
__ Clear vegetation from within 3 feet of hydrants
__ Remove trees growing through porch, deck, or roof
__ Remove trash and debris accumulations
__ Remove branches that overhang within 15 feet of roof and chimney
__ Stack firewood uphill or on a contour at least 30 feet away from house
__ Thin and prune your trees and brush
__ Install smoke detectors and test quarterly
__ Install only non-combustible roof material
__ Install shutters, fire curtains, or heavy drapes on windows
__ Install screens on foundation and eave vents
__ Install enclosed sides on stilt foundations and decks
__ Install chimney screen or spark arrestor

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Jerry Pol said...

Great suggestions and especially the part about ID tags because they are the real link to getting you lost pet back quickly. I’m addressing this comment because I came across something that makes SO much sense for situations such as these. It’s a really special ID tag called petFINDER made by a company called Finder Products ( It works sort of like a calling card for pets in that an owner enters 3 personal contact numbers into the system and if someone finds a lost pet, they just dial a toll-free number on the tag and are automatically connected directly to those numbers....if you can't reach someone on the first number, it rolls over and tries the second and third.

It’s a great everyday ID tag because it addresses the limitations in the old stand-by engraved metal tag; namely that it can only contain limited info or numbers and that info can’t be changed without buying a new tag. What happens if you can’t be reached at the number or numbers on that tag? In other words, what happens if caught in a terrible situation such as Katrina or the fires in So Cal; your home may be gone, your phones not working, how does someone get in touch with you should your pet become separated from the family?

I feel strongly about this product because my cousin lived in N.O. during Katrina and she and her family were evacuated from their home by the Coast Guard….all of them except for their dog, who the guardsmen would not take (as we all sadly saw). After they were resettled with her mom in Kansas, it took the family over a month, but they finally located their dog in one of the shelters by making many, many calls to all the facilities that were holding lost pets.

You see their dog had an ID tag…..but it was worthless as the contact numbers were no good (no land line phone because home was gone and cells did not work, etc). When they went to pick up their dog, the shelter worker told them about an unusual pet tag called petFINDER by a company called Finder Products. They told her that although they had not seen it before, it proved to be really effective.

The kicker for me was that the system lets the owner make unlimited changes to the numbers from wherever they might be…even AFTER their pet is separated from them! That’s how it worked during Katrina, owners who had this on their pets, were able to change to new numbers where they could now be reached and apparently nothing else came close to allowing owners this ability.

You carry a wallet card and simply dial a toll-free system number and replace the current number(s) with another number. Could be a new or updated number, when traveling with your pet it could be the numbers of the hotel, friend or relative where you’ll be staying….OR in a natural disaster, changing a non-working number to one with service.

Needless to say my cousin purchased it and so did we. It costs around $12 to $15. If anyone is interested, I found out that you can purchase the petFINDER lost & found pet tag on the company site ( and if you enter the American Humane (they helped to develop the tag) code word Tag Day, you can get them for only $10, instead of $14.99.

Hope this helps everyone.

Anonymous said...

i bought this and it is amazing product but the price went up, maybe due to popularity.