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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Forest Fire: AdobeStock_187079021 by Oscar
Utah Mountains: Photo by Kay Lynn Reilly Photography