How To Be Prepared To Evacuate Your Home

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In the State of Utah, people have had to evacuate their homes within minutes due to rapidly advancing fires, other areas had a few hours. The problem is the fires can move so fast and change directions with the wind. Mark and I live in Southern Utah and often have fires here in the dry desert. This year is the worst I can ever remember. I highly suggest you have a plan in place in case you must evacuate your home with little if any warning.

I’m sure you have a car, truck or other vehicle emergency kit. If not, I highly recommend one. I have written about being ready to evacuate our homes, but I feel very strongly that it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Today is the day, my friends. This picture below is about 30 miles north and east of my home, as the crow flies.

Evacuate

Evacuate Your Home

1. Make a Plan

Here’s the deal, you may be at work and your family is home when a fire or other disaster hits. You may be driving carpool or grocery shopping. The scenarios can be numerous and diverse, but please sit down with your family and decide on a few places you can meet if you are separated during the emergency situation. Hopefully, someone has a cellphone you can use to help yourself and others can evaluate the situation and make the necessary plans after a disaster hits.

Decide on several highways that you can exit, make maps and give them to your kids to put in their backpacks. The cell towers may be overloaded, so be prepared to text and pray that the text message goes through. This is why we must all make an exit plan from our community or neighborhood.

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Keep your gas tank at 3/4 full whenever possible. You do not want to have to go get gas when 100 other people are trying to do the same thing at the local gas station. I know, I lived that back in 1974 when there was a “gas shortage.” The entire nation lived through that nightmare.

2. Have an Emergency Binder Ready To Grab

Please put together an emergency binder with all of your important documents, trust me you’ll be glad you have them with you. Please print off my FREE emergency binder contents below and gather all your items and put them in a zippered binder. Don’t forget the pictures of you and your family members. Yes, you could get separated and you may need a picture of your loved ones and/or pets.

3. Grab Your 72-Hour Kits

I’ve written about 72-hour kits, they can be a backpack, a box or a locked bucket. Put whatever you may need in that container for a minimum of 72-96 hours. Here’s a link that may help you: 72 Hour Kits

4. Grab Water and Food

Please add as much water in your car that will fit, the next city you are heading to may have contaminated water or be out of the water your family needs, literally. Yes, it happens. Make sure you have a can opener, paper plates, and utensils.

5. Cash

The ATM’s may be out of cash or may not work. Please store the following bills: ones, fives, and tens in your emergency binder.

6. First Aid Kit

I have my first aid kit information below. Please have one ready to grab and go. It can be large or small, the stores may be closed or the shelves empty, do not be unprepared.

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7. Prescriptions

Please grab your prescriptions in case it’s days or weeks before you can return home.

8. Contact Information

Be sure and fill out the Contact Information form in my Emergency Binder download. You may think you will remember all the important phone numbers you’ll need, but you may be hurt and others will need to contact those you need to reach out to for you.

This is a very short list, but at least it gets your mind thinking about teaching your family the skills to evacuate when needed. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, and please pray for those affected this summer by all the fires here in the west, including those brave, hard working fire fighter out on the front lines.

Linda’s First Aid Kit

Linda’s Vehicle Kit

Linda’s Free Binder Content Download

Flashlights

Copyright pictures:

Forest Fire: AdobeStock_187079021 by Oscar

Utah Mountains: Photo by Kay Lynn Reilly Photography

 

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8 thoughts on “How To Be Prepared To Evacuate Your Home

  • July 8, 2018 at 7:38 am
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    I know you’re not in any immediate danger from the West Valley fire, but I’ve been thinking about you and Mark. It must be terribly smokey there, like it was here, last year, during the Brian Head fire. Thank God for our exceptional wildfire crews! Hopefully, more rain this week will help them get this fire to 100% containment.

    Big hugs, my friend, Mare

    Reply
    • July 8, 2018 at 9:03 am
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      Hi Mare, how you are, my friend??? I hope all is well with you. I think the smoke has gone towards Cedar City. I remember the Brian Head fire, I worried about you!!! The problem is right now we have so many uncontrolled fires I am very worried for the homes and families involved. I can’t imagine the hot heavy outerwear our men and women firefighters must wear and the danger they are in… I’m begging people to be careful with campfires and throwing cigarettes out the window. We are in a dangerous situation statewide. God bless this world! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • July 8, 2018 at 8:40 am
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    Thank you, Linda for this post. In response to an elderly neighbor writing that she didn’t know what to do when a Level 1 evacuation automated phone call was received, I wrote a similar document for her to use and share. Thankfully she did! The point is that people need to act before the call ever comes. This has been a record wildfire season in my area as well and we’re just getting started. Let’s hope a lot more people get the message. Stay safe.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2018 at 9:06 am
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      HI Debbie, oh my gosh, I didn’t even think about the elderly not understanding the automated emergency phone calls!!! Yes, they do need to act before the calls come. Great comment! Let’s spread the word like you are!! Thank you!!! Linda

      Reply
  • July 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm
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    In 1994, my father had to evacuate his home due to an advancing forest fire that eventually took his home. We had a fire in 1963 (unknown cause) that was much more devastating in that no one was home so we did not have a chance to remove any of our important things. In the 1994 fire, my father had 2 days notice of evacuation and was able to get all of his important papers and photos out (along with some clothing). Evacuating does not make the loss of your home any easier even though you might have advanced notice of evacuation. Until his death in 2006, he was still looking for that ??? whatever that he KNEW he had! We kids were always telling him that it went up in flames when he lost his house.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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      Oh, Leanne, how devastating for your father and your family. I can’t imagine watching your home burn down and think years after, where is my??? Oh yeah, it went up in flames. Two home fires in one family, I am so sorry, there are no words to share because I have never had to deal with a fire in my home. The memories, the paperwork, the important documents, the family cherished items, the list goes on and on. The advance notice does not make it any easier, you are so right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, we will all learn from them. Hugs, Linda

      Reply
      • July 8, 2018 at 11:11 pm
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        Linda ~ thanks for your kind thoughts. I was 12 when our home burned the first time – it was a VERY old house and the fire marshal could not give a definitive reason for the fire. It was late spring and we were not burning anything. My father believed it was an electrical problem. Of course, we lived way out in the country and no fire department back in the early 60s. Well, still no fire department!

        The fire in 1994 was just 10 months after my mother had died. We all joked that it was her way of cleaning house so we kids would have nothing to fight over!! It is certainly no joking matter but sometimes you have to “joke around” because if you didn’t, you would just cry.

        My sister and brother-in-law bought the place after my dad died. They have been in the home for 12 years now and have had at least one level one evac each year put into place due to forest fires near them. One year they had a level 2 evac and had their vehicles loaded. Fortunately, there was no level 3 evac and they were able to put everything back in place.

        Reply
        • July 9, 2018 at 5:42 pm
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          Hi Leanne, I love your comment about the fire was your mom’s way of cleaning out everything so the kids wouldn’t fight over the “stuff”. I bet your mom was laughing in heaven over that comment! LOL! I remember at my dad’s funeral I said to people it’s okay to laugh about my dad’s jokes, he is heaven hoping we are not crying here at the funeral home. Life is full of good memories, even if some are sad. Hugs, Linda

          Reply

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