Unexpected emergencies, like taking a fall and breaking your leg, are ones that you don’t really plan for. But if your living quarters subject to a wild fire, hurricane, flood or tornado scare, you may have days, hours or even minutes to evacuate all you own and leave it behind. While it’s human nature to not want to think about these types of events, preparation in advance is not only positive mental acrobatics, the very act of physically taking stock of what is absolutely essential for you and your families well being will be rewarded handsomely if and when the moment comes that you absolutely must leave your home behind. Those of us spoiled by the abundance and convenience of electricity, gasoline, grocery stores and internet connections have a more difficult time imagining environmental destruction and/or social and economic collapse. The food folks from The Organic Prepper have faced smoke, clouds and dust from fires that raged miles from their front door during California’s King Fire in September of 2014. That’s why they put together a list of twenty items that they found essential to pack up in plastic tubs or study cardboard moving boxes and load up their car in advance to wait for the evacuate signal.
This list is not exhaustive, and you’ll notice that certain items on it would require the use of electricity. So in one sense, this list is for a good news scenario. Obvious, critical adjustments would be made for a grid down situation. Additionally, if it is not a weather event that is threatening your home, but social unrest, there are other important strategies employed for sheltering in place. Flashlights, emergency food, potable water, self defense considerations and joining up with your neighbors would play a part in that urban survival scenario, as well as having a stock of herbal medicines, wraps, bandages, antiseptic ointments and other critical emergency medical supplies.
Millions of Americans haven’t even taken a first step, however, and this list of 20 items, courtesy of the Organic Prepper is an excellent list to look over and at least begin the mental exercise of clearly thinking about and planning for what you would need in case you were told you must evacuate your home.
- Bug out bags -These backpacks should be by your door at all times, ready to go. Don’t forgot aluminum foil, extra socks and dehydrated foods.
- Cell phone – Let’s hope it still works.
- Address book – Don’t count on your cell phone to remember names, numbers or addresses.
- Money, credit cards – Cash is usually king in emergencies.
- Flashlight – Don’t forget the extra batteries!
- Pet food/carriers – your precious animals will need to be evacuated too!
- Comfortable clothing/ Extra shoes – You may be walking in heat or cold, prepare for both.
- Firepower – Self defense is critical.
- Personal hygiene – Practice not showering and using less toilet paper. It may come in handy
- Documents (identification, insurance, passports, etc.) Keep these separate, secure and weather protected.
- A utility bill or other proof of residence – When the authorities allow you back in, you may need these.
- Small portable safe for valuables – Emergency evacuations can bring criminal activity. Keep valuables unto lock and key.
- Reading material – If you have small children, adventure stories are very important.
- Laptops – How many bytes have you lost by not saving material to an external hard drive?
- Water – Also consider a small portable water filter.
- A small fire extinguisher
- Extra fuel in a safe container – Airplane fuel can be stored up to ten years.
- Phone and laptop chargers
- Car charger – Duct tape, extra oil and jumper cables too
- Emergency food – Practice being hungry. Show these foods and share them with your children.