Evacuation Plan-How To Be Prepared To Leave Your Home

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Today, let’s talk about an evacuation plan to have in place if you are asked to leave your home, neighborhood or community. We’ve seen the recent news on Hurricane Harvey, the worst storm and devastation in American history, according to the news reporters. I heard it’s been called a 500-year storm. Here in Southern Utah, we had what they called a 100-year storm a few years ago. I thought at the time it was devastating, and it really was for so many families. I don’t want to compare storms, we have had so many that it seems they are getting stronger and stronger. Of course, we now have more television stations to report and social media brings the pictures of chaos into our lives through our computers and iPhones.


Here’s the deal, I read the book “Five Days at Memorial”, it’s a book written about the Memorial hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I have read the book three times, you may want to as well. A reader recommended the book to me, and I will forever be grateful for the suggestion. I have read the book “One Second After”, it was an okay read, but the book dragged out and the only thing that came out of that read was that cars older than a certain year would be the only ones that would work since they don’t have computers to get damaged. You would still need to have gas in them to run, and many don’t always keep our gas tanks full. I already knew that about car computers and I also was aware that pharmacies, grocery stores, and other retail outlets will empty quickly. Not the best read, in my opinion.

Then, I was interviewed for the Ted Koppel book “Lights Out”.  Now that is a book everyone in America should read. Our country is so unprepared to replace the infrastructure of our power grids, it’s appalling to me. He interviewed people working for the government and retired people who had worked with all aspects of our falling apart infrastructure. His team interviewed more people that are in the know than any book I am aware of that has been printed on the subject. And of course, Ted Koppel is a very respected reporter and speaker.

Evacuation Plan

First of all, you may or may not have a choice to evacuate. You may be required to leave by the local government entities, so we must have an evacuation plan if our home and surrounding areas are deemed a dangerous situation. Now, certain situations will make the decision for you, like severe flooding, a nearby hurricane, tornado or an earthquake. Here are my suggestions.

Read More of My Articles  Reverse 911 Emergency Notification System-Please Sign Up Today

Register your phone(s) with Reverse 911

I live in Washington County (Utah) so I would Google: Washington County, Utah Reverse 911 and click on the first link that comes up on the computer. This will let you know if there is imminent danger coming to your neighborhood via an emergency notification system.

Make an Emergency Contact Card

Everyone in your family should have a contact card to carry on their person or in their back pack. This contact card will have all names, phone numbers, and addresses to get in touch with family members or friends in case of emergencies. Please laminate, if possible.

Emergency ICE in phones

Make sure all family members have an emergency contact person under the initials ICE, this gives emergency responders, etc. to know who to contact if you are unable to communicate. ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency.”

City Maps

Purchase some maps of your city and surrounding areas. This map can be used to show family members where to meet if a disaster happens without notice. Remember, we may not all be home together when an unforeseen emergency strikes. One family member may be driving a carpool, another at work or another at the grocery store. Talk openly with each family member where to meet. Talk about Plan A, Plan B, and make a Plan C. Hopefully, all family members will be united quickly. It’s critical you discuss and plan your own evacuation plan.

EDC Bags

Put together an EDC, an Everyday Carry Bag. This bag is different than a 72-hour kit. Here is a link to my post on my EDC bag. EDC bag by Linda

Gas Tank(s)

Please keep your cars at least 3/4 full. I used to suggest 1/2 full, but I’m seeing more and more evacuations in the country so we need to be ready all the time. I will not be in line to purchase gas, I can guarantee you that for sure. I only have one car so that should be feasible.

Emergency Binder

Be prepared to grab and go with your emergency binder at a moments notice. You can relax, knowing you have all the critical documents you need with you when you must evacuate. Please have small bills in your possession. If we lose power the ATM’s may not work. The banks will be closed if they lose power. This binder content will load and show up on the bottom left-side of your computer:
Food Storage Moms FREE Printable Emergency Binder Download

Post A Document

Please post a document on the back door, the front door or whatever to remind you to grab the items you do not want to leave behind. Keep in mind your house may not withstand a disaster, so just write down items on a paper that are extremely special to you. You may or may not have time to grab them. Have a family meeting and talk about and practice an evacuation plan with items needed to grab and go. These items could be water, food, 72-hour kits, emergency binder, prescriptions, dog food, extra clothing, shoes, etc.

Read More of My Articles  What You Need In Your 72 Hour Kits Today

School Evacuations

Please check to see what your local schools do in case of an unforeseen emergency or disaster. Ask the school who your children can be released to in case of emergency. You may need to add additional names to the cards on file at the schools your children attend.

Evacuation Centers

Please check with your local city and or county emergency centers to see what plans they have for people who may have to be evacuated. Do they have different locations, supplies, etc? Keep in mind the government cannot take care of everyone. We need to have at least 3-7 days worth of food and water at the very least for our families.


I know I have talked a few times about meeting your neighbors. Please introduce yourselves if you go for walks. If you feel so inclined, I would have a meeting (barbecue, maybe) with those neighbors you feel comfortable talking about disasters before they hit and how you can help one another. Please remember those elderly neighbors and disabled people on your street in your evacuation plan.


Don’t forget our pet needs, we need water and food for them as well. Make a bag if possible with food and water dishes, extra collars, leashed, harnesses, etc. Make sure you have a litter box with strong bags with kitty litter and baggies to use to pick up after all our pets. I’m sure those with larger animals have a harder time to protect their animals that can’t be taken to shelters. Please have medical records for your pet (s) because they may be required to enter some emergency locations. Here is my 72-hour kit pet list that may help you as well. A reader suggested a crate for our beloved pets, a blanket or their favorite toys. Ask your Vet if a tranquilizer would be appropriate for your sweet animals.

How to be prepared with water by Linda

Prepare Your Family For Survival by Linda

Medical Handbook 

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14 thoughts on “Evacuation Plan-How To Be Prepared To Leave Your Home

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Thank you for this post. I would also suggest that people that have pets, such as a dog (s) and cats or any other small animals, to have dog and cat food, or other types, in bags that are sealed, possibly in a bucket with a sealed lid, a travel bowl, water set aside for them and a planned use of a stored litter box with litter, placed in a strong contractors plastic garbage bag for cats and leashes of course for the dogs with collars on with their tags on those collars. I have livestock and that is a very difficult one. I have halters for all of my alpacas and leads, but at the moment I do not have a trailer at my disposal to haul my herd out, but my sister who lives five miles away does. Not sure what I could do other than make sure they have plenty of hay and water if we were ordered immediately out. It’s a heartbreaking thought. Ponchos also are cheap to buy and would be an important , good item to put in the packs for everyone. Whether it’s cold and snowing or raining, these would help keep everyone dry. That’s very important. Life in general these days is so unpredictable it’s hard to say what is coming our way. It’s best that we encourage others always as you do to prepare in general and once you get to that point, plan for those disasters most likely to hit your area and build on that. Also, choose trusted alt-media news to see what is going on in our country and out and pay very close attention. TIMING IS CRITICAL!!! We can’t be prepared for everything I realize, but we should at least attempt to have the basics and some kind of plan. Our lives and the ones we love and care about are important, so let’s make sure we cover as many bases as we can. And yes, people have to realize that these disasters can happen in our very own back yards, not just off in some other state or in the world. We should take heed to what we’re witnessing here in our own country and globally. None of us today can deny that we need to be more vigilant in this preparation. It’s not being paranoid, it’s being smart and effective if the need arises. Thanks so very much Linda for the wonderful, informative information that you share with all of us. God bless you and your family. As it was said….better a year early than a day late. Hindsight can be devastating or productive. Sending prayers out to those in Texas and the other states affected.

    • August 31, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hi Lisa, oh what a beautiful comment you wrote today. No one can be prepared for a 500-year storm. I love the statement “it’s not being paranoid, It’s being smart and effective if the need arises”. Well said, my friend. I better go add the pet supplies, thanks for the reminder. Stay safe and keep up the good work, Hugs, Linda

    • August 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

      In addition to Lisa’s comments, it is important that we have the medial records for our pets. I found recently that I needed to produce the rabies shot record for my kitty to get her nails trimmed. Many shelters will requite shot records if they accept pets.

      • August 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        Hi Pat, I’m glad you reminded me of this. I have my dogs records in his emergency/travel bag completes with extra collars, harness, and leashes, water and food dishes. I’m on it, adding it right now. Thanks so much, Linda

  • August 31, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Linda, thank -you for this timely article. My elderly mother and I have just discussed being prepared to evacuate our home, with three small dogs should an evacuation order be given. One concern is being prepared to shelter ourselves. We will not part with our pets whom we consider as part of our family. We have both a moral and ethical responsibility for their care. One suggestion, I would recommend in preparing for pets is providing a pet crate for each one. A crate serves as a safe space and importantly, insures they are kept safe from strangers/foreign enviroment. Placing a favorite blanket and toy -may ease their anxiety. Speaking with your Vet about a mild tranquilizer may be an option to have.

    • August 31, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Martha, I am going to add that to my list, thank you so much. I have another article for tomorrow that I hope will help a few people gather some items together. The crate is an excellent tip. Plus any blanket or toy will help soothe their stress hopefully. I have heard that if you have your pets medical records you may be able to take them into certain locations. People with pets will understand that they are a part of our family and we are responsible for their care. Thank you for your beautiful comment. Linda

  • September 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I loved your article! I must admit I was kinda proud of myself as I’ve done the majority of what you’ve suggested. I feel like we’re fairly well prepared but we do definitely have need for improvement in several areas; I need another large cat carrier for my daughter’s Maine Coon cat (who’s huge!) and I need the rabies vaccination proof for my golden retriever. Our cats, unfortunately, don’t have those shots as they’re indoor cats and we haven’t gotten them. I know, I probably should. My bad.

    I read One Second After. I thought there was alot of good information that could be used from that book…if it applies to where you live. I also read his second book, One Year After and the third and final book, the name of which eludes me at the moment. I’ve read several of these “disaster” books and while I’ve gleaned some good information from them, they’ve left me depressed and feeling horribly inadequate. Then again, those are the worst case scenarios, not “Hurricane Harvey” type scenarios.

    I have my EMT class books in my bugout bag and have purchased medical books for survival for if no doctors are available. I think it’s important that people be prepared for accidents, illnesses and such and to know what they can do for themselves. Amazon has a really good selection.

    I enjoy reading your posts! You do a fantastic job and also being Member, I think it all has the right “tone”. Oh, and I went to Costco yesterday and added 2 more cases of toilet paper to my basement! :o)

    • September 2, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Hi Robbie, oh the toilet paper we can never have too much! LOL! I love hearing you are an EMT, I wish I had taken those classes!!! I think it’s awesome that you are so prepared, you know that makes me happy! I hear you on the pets, I bought a Shih Tzu last December that I thought would be 8-9 pounds. Well, he is now 12 pounds and that extra poundage is HEAVY to carry. I love hearing you have some medical books as well. Every family needs one. Great comment, keep up the good work! Linda

  • September 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for this post. It’s prompted me to get a crate for our dog today. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. Unfortunately it’s likely we will be evacuated if Hurricane Irma takes the track they predict. So we will need something for the dog if they make us go to a shelter. Florida authorities are used to this and while I’d like to stay, we are close to water and we won’t rock any boats if they force us. It might take a week or more to get electricity back if that’s the case. They won’t make us stay in the shelter beyond the danger, and then we can go home. We have our preps and everything, and I’m really not afraid of us flooding. We have no basement and we’re up high over a big crawl space. Went to Walmart. They are already out of water! The hurricane isn’t supposed to hit until the weekend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this site and you for all your help. Except that we might have to leave, we can laugh at this storm. Reminds me of the Prov. 31 woman who laughs at adversity because she has prepared for her household. It’s pretty satisfying.

    • September 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Hi, Debbie, thank you for your great comments. I am praying your home is not flooded and your family and dog will be safe. I hope you have enough water to get you through this. Maybe another shipment will arrive. God bless you, my friend, Linda P.S. Prov. 31 glad you reminded me of that one.

      • September 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        We have plenty of water, so we’re going to be fine. It was simply an amazing thing looking at empty sections where water once was. But I did get the dog crate which I hope we don’t have to use, but it’s good to have it. We live in the center of the state and 50 miles from both coasts. My family is having a good time preparing, finding books we’d like to read, low tech games we’d like to play and new food storage recipes. Even if we don’t get a direct hit, we lose power in a bad storm like that. And it takes time for them to get to us. We got our Luci lights charged up in the sun today. Have you done a blog on Luci lights? They are absolutely the best! The charge lasts a long time and produce a lot of light! I noticed Walmart started carrying Luci lights in their camping section. Amazon has them too, and for less money than Walmart.

        • September 5, 2017 at 8:36 am

          Hi Debbie, I am going to look go look at Luci lights right now. Thanks for the tip. You know I love new ideas! Glad you are prepared, I have goose bumps writing this, I am so glad to hear you are safe so far. Hugs! Linda

  • September 10, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I live in a Senior community. Last year, I held a Preparedness talk in our communal clubhouse. We have 141 apartments in 2 buildings with 3 floors each. I tried to convey the need to be prepared for common eventualities such as: winter power outages; volcanic eruptions (we live in the Pacific NW near Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens among other volcanic peaks in the Cascade range); earthquakes (and scientists indicate that the PNW is long overdue for a really BIG one that would be catastrophic); as well as other minor emergencies. Some of the comments I received were: “You are just trying to scare us to death.”; “I lived through the depression and I know how to survive.”; “This is boring and unnecessary.”; “I can’t afford to store up food.”; “We will just come to your apartment.”
    I tried to explain that it is relatively inexpensive to get SOME preps in place but I really lost a lot of the people (who I might add, are all older than I am!). I did have to tell people who said they would just come to my apartment that they would need to bring their own blankets and pillows, all of their non-perishables and LOTS of money. They asked why the money, to which I replied, “You are not going to use my heat source, my stored water and my cooking facilities without paying for them.” No one liked to hear that.
    Most of the people here seem to think that the government will be taking care of them – getting them to shelters if needed; feeding them, etc. I asked them what they would be taking with them if they had to evacuate and it didn’t seem any of them had a plan. I asked how many had a folder they would grab to take with them with all of their important papers. No one had anything of the sort. I told them that if they wanted to have a class on that, I would be happy to share your information for an Emergency Binder. So far, no one has requested any further information.

    I guess with all the above, I am prepared to stay in place in the event of an emergency OR evacuate and be well equipped while in a shelter. I feel sorry for those who are not open to prepping but I cannot force it down their throats, either.

    Thank you for all of your posts. My prayers are with all of those in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, as well as those suffering with tornadoes and earthquakes.

    • September 11, 2017 at 6:42 am

      Hi, Leanne, I have to say thank you for trying to help people. Here’s the deal, you tried to help them understand, you are a rock star to me for trying to help them! It’s frustrating for me as well. Some of my neighbors think they are coming over here after a disaster. I have water, food, and fuel stored for Mark and I. I would have to rent a warehouse to hydrate and feed my neighborhood. I can’t afford to do that. Let alone fill it for others. We must all be self-reliant. The government will not be able to take care of everyone. That’s not going to happen. I applaud you for trying to get people get their important documents in one place and ready to grab if needed to evacuate. I’m hoping people after seeing the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and Irma now understands the need to be prepared. May God bless you for your efforts, you will survive anything that comes your way! Hugs, Linda


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