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DIY Evacuation Kit

September 12, 2017

With Harvey and Irma, this hurricane season has been devastating for America and U.S. territories. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November, so many Americans along the coast may need an evacuation kit in the near future. Mindful people can start getting prepared by making their own evacuation kit just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.

Evacuate or Not?

When there is an emergency, people have the tendency to barricade themselves in their homes in order to stay safe, but this isn’t always a smart decision. So far, six people have died in Florida due to the Hurricane Irma, but the situation could have been much worse if there hadn’t been an evacuation. The Florida Division of Emergency Management estimates that 6.3 million people were ordered to evacuate due to Hurricane Irma.

Evacuation Kit 101

If a terrible storm comes your way and government officials ask that you leave the area, have an evacuation grab-and-go kit ready to go. You evacuation kit will be fairly similar to your Mindful Emergency Kit, which we have mentioned before. You’ll need:

  • An extra-large book bag or a duffle bag to carry everything
  • Important papers safe in a Ziploc bag (IDs, passport, insurance documentation, etc…)
  • Extra cash in a Ziploc bag (keep to small bills: $1s, $5s, $10s, and $20s)
  • Extra food (granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc…) and bottled water
  • Extra toiletries, such as feminine products and other hygiene products
  • Important tools such as a flashlight, batteries, and a portable phone charger
  • And a Mindful First Aid Kit
    • Your first aid kit should include aspirin, bandages, sanitizing wipes, antiseptic wipes, thermometer, and a first aid manual.

Your evacuation kit will also need special pre-made plans. The Department of Homeland Security suggests that you have the following prepared for your evacuation kit:

  • Places to go. Finding shelter in the middle of an evacuation can be stressful, so have your options picked before it’s time to evacuate. The lists can include shelters or the homes of friends and family members out of the evacuation zone. Have printed maps from your home to the destinations and include alternative routes just in case some roads are closed.
  • Transportation options. How will you be getting to safety? Will you be driving your car or catching a ride with someone else? During an emergency, it’s possible that your transportation plans might fall through. If it does, have a contingency plan ready, such as government assistance.
  • Separation plans. Though it may be hard for you to imagine it is possible that in the chaos you and your family get separated. So, be prepared for the worse. Prepare a reunification plan in case you get separated, including a meet-up location. Make sure everyone knows this plan (especially the kids).

This weekend take some time to establish your own evacuation kit. Remember that a prepared family is a Mindful family.

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