How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan

If you and your family had to evacuate your home because of a tornado, an earthquake or wildfire, where would you go? 

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There’s a lot to consider.   “Location A is close enough to home to check on the house if we had to, but what if the entire city is affected?   But if we went to Location B, how would I ever get to work?”

Is your head hurting yet?

Not to worry.  A –  That’s exactly why we want you to go through this exercise now and not when a firefighter is knocking at the door. And B –  That’s also why we suggest that you choose three locations and opt for the one that fits your needs if an emergency ever rears its ugly head.

A great #EvacuationPlan has two objectives:  

1) To figure out the best location for your evacuation
2) To help you gather your family and get you safely to your location
First we’ll walk you through choosing your locations and sketching out a plan.  Once the plans are set, put the details on your family’s emergency wallet cards.    If you want, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact.  And if you don’t have emergency wallet cards, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

How To Choose The Perfect Locations

Location One:  A location Near Your Home, that you can use if you cannot stay in your home, but the area around it is still safe and secure.
Location Two:  A location Outside of Your Immediate Area, that you can use if you cannot stay in your area, but the cities around you are still safe and secure.
Location Three:  A location Out of State, if your own state is uninhabitable.
With three locations you’ll be prepared no matter what the emergency.  You’ll just go down your list, choose the location you need, and be on your way.  You and the members of your immediate family will know where to gather and what to do, even if everyone is away from home in the middle of a busy day.
If you’d like to have a copy of these directions for later, download the PDF Version of How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan.
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

The Right Location

Before you try to zero in on a perfect location, come up with as many different locations as you can that you and your family would be able to use for evacuation.
As you consider each location, think about:
  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you

Does It Have What You Need?

Once you’re pretty certain you have the right places, consider whether this location has what you and your family would actually need.
  • For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors?
  • Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home?
  • Does it have the furniture and supplies necessary for two or three weeks?

We Have A Winner!  Make That Three Winners!

No location is perfect, so if you came up with one or two things your location would be lacking, be sure to note them on your Family Evacuation Plan, so that you can take care of it before you  get there.

The Staging Area

Now that you’ve chosen your locations, choose two places for you and your family to gather during an emergency, so that you can travel to your evacuation location together.  One place should be near your home or work and the other farther from your home in case your area is completely inaccessible.
Put the addresses and phone numbers of these two meeting places on your family’s emergency cards.

Appoint An Out Of Town Contact

It’s also a good idea to appoint an out of town contact to help you while your family deals with the aftermath of an emergency.
Even though you might not be able to call people right in your own area after an emergency, you can often call long distance.  A distant friend can be a touch point for the entire family until communication is restored.
Once you choose an out of town relative or friend as a contact, check with them to make sure that they’re willing to help.  If so, give them a copy of your emergency plan and wallet card, so they’ll be able to help, if the need ever arises.

Creating Your Plan

Grab a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.  Here are a few questions to answer before you draft your plan:
  • Who Is Evacuating With You?
  • Who Will Do What?
  • Temporary Housing
  • Transportation Plans/Travel Information
  • Pet Information
  • Out of State and Local Contacts
  • Contact Information For Everyone Who Will Be Evacuating With You As Well As Your Out of Town Contact.
    • Their cell phone/school/office numbers
    • Email addresses
    • Twitter and Facebook account names.
    • Any other information that can put you in immediate touch with them, even if one or two modes of communication are down.

Making Your Plan Easy To Access

Review the plans with your spouse and adult family members.  Once they’re set, put that information on your family’s emergency wallet cards.  If you don’t already have your own, click the link to download ours.   It might be a good idea to give a card to the person you chose to be your out of area contact, too.
And while you’re at it, store a copy in your family’s cell phones as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Print, scan or make three copies of the Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
If your Plan is on paper, you can place it:
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
If your Plan is on computer, you can place it:
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • On a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
  • Save a link to the Plan on you and your family’s smartphones, so that you can all instantly access and use the plan whenever you need it.

Anything Else To Add?

Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, scan or make copies of that information and place it in the same folder as your completed medical history forms.
If you need help creating Medical History Forms for your family, take a look at our blog post or download a copy of our How-To Sheet.
And if you’d like a copy of these instructions for later, click here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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How To Choose An Evacuation Location

How To Choose An Evacuation Location

The day after the Nepal Earthquake, the Joplin Tornadoes and Superstorm Sandy millions of people woke up to the reality of having to evacuate their homes and businesses.  The only good thing about Sandy being a hurricane and not an earthquake, was that residents had a few days to figure out where to go and what to do, when they received the order to evacuate.
But as anyone watching even five minutes of either the earthquake, tornado or hurricane coverage quickly realized, thousands of the people who were told to evacuate, stayed right where they were.  Others evacuated not because they had a plan of where to go and what to do, but because they had no other choice.   They’re currently sitting in a shelter or in a friend’s spare room, with absolutely no idea what they’re going to do next.
What about you?  If that was your neighborhood and your family, and the firefighter knocked on YOUR door, where would you go?   Why are we asking this question? 
Because you have to know where you’re going , before you can get there!  
Here’s how to do it quickly and easily.

How To Choose An Evacuation Location | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

1. Choose three different locations , because that will give you and your family a variety of choices that will keep you safe, no matter what circumstances you might face. 
  • One location should be near your neighborhood, to be used in an emergency that only impacts your home.
  • One location should be out of your immediate area but in the same state .  This is for a regional emergency.
  • One location should be out of state, for situations  with widespread danger, like a wildfire or an earthquake.
2.  How To Choose A Great Location
Before you zero in on  the perfect location, come up with as many different locations as you can that you and your family can use for evacuation. 
As you consider each location, think about:
  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you
3. Do Your Locations Have What You Need?
Once you’re certain you have the right places, consider whether each location will actually work for you and your family.  
For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it have everything that you and your family would need?  
Would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors? 
Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home? 
Does it have the furniture and supplies you would need to sustain you for two or three weeks?
4. We Have A Winner!  Make That Three Winners
No location is perfect, so if you came up with one or two things your location would be lacking, be sure to note that on your Family Evacuation Plan, so that you can take care of it before you  get there.  
Speaking of your plan, once you have your locations set, grab a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, you’ll find a copy in the back of the book.   It will take you through a couple of quick steps  to help you create a complete evacuation plan for your family.
5. Making Your Plan Accessible
Print, scan or make three copies of the Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need. 
And  store a copy in your cell phone as well, in case an emergency occurs while you’re away from home.
Want to download a copy of these instructions?  Click here and save the PDF version to your computer.
Here is the link to part two of this series, How To Create Your Family Evacuation Plan.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
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Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
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The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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Living In A Cardboard House

Living In A Cardboard House | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com

A Family Trying to Get On With  Life, In A Temporary Cardboard Home In A Fukushima Evacuation Center
At 9.0 the Fukushima Japan Earthquake was one of the fiercest, most destructive quakes of modern times.   As time goes on, the images and feelings about the quake will fade, but only for those who didn’t experience it.  For the people of Japan the reality of that destruction, that DISRUPTION of their lives, is not only crystal clear, it’s ongoing as those families who were hardest hit by the quake, struggle to get back to their daily lives.
Thousands of families are taking refuge in evacuation centers like this one — cardboard walls now cordon off their private living space.  The question is, do the people who have now been in this center for a month, have any way of returning to their normal lives?
Although some cities were devastated beyond recognition in the original quake, or multiple aftershocks, most were not.   Which means that the families now living within the cardboard walls could probably have gotten out of the city they’re currently in, and on to a different location, within that month.  They could have gone to stay with friends or relatives in other cities, where they could have been reunited with the vital documents and information they needed, so they could begin to get in touch with insurance professionals or put the kids in a new temporary school.  They could have located their online stash of family photos and keepsakes to make their temporary home, or new life a little more comfortable and cozy.
They could have done all of that if they had only had one thing.  A Get Back To Life Plan.
The day we realized how important that little plan was, was a day that began like any other.
I was a stay at home mom, and had just finished a load of laundry, before getting ready to start dinner.  As I opened the cabinet to reach for a dish, the house shuttered.  It felt like something had hit the roof — hard.  A moment later there was an enormous roar, followed by a shock wave.  The kitchen chairs flew across the room and everything was cascading off the countertop .  I ran to the living room window and pulled back the curtains.  All I could see was orange – everything was orange.  I closed the curtains and opened them again thinking I had to be imagining this.  But I wasn’t. 
As I stared out the window I realized that the orange was actually a ball of fire surrounding what remained of a 737, lying broken, smoke billowing, just across the street and two houses away from where I stood.  The houses under the airplane were nothing more than rubble.  I immediately searched the distance for my daughter Laura’s school just two blocks away.  From what I could see beyond the smoke, it looked okay.  Adrenaline took over.  We’d need clothes – at least one night and one day’s worth for Laura, my husband and my mother who lived with us.  We’d need cash – whatever we had in the house, ID, pictures — at least a few, credit card…  By this time I was running from room to room dumping everything I needed on the couch.  There was a knock at the door.  “We’re evacuating the neighborhood”, said a fireman in full gear.  “Take everything you need for the next two or three days.”  
“You have ten minutes.”
If an airplane crash, Japan sized earthquake, terrorist attack or medical emergency struck right now, would you be ready?
Where is your spouse, your children, the other people you love?  What if they were injured?  Would a doctor know what to do to save their lives, with their specific healthcare needs in mind?  Would the hospital know to call you?
What about your vital documents?  Could you find your bank account number, your homeowner’s policy and your birth certificate, if you suddenly had five minutes to evacuate?
Most people can’t.  As human beings as much as we realize should be prepared, we’re just not hard-wired to be disaster-oriented.  If that’s all we thought about, we’d never make it through the day – at least not without living under the bed.   The good news is, being prepared doesn’t mean we have to be disaster- oriented.  Just the opposite!  It means that by taking an hour or two to prepare now, we can relax knowing that if a disaster or medical emergency ever strikes, we’ll:
Know what to do
Know what to take
Know where everything is
Know that we’ve done everything possible not just to survive, but to thrive
And isn’t that the point?  Having lived through a neighborhood plane crash, a tornado and a few medical emergencies, we can definitely tell you, that it is! The last few years, more than any other, our nation and our world have faced more than its share of natural and man-made disasters.  The only good thing about that is, we can use the lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina or floods, tornadoes, the Tsunami or even the London Bombings, to make sure our own families are prepared.
And make sure that if you ever have only five minutes, you can grab what you need and go.
Our family survived the plane crash that day.  Those across the street, did not.  We were and continue to be very blessed.  But those ten minutes to grab whatever I could, were some of the most stressful, most difficult I’ve ever experienced.
That’s why we made sure our newest book/program The Backup Plan 3.0 comes with a Get Back To Life Plan.  And if you don’t have the book yet, be sure to stop by the blog post we recently did on creating your own Get Back To Life Plan.
We’ve all seen images of Japan as her citizens struggle to get their lives back.   Let’s use those images to remind ourselves of one VERY important thing.  
People with a plan don’t usually have to live in a Cardboard House.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it

_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources